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Heritage Guide to The Geelong College






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ROWING (Sport)

ROWING (Sport)

See Also Rowing (Jubilee History Text). Chapter XI - 'On the River'.
See Also Rowing (Centenary History Text). Chapter 14. 'On the River'.
See Also Rowing Strokes.
See Also 'No Passengers and the Will to Win: The Spirit of The Geelong College Boat Club', 1999 by James 'Jim' Mephan Ferguson.

Watch the Head of the River, 1957
Watch the Head of the River, 1966 by courtesy of the David Family.
Listen to Albert Bell's speech to the 1948 Head of the River crew.
Listen to a version of the College War Cry from about 2010.
Listen to 'Our Albert', Keith McNaughton's tribute to Albert Bell.
View the Rowing Logbook of 1957.


Initiatory Rowing Committee, 1888.

Initiatory Rowing Committee, 1888.

Fouteeen years after the founding of the Melbourne University Boat Club, Victoria's first, rowers from the Geelong College were braving the blustery conditions on Corio Bay. A satisfied George Morrison, Principal of the College wrote in his Annual Report of 1873: - 'A number of the older boys have this year joined the Barwon Rowing Club, and during the cold weather went rowing every afternoon, generally accompanied by several of the masters, by whose lively interest in the boys' athletic pursuits I have been much gratified...’ This was the first mention of rowing at Geelong College.

Morrison returned to the subject in his Annual Report of 1877 to briefly describing members of an 1877 Rowing IV and mentioned a first College rowing race against Hawthorn Grammar School which Grammar won by two boat lengths, though little else is known of rowing in the 1870s.

It was not until 1888 that the first photo of College rowers appears, captioned as the Initiatory Rowing Committee. The Annual Report of 1888 was more informative- ‘One of the most important events of the year has been the starting of a College Boat Club. By the kind contribution of old boys and friends we have been enabled to purchase four boats. Every Saturday, crews have enjoyed themselves at the various camping places on the lakes and river. These rowing excursions have enabled the boys to spend the Saturday holidays much more pleasantly than formerly. Thus far the Barwon Rowing Club has kindly housed our boats, but the Government has granted us a site on the river, and we hope to have our own sheds erected early in the coming year.’

By 1889, a block of land with depth of 328 feet and 50 feet frontage about 15 minutes walk from the College had been purchased and a shed erected with a dressing room and shower.

In 1902, the first VIII the ‘Lorna Mary’ was introduced and crews are consistently named from this date onwards. The Jubilee History also states that ‘a Captain of the Boats was formally appointed for the first time’ in 1896. Pincott was rowing coach in 1909.

Both the Jubilee History, 1911 and the Centenary History, 1961 contain considerable information about rowing. Jim Ferguson’s book published in 1999, No Passengers and the Will to Win: The Spirit of The Geelong College Boat Club, provides the most in-depth history of College rowing.

A sports trophy known as the The Geelong College Senior School Rowing Champions, donated by the Senior School Parents’ Association in the year 2000, is awarded annually to the winning House in the Senior School competition. This award had been known previously from 1924 to 1995 as the Henry Young Memorial Cup. In 2016 the Albert Bell Club established and funded an award for aspiring rowers known as the Colin Carstairs Bell Pathway Rowing Bursary.

Notable coaches include Charles Saleh, Albert Bell and David Ramage.


Rowing Boats and Shed, circa 1908.

Rowing Boats and Shed, circa 1908.

L J Campbell (Rowing Coach) with the Rollands

L J Campbell (Rowing Coach) with the Rollands

Rowing Coaches - C Salah; D Ramages; A Bell.

Rowing Coaches - C Salah; D Ramages; A Bell.



APS Head of the River Premierships:

Boys Rowing APS: 1936; 1944; 1955; 1956; 1957; 1959; 1960, 1976; 1990, 1993, 2000; 2001, 2003.

Girls Rowing APS: 1981; 1982; 1983; 1989; 1992; 1999; 2002; 2003; 2006; 2011.



