Fairfield Canoe Club
2019 Centenary Year

All Club Posts and News

In this edition you can read about: Research by the Conservancy and Arthur Rylah Institute to learn more about how platypus and native fish cope with bushfire-related disturbance. Results from a platypus eDNA survey along the Lower Goulburn River using a back-pack water sampler. A new citizen science project to monitor Lake Wendouree's "otters". Platypus […]
Read More
I have always joked with my bike friends, that when I come out of the boat at least I have a soft landing. But one of them came back to me after my ‘incident’ on the Yarra, that after he came off his bike, worked out that he was ok, he knew where his bike […]
Read More
The ‘ups-and-downs’ of our beloved Yarra have created a variety of problems and opportunities over the years. 2022 sees us hurriedly lifting the tinnie and canoe polo boats to higher ground for safe keeping. This practice of “raising the boats” has been undertaken on many occasions over our 103 years. It was reported proudly in […]
Read More
According to self-help theory, one way to a adopt good habits is to join a group with a culture you hope to emulate, where doing the right thing is normal behaviour.  What better reason could there be for attending the Bairnsdale Marathon Paddling camp.  Kayaking on the beautiful rivers of Gippsland was encouraged and there […]
Read More
FCC Annual General Meeting 2022 The Annual General Meeting of the Fairfield Canoe Club Co-operative Ltd was held on Monday 29 August at 7.30pm in "hybrid" format - in person and online via Zoom to enable as many of our members as possible to attend. The Agenda for the AGM, draft minutes and approved minutes from last […]
Read More
The History Group recently received news of a former FCC member’s involvement in a North American version of dragon boat racing ….’War canoe racing’! It transpires that Jonathan & Jenny Mayne’s daughter, Samantha, has lived in Los Angeles for 30 years and works as a guide at Disneyland where they hold canoe races each year. […]
Read More
Jun
25
2022
We're devastated to let you know that FCC has lost another of our stalwart and generous members - Michael Loftus Hills passed away on Saturday, 11 June. Lofty's funeral service is on Friday, 1 July 2022 at 75 Reid Street, North Fitzroy commencing at 10.30 am.  Details and RSVP here.  We'll also have a Lofty memorial […]
Read More
Having acted as a volunteer scrutineer at the Paddle Victoria ‘Tay Creggan’ event several weeks ago, I wondered about the history of this association. The Paddle Victoria website indicates that: “The Victorian Canoe Association Inc., (Paddle Victoria) formed in 1930 and was incorporated in 1984. It is the State body responsible for the management, co-ordination, […]
Read More
Paddling at the Penrith White Water stadium is like playing cricket at the MCG (although usually a bit wetter).  The greats paddle there, recent World and Olympic champions like Jess Fox and Jiri Prskavec.  Local, Melbourne heroes like triple Olympian Warwick Draper, now a teacher at Ivanhoe Grammar, and Mia and Andrew Farrance, both Olympians; […]
Read More
FCC had a team of 8 athletes and 4 coaches who headed across to Adelaide for the National Sprint Championships 2022: U12: Axel Tan, Evla Basak U14: Anthea Tan, Mikail Basak U16: Lachlan Dal Sasso U18: Aidan Han Open: Chris Burns,  Vet: Dewi Andayani With FCC coaches: Alex Boyd, Chris Burns, Wen Tan, Dewi Andayani […]
Read More
Girls took a ducking – but they were soon paddling again in midstream. As reported in the 3rd July, 1958 “Australasian Post”. “Every year an adventurous band of young Australians set out on a water holiday that's thrilling, different and often, dangerous.  They are members of canoe clubs scattered all around Australia whose holiday highways are any swift-flowing […]
Read More
From Monday 21 Feb to Friday 25 Feb we had several FCC related crews racing in the Massive Murray Paddle.  Wennie (K1) and Rowan/Fiona (TC2) and Stephen (UC2) completed full distance.  Lisa, Marlena and Don (K1 relay) completed most of the distance. Some highlights: Fastest full distance boat was Stephen and James in UC1 Mud, […]
Read More
A very sad day on Sunday - FCC (and previously INCC) champion paddler, longtime coach, board member for many many years and friend Neil Grierson passed away after a long battle with cancer. Our deepest sympathies to Marg and the family. HISTORY SNIPPET – “MOOMBA MADNESS – A TIMELY NEIL GRIERSON RECOLLECTION” Photo top: Neil […]
Read More
You may have watched the Moomba Masters Water skiing events with all manner of skiers being towed behind high performance purpose-built powerboats, but are there alternatives available in these days of global warming?   Answer: Yes! During the course of an interview with Neil Grierson, he was describing the speed and power of the Australian K4 […]
Read More
Feb
13
2022
5th Brunswick Scouts attended a "Come and Try" day at the club on 13 February. Eighteen scouts spent more than three hours trying out kayaking, canoeing and canoe polo. Club coaches Caitlin, Wen, Dee and Rowan did a great job running the session. (See photos below.) Hamish Ewing, our intrepid club historian and author, has found out that Fairfield has […]
Read More
The Victorian Canoe Sprint Championships were held at Nagambie on 29-30 January, with a team of 12 FCC athletes competing, supported by coaches Alex, Wen and Dewi. Full race results are online on the Regattas website, but a snapshot of performances is below.
