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MHS Centenary of Rowing Gala Dinner
Thursday 28 February 2013
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MHS Centenary of Rowing Dinner a grand success
Melbourne High School celebrated 100 years of rowing in style with a Gala Dinner last Saturday evening at Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Over 200 people attended the black-tie affair that celebrated the school’s unique rowing history and sought to re-establish the connection between its extensive Old Boy network and the current rowers and fraternity.

Current principal Jeremy Ludowyke (1972) opened the Gala Dinner by announcing the school had recently embarked on a partnership with Wesley College to build its own boatshed in the Como Park precinct and the collective effort required by all to help its successful completion. Keynote speaker and MHS Old Boy Ralph Doubell AM (1962) spoke of his humble beginnings as a spasmodic Science student and track & field athlete through to his career highlight winning gold in the men’s 800m at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. An Old Boys panel of rowers across different eras including Alan Middleton OA (1940), Penry Green (1965), Colin Axup (1984) and Andrew Curnow (2010) spoke glowingly of their memories and shared some humorous anecdotes that come with being involved in a state school rowing program. As part of the evening’s fundraising efforts, Greg Hocking Real Estate helped to auction off a number of money-can’t-buy experiences and prizes to some very generous guests.

Over the years Melbourne High School’s rowing program has had success in a diverse array of boat classes, winning the schoolboy VIII in 1970 before switching focus to schoolboy IVs in the 1980's which saw them medal in the event in four consecutive years between 1984 and 1987; winning in 1985 and 1986. The 1986 crew was particularly impressive, joining the second IV to place second in the schoolboy VIII at the Australian Rowing Championships.

The school has also produced a number of notable members of the rowing community; including former Rowing Victoria President Peter Fraser, Australian representative Matthew Dingle, Olympic reservist Paul Gray and in more recent times; Lachlan McKinnon (World University Championships) and Andrew Curnow (World Junior Championships) continue to make an impact on the National rowing scene.

Melbourne High School Boat Club has called a number of places home, rowing out of both Banks and Melbourne Rowing Clubs at one time or another, as well as formerly having a boat ramp down near the large drain at the Cremorne rail bridge; which meant the boys would need to stop traffic as they carried the boats over the school fence and across Alexandra Avenue. The school is excited to be part of the Wesley Landing redevelopment; which will mean that the rowing program will finally have a place to call its own.

It is hoped that the Centenary of Rowing Gala Dinner signals the beginning of a successful period both on and off the water for the Melbourne High School Boat Club. The MHS rowing fraternity looks forward to inviting Old Boys to get involved in many of their upcoming events this season and well into the future.

Special thanks must go to a number of people and organisations that helped make the night so successful; the MHS rowing fraternity, Centenary Rowing Dinner organising committee, MHSOBA, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Greg Hocking Real Estate, CM Ultimate Events, Oscar Hunt, Triple M, Melbourne Pub Group, Verve Photography, Ce Soir Lingerie and Maxwell & Williams.

Photos from the MHS Centenary of Rowing Gala Dinner are available through Snappy Pics at:
http://www.snappypics.com.au/images/MHSRowing23.2.2012/index.html

MHS Centenary Rowing Dinner a grand success.pdf
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