Notable Geelong College Rowers:

AIKMAN, Alexander Michael Hirst (1933-2005). Olympic Rower.
AITKEN, Robert Russell MBE (1922-2004). Olympic Rowing Coach.
BELL, Albert (1910-1982). Staff, Rowing Coach, Geelong College.
BELL, Colin Carstairs OBE (1902-1961).
CLEARY, Jennifer Olympic Rower
DUNKLEY-SMITH, Joshua Olympic Rower.
FRASER, Hugh MBE (1864-1957) Notable Launceston Grammar School (LCEGS) Rowing Coach.
HOWDEN, James Guthrie (1934-1993). Olympic Rower.
JOHNSTONE, John Cunningham (1843-1925) Coach of the Scotch College Crew who pioneered the 'Head of the River with Melbourne Grammar in 1868.
RAMAGE, David Barton Olympic Rower.
STANLEY, Phoebe Amanda Olympic Rower.
NEWMARCH, Karina Nicole (nee WIELAND) Olympic Rower.
RICKETTS, Walter Newling (1901-1968) Notable Melbourne Grammar School (MCEGS) Rowing Coach.



Captains of Boats:

1896 McFarland, F.
1st Boys VIII, 1936, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII, 1936, APS Head of the River winners.

1897 Whiting, A. C.
1898 Whiting, A. C.
1809 Braham, R. G.
1900 Officer, R.
1901 Officer, R
1902 McFarland, E. A.
1903 McFarland, E. A.
1904 McFarland, E. A.
1905 Askew, G.
1906 Askew, G.
1907 McNeilage, G. C.
1908 McNeilage, G. C.
1909 Pullar, P. G..
1910 Kininmonth, J. C.
1911 Reid, G. C. D.
1912 Morrison, G. N. I.
1913 Mitchell, G. A. N.
1914 Reid, W. J.
1915 Webb, C. M.
1916 Hawkes, T. B.
1917 Hawkes, T. B.
1st Boys VIII 1944, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1944, APS Head of the River winners.

1918 Peter, W. C.
1919 Peter, W. C.
1920 Bell, C. C.
1921 Bell, C.C. (T1, T2)
........ Hope, D. W. (T3)
1922 Anderson, H. A.
1923 Sproat, A. D.
1924 Fallaw, H. C.
1925 Storrer, C. G.
1926 Reid, R. B.
1927 Roadknight, D. F.
1928 McPherson, P. (T1)
......... Waugh, J. B. (T3)
1929 Melville, W. T. (T1)
......... Wood, G. A. (T3)
1930 Forster, E. R.
1931 Robertson, S. W.
1st Boys VIII 1955, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1955, APS Head of the River winners.

1932 Fallaw, C. (T1)
......... McKenzie, G. G. C. (T3)
1933 Shannon, C. S. (T1)
......... Petrie, J. S. (T3)
1934 Thomas, J. A. (T1)
........ Funston,N. G. (T3)
1935 Cumming, D. A.
1936 Cumming, D. A.
1937 McPherson, I. H.
1938 McDowall, K. S.
1939 Dennis, R. J. L.
1940 Barrett, A. G.
1941 Hawkes, T. V. (T1)
........ McKinley, G. A. (T2, T3)
1942 Charles, R. P.
1943 Shuter, J. C. C.
1944 Macmillan, D. R. (T3)
1st Boys VIII 1956, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1956, APS Head of the River winners.

1945 MacLeod, H. G. (T1)
........ Bennet, A. L. (T3)
1946 Barrett, N. L.
1947 Purnell, R. W.
1948 Sweetman, J. R.
1949 Lawler, D. B.
1950 Button, J. N.
1951 Baird, C. S.
1952 Raymond, P.
1953 McDonald, N. R.
1954 Wood, W. A.W.
1955 Lawler, W.W.
1956 Caithness, D. M.
1957 John, A. T.
1958 Bromell, H. T.
1959 Scott, A. R.
1960 Whitehead, A. C. H.
1961 Mayne, P. C.
1962 Birks, D. M.
1963 Forbes, A. J.
1st Boys VIII 1957, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1957, APS Head of the River winners.

1964 Hinchcliffe, T. A.
1965 Drew, A. J.
1966 Not Listed ( W. L. Dennis ?)
1967 Beel, C. N.
1968 Davey, A. G.
1969 Betts, M. J.
1970 Seward, H. G.
1971 Sutton, D. B.
1972 Webster, C. M.
1973 Pyle, G.M.
1974 Holt, A. W.
1975 Steel, I. A.
1976 Morrison, A. G.
1977 Amezdroz, B. A.
1978 Phillip, A. L.
1979 LeDeux, A. J.
1980 Emmett, A.
1981 Gorell, P. R.
1982 Hobbs, A.
1983 Buchanan, A. (Boys)
1st Boys VIII 1959, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1959, APS Head of the River winners.