Read More
The Frank Harrison Memorial race in Albury must be the farthest event in the Vic paddle calendar but was well supported this year. Run as a “State of Origin” event it attracts paddlers from both Vic and NSW. This was to be my second solo race, the first outside Melbourne and the furthest I had […]
Read More
Right from the earliest days of our original clubhouse build, our club members have been actively involved in recycling materials. Read-on to discover our heroic efforts fighting against waste (or is it simply obtaining unaffordable materials?). The original clubhouse was constructed over the best part of four years and It just so happens that in […]
Read More
Friday, 7 January, 2022. As we older members know too well, “…you only learn by experience but the problem is to survive the experience….”! Well, tonight, I set out at about 5.00 PM, for a 45 minute paddle upstream to that footbridge 250m past the end of Zollie’s straight. I arrived home at about 8.00 […]
Read More
“A Yarra Tour Upstream from Fairfield”, as reported to Victorian Amateur Canoe Association, by H De La Rue (written in about 1930)  "A cruise upstream on the River Yarra from Fairfield to Heidelberg Bridge is a delightful series of pleasant surprises in beauty and the number of bends in the river are an ever changing source […]
Read More
It was lovely to have a bunch of us together for the FCC Christmas party last Sunday.  Fabulous food, conversation, friends, and some great silliness on the river with tug of wars (with ropes attached to the dock due to the flow ... interesting!) walks across the river (well, partly through the river) and some […]
Read More
Dec
01
2021
I am pleased to attach the current edition of Platypus News & Views (no. 86, November 2021).  In this edition you can read about: ·The Great Australian Platypus Search - some potential limitations in sampling design and use of the resulting data set.  ·Platypus Group Watch - a great way for Landcare, Waterwatch and other […]
Read More
On Saturday 13 November, 2021, Fairfield Canoe Club celebrated Joe Alia’s life with a paddle to Zoli’s Straight. After the paddle, FCC members and friends shared stories and memories at the clubhouse. The club also unveiled a plaque at the top of the new tinnie ramp - the last of a very long list of […]
Read More
Whilst interviewing Wayne Cook recently, we unearthed a wonderful gem he was very keen to show us all. This find, whatever it is, came in response to the simple question;” Are you still paddling?” Wayne responded: “As a result of COVID I have been a bit hamstrung. However, I’ve been paddling one of Zoli’s paddling […]
Read More
FCC and the paddling community are devastated to have lost one of our greats - a coach, a volunteer, a board member and a friend.  Joe Alia passed away late on 21 July after a brief illness.  Just five weeks earlier he was leading and completing the works on our new "tinnie" launch ramp and […]
Read More
History Snippet – “Elke Sager - a FCC Champion” Elke Sager appeared in our “Tokyo Olympics – a Paddler Report” where she was included in a photo alongside our FCC representatives – Marg Buck, Vid Juricskay & Fred Wasmer. As you will discover in this snippet, Elke was so very nearly a member of this team […]
Read More
“The ongoing saga of the Clubhouse trolley system continues” (see Snippet 22) Dear Readers, as you will recall, it was reported in The Advertiser (Hurstbridge) in 1927: “Arrangements are already in hand for an electrically controlled railway for the transport of canoes from the clubhouse to the river; this will be a great boon to […]
Read More
History Snippet – “Paddler Report on Tokyo Olympics………..” For those of you yearning for more live-to-air 'Tokyo action' we can now deliver a paddler report ………………………………………………dredged-up from those in our club who competed back in 1964! Our Olympians those 57 years ago were: L to R. Marg Buck, Fred Wasmer, Elke Sager (non-Olympian), Vid Juricskay […]
Read More
FCC and the paddling community are devastated to have lost one of our greats - a coach, a volunteer, a board member and a friend. Joe Alia passed away late on 21 July after a brief illness. Just five weeks ago he was leading and completing the works on our new "tinnie" launch ramp and […]
Read More
Farewell John Doak – Fairfield Canoe Club remembers and salutes our 1984 Olympian. First is a tribute from his brother Bob and sister Margaret published on Paddle Vic website May 18, 2021. We would like to let the paddling fraternity know that sadly our brother John, passed away on 31st March 2021, he was aged 62. Flat […]
Read More
One of our champions of yesteryear, Ivan Gaal, recently approached the History Committee with two programmes of the Henley-on-Yarra, 1947 & 1948, that were found stashed away in his in-laws cupboard. “What have they to do with our club you might ask?” They are of particular interest as they reflect the dual occupation of our […]
Read More
Honour boards and Awards quick find Honour board table 1 lists club Presidents, and committee members.  Honour board table 2 lists life members, International representatives and Olympians. The Awards table list club awards including, President and Coaches award and various competition winners.
