January 2019

Above: An early iteration of the AIF No 1 crew which went onto win the King’s Cup in 1919. This picture is taken at Putney with their coach at the time, Steve Fairbairn. The centenary of this win will be celebrated in 2019

News brought to you by your correspondent Trident.

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News covered this month:

  • Third generation rowers race for the Club this weekend
  • Ballarat Regatta Entries
  • Masters race at Rutherglen
  • Mercantile camp is underway at Johnsonville
  • Opportunity to be part of the King’s Cup Centenary in 2019
  • Member profiles
  • Members in the news – Danae Bosler
  • From the archives – River improvements of 1890s
  • Thursday night is big boat night


Third generation rowers race for the Club this weekend

Published 16th January 2019

John Leeming has alerted your correspondent that the stroke and seven seat of the women’s under 21 eight racing this weekend are third generation rowers with great Mercantile pedigree.

In the stroke seat is Emmie Frederico, daughter of John and granddaughter of Hubert. She has carried on the family tradition and is known as Freddie. In the seven seat is Phoebe Wolf, daughter of Felicity Wolf (nee McCall) and granddaughter of Graeme McCall. John also advises that her brother rows in a scull named after her grandfather. Both are great personalities and superb Mercantile members.


Ballarat Regatta Entries

Published 15th January 2019

A big entry for the weekend with all our active rowers racing.

MO1XAlexander Clarke
MO1XAlexander Kinsella
MO1XRedmond Matthews
MO1XJayden Grey
MLW1XWilliam Legge
FO1XMeghan Hester
FO1XMadeleine Thomas
FO1XGeorgie Gleeson
FO1XGemma Sibillin
FO1XKate Duggan
MU211XEric Low
MU211XHarry Cathcart
MU211XLukas Matic
FU211XPhoebe Wolf
MO2-Mitchell Hooper, Benjamin Canham
MO2-Alexander Wolf, Joel Cain
FO2-Jacqueline Hart, Kirsten Green
MU212-John Poliniak, Connor Knight
MU212-Tom Murray, William Achermann
MU212-Timothy Benton, Alexander Selemba
MU212-James Kelly, Benjamin Clarke
FU212-Emmie Frederico, Mimi Tuddenham
FU212-Mimmi Balaam, Aphrodite Gioulekas
FU212-Eleanor Millear, Daisy Butterworth
FU212-Olympia Binos, Hollie Brodribb
MO2XJayden Grey, Redmond Matthews
MO2XAlexander Kinsella, Alexander Clarke
FO2XMeghan Hester, Teneille Linehan
FO2XGeorgie Gleeson, Madeleine Thomas
MO4-Alexander Wolf, Joel Cain, Mitchell Hooper, Benjamin Canham
MO4-Carl Tomczak, Jack Kelly, James Hoban, Angus Maloney
MU214+Harry Cathcart, Timothy Benton, Benjamin Clarke, James Kelly, Phillip Tran(c)
FU214+Antonietta Di Cosmo,Alice Levin,Georgia Thomson,Georgia Deacon,Lily Arnoul(c)
MO4X-Carl Tomczak, Jack Kelly, James Hoban, Angus Maloney
MO4X-William Legge, Alexander Kinsella,Alexander Clarke, Jayden Grey
FO4X-Meghan Hester, Kate Duggan, Georgie Gleeson, Madeleine Thomas
MU218+Tom Murray, Alexander Selemba, Timothy Benton, Phillip Tran, Eric Low, William Achermann, John Poliniak, Connor Knight, Ben King(c)
FU218+Mimmi Balaam, Eleanor Millear, Daisy Butterworth, Aphrodite Gioulekas, Mimi Tuddenham, Skyla Froebel, Phoebe Wolf, Emmie Frederico, Lily Arnoul(c)
MO8+Carl Tomczak, Jack Kelly, James Hoban, Angus Maloney, Alexander Wolf, Joel Cain, Mitchell Hooper, Benjamin Canham, James Rook(c)
FO8+Antonietta Di Cosmo, Alice Levin, Georgia Thomson, Georgia Deacon, Stephanie Ferrali, Gemma Sibillin, Olympia Binos, Hollie Brodribb, Phillip Tran(c)


Masters race at Rutherglen

Published 15th January 2019

The masters once again hit Rutherglen and enjoyed the seasonally hot weather and hospitality of the northern parts of Victoria.

Winners are grinners – Val Dowell in the single and Brenton Greg, Hugh, Colin and our Captain Bill in the four.
Club member and President of the Murray Rowing Association Paul Somerville the organiser of the great regatta being interviewed for the local media
The men’s four in action
Our mixed eight leaves the water in a typical Rutherglen scene


Mercantile Camp is underway at Johnsonville

Published 5th January 2019

Seem a little lonely at the Clubhouse at the moment, well that is because so many of our competitive members are at the annual Mercantile camp. Head coach Nick Mitchell has them working hard but the conditions are not too bad – see below.

Not too shabby a place to train
Training in the morning sun


Opportunity to be part of the King’s Cup Centenary in 2019

Published 1st January 2019

From the Rowing Australia website.

Rowing Australia is planning a significant commemoration of the centenary of the winning of the King’s Cup in 2019, both here in Australia and at 2019 Henley Royal Regatta.

The significance of the King’s Cup in Australian rowing cannot be underestimated nor can the importance of the story of how the trophy was won by a group of battle hardened soldiers at the end of WWI. The Interstate Championships continue to be the most loved regatta in Australia and the King’s Cup the most revered trophy.