........ Henderson, J. (Girls)
1984 Dawson, D. L. (Boys)
........ Hynes, J. A. (Girls)
1985 Seller, L. N. (Girls)
........ Wylie, S. G. (Boys)
1986 Benjamin, S. P.(Boys)
........ Haydon, J. L. (Girls)
1987 Price, V. L. (Girls)
........ Prussner, G. L.(Boys)
1988 Cassidy, A. E. (Girls)
........ Dunstone, M. J. (Boys)
1989 Curtis, P. I. (Boys)
........ Sears, K. L. (Girls)
1990 Fitzgerald, S. D. (Girls)
........ Nicholls, S. H. (Boys)
1991 Colls, J. R. (Girls)
........ Pearson, C. T. (Boys)
1992 Bourke, F. C. (Girls)
1st Boys VIII 1960, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1960, APS Head of the River winners.

........ Crowe, P. A. (Boys)
1993 Miller, B. G. (Boys)
........ Rogers, K. M. (Girls)
1994 Jolly, B. R. (Girls)
........ Pettig, S. (Boys)
1995 Davis, K. J. (Girls)
........ Not Listed (Boys)
1996 Sutton, M. D. (Boys)
........ Galbraith, B. J. (Girls)
1997 Earle, N. M. (Boys)
........ Tyack, M. N. (Girls)
1998 Smeeton, L. M. (Boys)
........ McMillan, A. (Girls)
1999 Cole, J. A. H. (Boys)
........ Hamilton, A. J. (Girls)
2000 Allen, T. J. (Boys)
........ Smeeton, T. L. (Girls)
2001 Stanley, O. G. (Boys)
1st Boys VIII 1976, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1976, APS Head of the River winners.

........ Forbes, L. C. (Girls)
2002 Cole, P. C. (Girls)
........ Paton, T. J. (Boys)
2003 Hope-Johnstone, T. (Boys)
........ Stanley, P. (Girls)
2004 Donald, T. (Boys)
........ Peardon, S. (Girls)
2005 O’ Rourke, L. (Girls)
........ Williams, S. A. (Boys)
2006 Gubbins, J. (Girls)
........ Linke, J. T. (Boys)
2007 Dunkley-Smith, J. (Boys)
 1st Girls IV 1981, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls IV 1981, APS Head of the River winners.

........ Hawkins, E. (Girls)
2008 Golightly, R. (Girls)
........ Kent, M. (Boys)
2009 Cleary, T. (Boys)
........ Williams, M. (Girls)
2010 Dunkley-Smith, A. (Girls)
........ George, R. (Boys)
2011 Dunkley-Smith, A. (Girls)
........ McGlade, J. (Boys)
........ Sturges, S. (Girls)
2012 Kontelj, P. (Girls)
........ Morrison, T. (Boys)
2013 Fitzpatrick, B. (Boys)
........ Thomson, S. (Girls)
2014 Horn, D. (Boys)
........ Vernon, E. (Girls)
2015 Campbell, K-R. (Girls)
........ Walmsley, E. (Boys)
2016 Boness, K. (Girls)
........ Morrison, W. (Boys)
1st Girls IV 1982, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls IV 1982, APS Head of the River winners.

2017 Lawson, E. C.
........ Malone, O. J.
2018 Batrouney, C.
........ Gubbels, E.
........ Morrison, C.


Rowing Excellence Awardees:

2004 Cluley-Bolsin, N. (Girls)
........ Donald, T. (Boys)
2005 Flanagan, H. (Boys)
........ McLarty, S. (Girls)
2006 Gubbins, J. (Girls)
........ Linke, J. (Boys)
2007 Dunkley-Smith, J. (Boys)
........ Perkins, S. (Girls)
2008 Golightly, R. J. (Girls)
........ Kent, M.J. (Boys)
2009 Cleary, T. (Boys)
........ Williams, M. (Girls)
2010 Carr, E (Girls)
........ George, R. (Boys)
2011 Dunkley-Smith, A.
........ McGlade, J.
1st Girls IV 1983, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls IV 1983, APS Head of the River winners.