Read More
FCC junior Canoe Polo players proudly wearing the new FCC polo Pfd's. Designed by Brigit Doyle, the Pfd's are in FCC blue. The juniors train at Fairfield on Sunday afternoons. If you are interested in trying out Canoe Polo or would like to find out more about the Canoe Polo program contact Brigit.
Read More
Three intrepid FCC paddlers (Tony Payne, Michael Loftus-Hills & Mick Kane) recently reported on their paddling exploits on a wind and rain-swept Lake Pedder. However, they were not the first, nearly 100 years ago, and long before Lake Pedder was flooded for the Upper Gordon hydro electricity scheme in 1972, two of our club members […]
Read More
May
15
2021
Zoli Szigeti and Adrian Powell in ??. Adrian represented Australia at ?? Olympic Games and Zoli is one of ?? life members of FCC.
Read More
Two tables (below) to review. We can check the names - spelling etc - later. Can you provide feedback on layout and table structure. Nb: We can collect as much information for each year (Table 1) as we want. The table can display any of  this information. For example in table 1 we are not […]
Read More
The first of Paddle Victoria's Winter Series Races for 2021 was held on Sunday the 2nd May at Strathcona's Tay Creggan Campus in Hawthorn. See all the photos from the day Fairfield Canoe Club was the host club for this event and it was a great success with 155 paddlers registered and spectacular autumn weather making […]
Read More
Southwest Tasmania receives more than 2 metres of rain per year. And as we huddled in the picnic shelter at Teds Beach, it seemed that most of that rain fell at Lake Pedder in late March. The three of us (Mick Kane, Tony Payne and Michael Loftus-Hills) had planned to spend six days touring Lake Pedder in sea kayaks, […]
Read More
Following the recent snippet on hiring out the FCC clubhouse to raise funds we have successfully confirmed the fact that the clubhouse was very much part of the local tether car action in 1947. The powers of the internet led Ron Savage to contact us. Ron is a tether car enthusiast and he has generously […]
Read More
What did you all get up to this Easter break? Ninety-five years ago our club members joined the inaugural VACA Easter Camp held at Warrandyte. The Victorian Amateur Canoe Association was re-formed in 1925 with FCC being a leading-light in this forebear of Paddle Victoria. The inaugural Secretary of both FCC & VACA was one C.H. […]
Read More
The club recently received a number of well-aged pennants from the estate of Arthur Howard, just like that sported by our club boat in the 1920’s & 30’s above. Check out the sporty club cap too! We now have: - a very ‘tired’ Fairfield Canoe Club pennant (FCC) an equally ‘tired’ Rudder Grange Canoe Club […]
Read More
The program for Waterfront 2021 is now live! From 26 March—5 April, we’re taking to the water as we explore the role design plays in shaping a positive and more sustainable future for our rivers, creeks, bays and oceans. During the program, you can boat, cycle, walk, kayak and even eat your way through over […]
Read More
A recent conversation with a former club member turned-up an interesting piece of information…..the old Clubhouse was the setting for “Tethered-car racing”! What on earth is this about and can it be true? Our oral history interviews have certainly revealed that in the decade after the Second World War the club was in serious financial trouble. […]
Read More
The innaugral Wednesday night club race was held on March 3. Robin Curwen-Walker organised the event with aim of encouraging beginners and paddlers who haven't raced before to come along and try racing out in a fun and supportive environment. Robin said that she was really pleased to see 10 paddlers and 7 supporters/spectators (club members) turn […]
Read More
Our clubhouse is open including bathrooms showers and kitchen.  Members and their guests are welcome,  guests - please sign in in the guest book. Get in, paddle, clean and sanitise equipment after use.  While face masks are no longer required, if you have any symptoms at all please do wear a face mask.  First aid is […]
Read More
Feb
24
2021
FCC Annual General Meeting and Awards Day We held our "replacement" AGM on Sunday 7 Feb. Minutes will be on the website shortly, but director positions were confirmed and our updated rules (which allow future AGMs to be held online using technology or - as we hope to do - hold them in person but also […]
Read More
What did you get up to over the Summer holiday period? I recently stayed near the upper reaches of the Goulburn River at Thornton. Whilst there, I spotted several FCC members competing in The Victorian Canoe Slalom Age Championships. As so often seems the case, I then stumbled across this description of a trip down the […]
Read More
Christmas will behind us all too soon……what then? No longer do we have the Murray Marathon to occupy our members in the Christmas –New Year week. How did our club members entertain themselves before 1969?     As reported in the Stawell Times: Ingrid expects to go overseas in April and is in training while here […]