The winning AIF No 1 crew after the win with General Birdwood

The King’s Cup story is also an important part of Australian history. It highlights the bravery of our soldier rowers who saw action in some of the worst battles of WWI. It demonstrates their ready resumption back to the joy and honour of sport. It describes the successful battle with wartime officials who confiscated the Peace Cup as a ‘war trophy’ for display in a museum. But most importantly it illustrates the winning of The Peace. The unsettling adjustment back to civilian life after the atrocities of war. The rehabilitation through sport of the physical wounds of war, but more so, therole of sport in the recovery from the severe psychological scars of war.

An important part of these celebrations will be the publishing of a book describing this story written by noted sports historian Dr Bruce Coe. It will be published in 2019 in time for the 2019 Interstate Championships. An opportunity to directly participate in the publishing of this book has been made available by the 1919 Centenary Committee.

Participate now in these important commemorations by following this link.

Subscriber opportunity

This is your chance to directly participate in the publishing of the story of the King’s Cup. Noted sports historian Dr Bruce Coe has written the important story of the King’s Cup. The book will be published in time for the Interstate Championships in 2019.

This is a compelling story of how a group of battle-hardened, soldier rowers emerged from the maelstrom o fthe Great War and, whilst awaiting demobilisation and in a matter of weeks,were formed in to two crack eight-oared crews that competed at the Royal Henley Peace Regatta in July 1919.  At the regatta, one of those eights took on and, in a world-class time prevailed over crews from the other allied armies and soldiers from Oxford and Cambridge universities, winning the King’s Cup.  The story concludes with how that King’s Cup, presented by King George V, became the perpetual trophy for annual competition between interstate eights in Australia.

The 1919 Centenary Committee are offering supporters of the sport the opportunity to be subscribers for the book. The subscription is $100. Subscribers will be acknowledged by name in th ebook and will receive their own copy of it signed by the author. If you wish tobe a subscriber, please send an email or letter stating the below to Jodi Wrenford, or by mail Attention Jodi Wrenford PO Box 7147, Yarralumla, ACT 2600.

I, (name)

of (address)

and (email address)

wish to become a subscriber for the publishing of the King’s Cup story written by Dr Bruce Coe and due to be published in 2019. I enclose my subscription of $100 by

a) cheque made payable to Rowing Australia or

b) please charge my credit card (VISA or Mastercard) _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Exp date _ _ / _ _.

Signature: ………………………………………………………

Unless advised otherwise, you acknowledge that you will be named in the book as a subscriber.

An important part of these celebrations will be the publishing of a book describing this story written by noted sports historian Dr Bruce Coe. It will be published in 2019 in time for the 2019 Interstate Championships. An opportunity to directly participate in the publishing of this book has been made available by the 1919 Centenary Committee.

AIF No 1 crew


Member Profiles

Updated 4th January 2019

Each month more member profiles are added. We now have over 150 published on the website.

This month we begin with the sad story of Jeff Wylie who died in a car crash whilst in his prime as a rower and as Captain of the Club. This was a very sad day for the Club. He is remembered annually with the Jeff Wylie Memorial Trophy for the most improved lightweight rower.

Jeff Wylie

Whilst we are in a reflective mood, we have also added the member profile of the only Club member to die in Vietnam, Geoffrey R Locke. Geoff raced successfully in the 1965-66 season before going to officer training school in 1966.

Second Lieutenant Geoff Locke

Also a member from the 1920s, Maurice C H Dowd. Whilst not one of our great oarsmen, he was a great Melbourne community figure.

And finally, one of our current rowers, Carl Tomczak. He is a great member and his profile adds to the growing evidence of the great Mercantile spirit within its members.

We wish to record profiles of all current and past members so please submit others to Subject to editorial review, they will be published with the author’s name and date.


Members in the news – Danae Bosler

Published 3rd January 2019

John Leeming and senior club coach and legend Chipper Colvin found the follow article of one of Chipper’s proteges, lightweight rower Danae Bosler. Danae was a successful lightweight rower at the Club and also assisted as secretary of the Scotch Mercantile regatta for one year. Dee was last seen in a Mercs Zootie in 2006 rowing in the 2 seat of a lighty quad past the House of Commons. Your correspondent may have to stop referring to this Council as the Peoples Republic of Yarra!

Extract from a Council newsletter to the residents of Yarra


From the archives – River improvements of 1890s

Published 1st January 2019

The Yarra River as it now stands is very different from the original course. Significant changes were made to the river course straightening up both the Upper and Lower Yarra.

River improvements showing the widening and both the old and new courses
The old river course with the new river course under construction. Note the tree planting already underway and the billabong on the right which became the Botanic Garden lake.
More views of the river improvement works
Morell Bridge was constructed before the river flowed beneath it.
The area behind the current sheds was swamp land as this picture of the 1895 Mercs Champion Four shows. The excess soil from the widened river was used to fill the land and create the gardens around the clubhouses. The soil was spread by rowers thus reclaiming the land.
The river upstream from Princes Bridge before the river improvements. The only way to coach was from the coxswain’s seat or on horse back.
Edwards boat shed before the river improvements and before the construction of Government House
Edwards boat shed after the river improvements now with the new Government House but still with horses grazing in the paddocks behind.
The old Lower Yarra which continued up the current Maribyrnong River before going east towards the city. The new course was made along the old Coode Canal.
The new course showing the old Lower Yarra Championship course.


Thursday Night is Masters Night

Republished 1st January 2019

Reminder that all masters rowers are welcome for a row on Thursday nights followed by a sausage sizzle and refreshments. Row at 6pm and sausage sizzle at 7.30pm. All welcome. Please call Andrew Guerin on 0417 554799 to get put on the weekly email.

Thursdays after rowing

Thursday nights after the row

Past news can be found through this link.