........ Sturges, S.
2012 Derkson, A. (Boys)
......... Walker, L. (Girls)
2013 Robinson, S. (Boys)
2014 Brown, M.
........ Watson, L.
2015 Campbell, K-R.
........ Walmsley, E.
2016 Boness, K.
...... Morrison, W.
2017 Lawson, E. C.
........ Malone, O. J.
2018 Evans, O.
........ Thornton, J.


Boat Names:

1896 Pegasus
1900 Lorna Mary
1st Girls IV 1989, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls IV 1989, APS Head of the River winners.

1909 Sirdar
1909 Khalifa
n.d Moorabool
n.d. Barwon
1911 Eric
1911 Gordon
n.d. Old Collegian
n.d. ?Rebecca?
1914 W R Bayly
1918 Rex Bell
1921 Una
1923 R 1
1923 R 2
1923 Norman Morrison
1918 A N Shannon
1935 Norman Morrison II
n.d. Barwon
1936 Moorabool
1936 Rebecca
1st Boys VIII 1990, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1990, APS Head of the River winners.

1936 Rex Bell
1938 Pegasus I
1939 L.J.C.
1939 Sir Arthur
1950 Pegasus (Prob. II)
1953 Pegasus III
1955 Riverina
1955 A B Bell
1958 Alan Tait
1963 Claremont
1964 J H Bromell
1965 Wimmera
1964 Steele
1964 Austin Gray
1961 Red Robbie
1961 Century
1980 David Ramage
1969 Arnold Buntine
1st Girls IV 1992, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls IV 1992, APS Head of the River winners.

1967 Campbell J H
1970 Austin Gray
1973 Catherine Gray
1968 Lindsay Macmillan
1973 Syd Thomas
1970 Norman Purnell
1973 Helicon
1973 Minerva
1974 Robert Purnell
1977 Ed Davies
1979 David Olliff
1979 Richard Morris
1980 David Ramage
1981 Stewart McArthur
1982 Lex Rentoul
1985 S P G
1985 Anne Young
1987 Jeff Sykes
1987 Sarah Bullen
1988 Pair I
1st Boys VIII 1993, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 1993, APS Head of the River winners.

1988 Pair II
1988 Pair III
1989 Bob Morell
1989 Peter Cronk
1990 Percy Barrow
1990 R B Jamieson
1990 JH
1991 Neil Everist
1992 Andrew Gibson
1993 Pegasus
1994 Bob Grant
1994 Margaret Lethbridge
1995 Albert Bell Club (Scull)
1995 Louise Monotti (Scull)
1995 Richard Carr (Scull)
1995 Tom Clarke (Scull)
1995 Andrew Brown (Scull)
1995 Scott Chirnside (Scull)
1995 Alison Gray (IV)
1995 Paul Sheahan (VIII)
1996 Alan Darker (IV)
1st Girls VIII 1999, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls VIII 1999, APS Head of the River winners.

1996 Peter Philip (VIII)
1997 Don ‘Butch’ Mackay (VIII)
1997 Maggie McOuat (IV)
1997 Joy Simpson (IV)
1998 Ad Astra (VIII)
1998 Sic Itur (VIII)
1998 Richard Murphy (VIII)
1998 Robert Kemp (IV)
1999 Bob Morse (IV)
2000 Stewart 'Fergus'
2000 McArthur (VIII)
2000 Maggie McOuat ll (IV)
2001 Pauline Turner (VIII)
2003 Danny Karis (IV)
2003 Western District (IV)
2004 Robert J Gardner (VIII)
Not Updated beyond 2004.

1st Boys VIII 2000, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 2000, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 2001, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Boys VIII 2001, APS Head of the River winners.





















1st Girls VIII 2002, APS Head of the River winners

1st Girls VIII 2002, APS Head of the River winners

1st Boys and 1st Girls VIIIs 2003, APS H of R winners.

1st Boys and 1st Girls VIIIs 2003, APS H of R winners.






















1st Girls VIII 2006, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls VIII 2006, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls VIII 2011, APS Head of the River winners.

1st Girls VIII 2011, APS Head of the River winners.





















Sources: Annual Report, 1888 p4; Annual Report, 1889 p4; 'Geelong College: History, Register and Records Jubilee', 1911 p115 by G McLeod Redmond; 'No Passengers and the Will to Win' by James Ferguson; Ad Astra April 2001 pp8-9.
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