Read More
Saturday December 5th is our Annual Christmas Event, although a little smaller than we'd like due to Covid restrictions. What have past events looked like? Our first contribution is a photo Christmas card produced by our founding member Alf Lucke who was both a champion paddler and class boat builder. (See earlier snippet) We clearly need to […]
Read More
A graduate of the Trinity College paddling program with FCC, Alex Boyd's coaching skills developed during a gap year paddling in the UK. This year Alex was nominated for the 2019 Paddle Australia Coach of the Year award; and was named the 2020 Paddle Victoria Club Coach of the Year at the PV AGM in Nov 2020. Alex Boyd talks to us below about how […]
Read More
Q. How many of you go fishing the Yarra reaches near our clubhouse, let alone camp overnight on one of the nearby (now non-existent) beaches? This has not always been the case as researching our old photos and oral histories reveal. There has been many a good catch, if our Club Legends are to be believed! First we […]
Read More
 On October 23,2020, the Chairman of the FCC Board declared: ”River is high, FAST, furious and swirly. After tonight's rain it will rise again.  If you are not confident in these waters ... wait until the flow and level go down”. Question:”So what if I am not confident ‘in these waters? What can I do […]
Read More
If you do remember this event, your memory is clearly failing you! This photo is of the Chipperfield’s Floating Kiosk on the River Yarra upstream of the Chandler Highway Bridge at the confluence of the Yarra & Connor’s Creek. “Read-on and enjoy a bit of Yarra history as recorded by some of our club Legends.” […]
Read More
Macaulay’s Boathouse – as remembered by Kevin Hannington Having recently explored some of the history of Rudder Grange, it seems timely to research some of the other boathouses that used to inhabit ‘our stretch of the Yarra’. One of these was “Macaulay’s Boathouse”, which is now called “Mole End” and changed hands for a mere […]
Read More
The bright and sparkling waters of the Yarra. So you are probably thinking that this can’t be our beloved Yarra River, but yes, this was how the river was experienced by people of the Kulin nation, particularly the Woiwurrung/Wurundjeri,  after 40,000 to 60,000 years of their custodianship. It is also how it was observed and reported by one […]
Read More
Our Club has created history at this year’s AGM by holding the meeting, for the very first time, courtesy of the wonders of the Internet  - a ZOOM Meeting. I bet they had not considered this break from tradition 100 years ago! Better still, it was better attended than many recent years with 43 members joining the […]
Read More
This photo, of course, is of the former site of a famous riverside boathouse and tearooms of yesteryear. The photo was taken at the bottom of Alphington Street where Rudder Grange was sited, the tree being the ‘canoe tree’ that stood proudly adjacent to the Rudder Grange Boathouse. Today, all that remains are some history plaques […]
Read More
This is a tribute to Rimvydas Švambarys, who was a member of FCC for more than 40 years. Rim, who died in 2014, left $10,000 to the club as a bequest in his will. The TC2 Toro (painted in British racing green) that Rim built with Bob Pierce is still in use today as part of […]
Read More
Many FCC paddlers have ventured up to NSW to do the "Hawkesbury 100" and invariably have stories of pain and suffering. Typically they will recall the hazards of the Hawkesbury as the distance (~111km) and hence sore backside, the tides, the wide river, the fact that it is held overnight and the boat crushing cables […]
Read More
What is this fabled event of the past that both Jonathon Mayne and his paddling partner Jim Simpson mention? Time for some research. First discovery. “The Hawkesbury-100” continues to this day as “The Hawkesbury Canoe Classic” and is the fourth longest paddling marathon in Australia – sitting behind the 404 km Murray Marathon, the 208 km Riverland Paddling Marathon and the […]
Read More
The Canoe Assoc. Award Card states that this event was held on the 20/10/1957. It’s a long time ago and I recall that race as one of the most significant events I ever paddled. Jim Simpson and I were magic together, particularly in the rapids. Jim  and I paddled from Wonga Park to Princes Bridge. I […]
Read More
Saturday 30th saw me carefully approach the clubhouse, armed with my sanitising spray. Once the coast was clear, I made a dash for the side gate and duly accessed the boat storage to retrieve the beloved “Top Gun” racing TK1, plus my paddle, plus my personal PFD. Why you ask? Because tomorrow would see me competing […]
Read More
“Winter Series Postponed” – Who would have thought it possible? Well it has happened three times now! Our One Hundred Year Club history has been bookended by event-cancelling catastrophes, WWI & Spanish Flu and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Time has passed; much has been written and reflected in our archives. Whilst exploring the club newsletters, […]
Read More
As discussed in the last snippet (Evolution of Club Newsletter) most articles reported upon were serious or informative. However, right from earliest editions humour and ‘scuttlebutt’ was included. This took on a more regular format in 1989 when there started to be some more light-hearted content included, with cartoons, gossip (not always politically correct) and […]
Read More
As part of the FCC History Group’s activities we have been endeavouring to track down all the old club newsletters. In the first two decades of our history, it seems that club activities were reported in the press of the day rather than a club generated product., FCC activities are regularly found reported in ‘The […]
Read More
2020 Winter Series – Results Round 1 – Sunday May 2nd “Tay Creggan”, Hawthorn   Today was an unexpectedly good day for paddling competitively on the Yarra, however the conditions on the water were troublesome as a result of recent heavy rainfall delivering awkward eddies on the turning marker-buoys plus flotsam coming down from upstream. […]
Read More
The story so far………..  About one year ago, the 88 year-old member of our club (1948-1953), Melva Purves, made contact with us and offered some photos. In February 2020, Melva was visited and an interview recorded. While discussing one of the photos a ‘FCC’ jumper was spotted and the story behind the jumpers that were […]
Read More
On Friday 20 March 2020, FCC members Tony, Robin and Mick were paddling near Bellbird and they were lucky enough to meet one of the Yarra's slipperier bank dwellers.  Various versions of the story have been presented - wondering which, if any, is closest to the truth? Samuel's version This article appeared in this week’s […]
Read More
The FCC History Group had our first ZOOM meeting this week and counted our blessings that our grand year of celebrations was enjoyed before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.   It is probably a good moment to reflect on these past twelve months and enjoy some happier times.   November 2018 saw the Legends Lunch bring […]
Read More
Club coach Pete - and occasional friendly cat - have put together a 6 week "I really want to paddle but am stuck at home, how do I build my core strength and help keep myself from going nuts?" program.  We'll pop a new series of exercises up each week. Stay at home fitness - […]
Read More
Photo top: Bill Purves, Melva’s husband, took this photograph. Keith is on the far right, together with Glen and Tom Ohman in Victorian State colours. Keith was clearly a top-ranking paddler in the early fifties. Winning the State title for C2 10,000 m with clubmate Glen Croft.         This recommendation was supported in […]
Read More
I recently had the great privilege to interview Melva, who with her husband Bill Purves, were members of FCC from 1948 to 1952. They then married and moved to Deer Park. Melva, now in her late eighties, discovered our website when trawling the Net! This led to the transfer of numerous wonderful images used in […]
Read More
Richard Tracey, the then Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Aged Care, died 11thOctober, 2019. Perusing his tributes it is clear that not only was Richard Tracey a distinguished jurist of both  State and Federal Courts, but also a man who gave wholeheartedly of himself to other causes; Newman College, the Defence Forces, and back in […]
Read More
There was great excitement for cyclists recently as the upgrade of the old Chandler Highway bridge was completed and the opening of the new multi-lane bridge brought a smile to the faces of many motorists. All good so far……….until a gentle paddle upstream just before Christmas revealed….NOTHING! All the accumulated history of cavalier paddlers and […]
Read More
Dec
08
2019
FCC Annual General Meeting Our Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday 18 September 2019.  We had a great turnout - more than 30 members plus friends.  We were treated to talks from a number of members - about racing and training overseas - plus a talk about the history project and this year's 100th […]
Read More
Recently hung in the clubhouse is this iconic photograph of the foundling Fairfield Canoe Club gathered at their “home” at Willow Dell (Fairfield Boathouse). We do not know the names of those photographed, other than the little girl framed by the lifebuoy and the man seated behind her. The girl is Kathleen and the gent, her […]
Read More
Last Sunday's club time trials were held in memory of Bob Bateson. Bob was the official club time keeper for our occasional time trials for many years. After the 5 and 10km time trials, club members shared a few of their memories about Bobs time at the club, over morning tea (thanks to Elena, Rachel and Rowan for supplying the […]
Read More
SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER At Fairfield Canoe Club Arrive 10.30am. Games start 11am. Lunch 1pm - Paella feast, gourmet salads, desserts & soft drinks (BYO other drinks)Cost: $15/adult, $10/teen or child Book via FCC's TryBooking site here.
Read More
Riffling through our collected photos we uncovered some extraordinary shots of sailing dinghies on the Yarra, one even taken at the Pipe Bridge. Evidently, according to Bob, in earlier times this was a not uncommon site, especially further upstream (above Darebin Creek inflow) at Wilson Reserve where there was a large beach with associated broad reach […]
Read More
photo: Museum Victoria website One of the great attractions of paddling at Fairfield is the seemingly endless opportunities to spot wildlife in and around the river. There are a multitude of birds and at different times of the year you are likely to spot turtles, water rats and water dragons and perhaps an elusive platypus. […]
Read More
27 October 2019. Lawke Weeroona. Bendigo. Arrived for Sunday’s Friendly Sprints ready to volunteer … finding that the team had roles all sorted (thanks Lawrie!), I went looking for a boat to paddle. Rapidly found Karen Smith - K2 at the ready - looking for a partner. Not mentioning that I’d never paddled a K2 […]
Read More
What a lovely way to end a week of work; getting out of the city on Friday afternoon and heading up to Echuca to camp on the banks of the Murray. I have to say my sleep was a little disturbed, and not just because my camping mat was slightly deflated, but because I was […]
Read More
As part of the club history project Tony Payne has uploaded over 40 newsletters onto the website Do you have any old newsletters that are not in our collection? Please let us know. See what club members were doing in 2002. From FCC Newsletter November 2010 The Yarra has many moods – from fast-flowing to slow […]
Read More
In early October I was in Kununurra, in the East Kimberley of WA, for my medical elective at the local Aboriginal health service. Kununurra is extremely hot this time of year (unlike the rest of the year, when it is only very hot), so we took the opportunity to go on a 3 day canoeing […]
Read More
Twelve Fairfield members paddled the 50kms, 20kms, or relay on Saturday, in the last winter series marathon race for the season. Total points are yet to be finalised (keep posted) A sunny day with a few wind gusts made for a great paddle. The occasional speed boat made for some unexpected large waves, and of course the […]
Read More
  WE HAVE TAKEN THE LEAD, Yah! What fine results these are below, for our dedicated paddlers whom have given the team a huge effort in paddling 3 races over 2 days, at a venue 5 hours from Melbourne.  We have taken the lead on the Tally Board, something to be really proud of, splendid […]
Read More
It transpires that this ‘skeleton’ is the ‘mould’ for a new canoe. We could not fathom how the mould could be removed if the canoe was built on the outside of the mould, as one does for a fibreglass canoe. All is revealed in a three-part series published in 1934 in The Age newspaper…..the canoe […]
Read More
We are still in the chase, well done to our paddlers we have not lost our position on the ladder.  The results from Race 4 has some wonderful highlights: Again Gary and his partner have come through with an outstanding result based on the handicap system, (phew, he is not losing his standing with a […]
Read More
Recently I was proudly sharing our “FCC Centenary in Photographs “ with some friends when one, upon espying the NDRC rowing pair, announced “I think my father-in-law rowed for Heidelberg”. I immediately, & carefully, leafed through the membership list for the Northern District Rowing Club (NDRC & later to become, Heidelberg City Rowing Club) and […]
Read More
During a recent interview with FCC Board Member, Foster Rossetto, a poorly recognised and, seemingly, unrecorded funding source for our club was’ brought to the surface’. Foster reports that in 1986 they noticed  there was a cardboard boat race coming up. This new event was part of the Moomba Festival and was to be held […]
Read More
Our Annual General Meeting was on Wednesday 18th September.  We had talks from a number of club members, celebration of our newest life member and a review of the club's performance this year.   A copy of the board's reports for the year is attached below.
Read More
In 1970, young Joe Alia was working at Ericssons when he and some workmates learned of some Scouts rafting down the Murray. Needless to say, this sowed the seed of an idea amongst ‘the lads’ – “Let’s build a raft and float down the Murray next summer”. This they did, after-hours in the works yard. […]
Read More
History Snippet - Zoli’s Straight Zoli’s Straight ‘appeared’ in 1977 as a direct result of the construction of the Eastern Freeway. History Originally designated F-19 under the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan during its construction in the early 1970s, it was supposed to be linked to the then-new Tullamarine Freeway, as well as taking traffic off the Maroondah Highway. Protests […]
Read More
A recent interview with FCC Legend, Geoff Allen, revealed that a number of alternative ‘sporting’ endeavours were ‘regulars’ on the Club programme, especially throughout the winter months when not engaged in repairs to boats and clubhouse. As Geoff relates, “During the winter months there was a lot of activity at John Ohman's place. He used […]
Read More
When it looked as if I would be in Amsterdam during April for family reasons, I thought it would be a good chance to do the Waterland Marathon race. I have watched the video of this race on numerous occasions. It is one of the ICF World Classic Marathon Series races. It looked like a […]
Read More
Tom Ohman our 1956 Olympic canoeist was no doubt bemused by this beast! What on earth has he discovered? ……………….read on to find out. Answer: The Ballarat Council’s ‘Wendouree Submarine’ used to remove weed from Lake Wendouree.   Clearly the weeds were a major headache for the Ballarat Council. It was later reported that “Olympic-conscious […]
Read More
On Sunday 7 April 2019 Fairfield Canoe Club (FCC) celebrated the centenary of its foundation with a Roaring Twenties Cocktail Party. Flapper dresses, feathered headbands, braces, fedoras and spats were on full display as club members past and present jitterbugged and sipped on Prohibition-Style mocktails and Champagne.     Partygoers clustered around the display of […]
Read More
History, we are told, has the great capacity to repeat itself.  Here are two FCC tales to prove this very point!We believe that these tales also carry a particular message for those partaking of a restful beverage mid-paddle, The Cappuccino Run! The first story begins in the December 1926 edition of ‘Water Sports’ (see Snippet Number […]
Read More
Mar
22
2019

Read More
Rummaging through Arthur Howard’s old scrapbook of newspaper cuttings relating to canoeing, we came across this “classic” from the POST that verifies our earlier snippet on this willow-covered enterprise. As reported by Yvonne Wilson April 30, 1953. “Circumspect Melbourne doesn’t quite know what to make of the frequency with which some of ots young people […]
Read More
The Frank Harrison race was held on the Murray - on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February 2019.  Huge turnout of paddlers - more than 130 paddlers, with over 200 entries across the 2 days. Both days were warm, mid 30s, and the 26km from the Hume Weir Wall to Albury felt like every one […]
Read More
We all consider that our era is a time of the most intense sporting competitiveness. Dredging the newspapers of old through TROVE  would suggest that this is not the case (sandpaper ball-tampering aside!) and a FCC boat is evidence of  this. “It was the second time the “Sally” had been extensively  damaged just before an […]
Read More
FCC Paddlers Perform Well in Summer White Water Races.  There was lots of whitewater racing in January and FCC paddlers performed well. From Jan 4 to 6, the National Wildwater Championships were held on the Mersey River, Tasmania. The Mersey is continuous grade 2 to 3 with a tricky section at the end where the best […]
Read More
Enjoying your History Snippets? Why not get along to “Life on the Yarra”- a really interesting Photo Exhibition in Darebin Library – FCC features!  Lots of photos courtesy Arthur Howard's estate. Dates:    Jan 7  – Feb 23   Northcote Library (Separation Street opp. Plaza)                Feb 26 – Mar 28  Fairfield Library (121 Station Street) 
Read More
What have you been doing this January? Given the article that surfaced at our Legends Lunch in November, perhaps this should be titled “What you should have been doing this month”! Two of our Legends guests were Bev and Otto Griesmayr, longstanding members of the Essendon Canoe Club and frequent visitors to FCC. They brought […]
Read More
Tuesday 20th November found twenty Club Legends from the 50s & 60s gathered together by our two living Life Members, Marg Buck and Jonathon Mayne, to share a lunch to re-connect and unearth old memories to aid our Centenary History Group broaden our knowledge of the Club from a very different time.Needless to say, the […]
Read More
The Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic) Friday 7 October 1927  "Fairfield members have not entered any races for over two years”… Why you ask?......read on! “Work of completion is still in hand at the clubhouse, which is a rather large undertaking. Twenty-seven months have now elapsed since the first sod was turned in the preliminary excavation work; this […]
Read More
Since the first Murray Marathon was run in 1969 FCC members have been regular participants – either as individuals, relay teams or land crews. As part of the History project, members Kel and Joan McMeeken (Murray marathon 1980) presented us with a copy of “The story of the first Murray River canoe marathon 1969” written […]
Read More
PROFILE – SABASTIAN WAKIM  C Boat paddler - Fairfield Canoe Club (Melbourne) and Gyor Canoe Club (Hungary) Australian Canoe and Dragon-boat Champion  Questions & interview crafted by Dasha Kopecek   Introduction: This profile and interview were created in late Sept 2018 when Sabastian was on a visit back-home in Melbourne for some well-deserved rest & […]
Read More
Following the successful implementation of the paddlepower program for young paddlers the club has established the Junior Development Fund for the specific purpose of supporting paddlers in the 12-18 year age group. We envisage providing coaching support, help with attending competition and possible assistance with club uniforms and equipment. The Fund will be available for […]
Read More
Junior Development Fund  Tony Payne has chosen the fund as his required community project for participating in this years Massive Murray Paddle 2018 (formerly Murray Marathon) and will be holding a fund raising movie night on October 28th at the Westgarth Cinema. More details
Read More
Having attended the AGM this week, I thought that it may be of interest to see the first recorded Annual Report. This is a handwritten, illegible in parts, record of our first season of racing and much more! Read and enjoy. I wonder what has become of the trophies? First Annual Report transcribed from a […]
Read More
Sep
27
2018
The Annual General Meeting of the Fairfield Canoe Club Co-operative Ltd was held on Monday 24th September 2018 at the registered office of FCC Co-operative Ltd which is 9 The Esplanade Fairfield. The meeting was attended by 33 club members. We were treated to presentations and talks: Tony Payne introduced the new FCC Junior Scholarship […]
Read More
Copies of the sports journal “Water Sports” were found in a collection of papers kept by Arthur Howard. The excerpts below  reveal an interesting exchange between the Journal Editor and our Club secretary which finally gives a sense of the important role FCC played in the early days of paddling in Melbourne, and perhaps Australia. […]
Read More
Boats, paddles, laminated maps, water, pfds, warm clothes, sunglasses, paddling shoes and skirts. We’re ready!  When I knew that I would be visiting England in early October 2013 my friend, Paul Newman with whom I was staying and with whom I had previously paddled at the World Masters Games in Canada, suggested we paddle the […]
Read More
We recently were made aware of a personal reflection by Jessie Howard that paints a very different era of courtship on our stretch of the Yarra and beyond, in the early years of the Club. Jessie and her husband Arthur were members of Rudder Grange, a Boat House that used to sit at the river […]
Read More
FCC had 4 competitors in the recent Canoe Polo World Championships held in Welland, Ontario, Canada.  Both the Womens and Mens teams performed well and learned heaps during the Championships.  More information on the Paddle Australia website here.    
Read More
The FCC Centenary History Group recently received a wonderful collection from the estate of Arthur Howard. Arthur is viewed by many as ‘The unofficial Historian of Canoeing in Victoria’, through both his writings and collected photographs. Many of our collection of FCC photos were taken by Arthur in the 1930’s. It is of note that […]
Read More
Aug
10
2018
Front page slide  1447 × 483 pixels Calendar / events Testing google events feed at https://fairfieldcanoeclub.org.au/create-basic-page-1 Seems to be ok. Just need to confirm what we get for the free widget (email sent) We then move to Google completely Security update Done Profiles / BOM / Coaches Coaches profiles - done BOM - to finish (MLH) […]
Read More
Looking at the Minutes recorded for Committee meetings we discover that in 1954 “all requirements for Gents convenience be obtained and all broken windows be fixed”. No mention of facilities for women club members. .  By June 56, “the Girl’s Room and toilet has been repaired & painted, a wash basin has also been bought” […]
Read More
Each year, the Murray Marathon attracts hundred of paddlers to take the challenge between Christmas and New Year. In 2012, FCC sisters Naomi and Sophie Johnson paddled the half-marathon, winning the 202km handicapped race. Naomi reflects on the competition, the beautiful Murray river, and what it's like to spend fifteen hours in a boat with […]
Read More
With the Murray Marathon fast approaching we begin a series of articles focussing on the "Murray" This article originally appeared in the club newsletter in April 2003.  They called Copernicus crazy because he proclaimed the world to be round and they locked him up when he said that the earth was not the centre of […]
Read More
  A pilot Come and Try day session was launched on Sunday 10th February as a first step for those who wanted to sample kayaking and canoeing. The session was run by Alex James and Tony Payne with 10 enthusiastic participants over 2.5 hrs. The group was divided into two and each group had about […]
Read More
I encourage all FCC members to have a crack at a long distance (marathon) race this year – help us regain that trophy – every entry is a point and every point counts. Grab a Canoe Marathon Diary from the club and pencil in your dates for adventure. A Marathon race is held every 3 or 4 […]
Read More
Fairfield constitution in 1956 - "ladies racing" History snippet  A brief review of the Fairfield Canoe Club constitution and rules as amended in 1956 showed some very interesting differences to today’s club: New members paid an application fee £1/1/0, a full year membership of £5/5/0 and then were on 3 month’s probation! Interesting category of […]
Read More
At Renewal Day I not only learned the answer to this odd question but also now know that they should be housed in the Display Cabinet rather than being threatened with demolition! Trish Rosetto recounts that in 1966 she attended the regular VACA Meetings held at our Clubhouse, as a representative of Ivanhoe-Northcote Canoe Club […]
Read More
FCC History snippet 13 -   “Found Objects answered” 1933 was caught in the midst of the Great Depression (1929-1935), a time of 32% unemployment and significant social pressures resulting from this. Reading the Fairfield Club Minutes of the day, it is clear that there were significant financial  pressures on the Club with falling membership, […]
Read More
You have all seen this tag-line? Have you ever wondered how it came about? Talking recently to our FCC Life Member, Jon Mayne, I learned a little more of the events of this summer’s day!  “It had been a week of rain, so at the weekend (when not at work) we grabbed a Canadian canoe, […]
Read More
Henley Regattas’ were all the rage in the 1920’s. This description reflects that. Note the mixed of  rowing and canoeing events. Also note the inclusion of women on the card. Henley on the Maribyrnong River was held on Saturday under the auspices of the Essendon River League in bright weather, and, though nearly six years […]
Read More
In 1988 seven Fairfield members paddled a very heavy C7 down a flooded Murray River at the Echuca Mini. Paddles hit  picnic tables and BBQs, as the canoeists cut corners on the Murray. In this history snipplet we tell the story of two the FCC C7's that paddled the Echuca Mini and two Murray Marathons. […]
Read More
The History Interest Group has been busily beavering away researching FCC archived materials as well as cataloguing other unresearched material. This led us to explore the contents of the FCC display cabinet Have you ever looked into this cabinet? If you haven’t, you should! Lofty was photographing several trophies in the name of L.D.Turner, 1931. Who is […]
Read More
A significant "single class" race was held on Saturday 14 April 2018, from Picnic Point to Barmah on the Murray - the Great Toro Race.  Andy Toro, who designed the boat, together with Jane his wife, flew in from California last week as guest of honour.   Jane and Andy, despite jet lag and paddling […]
Read More
Strathcona Girls Baptist and Trinity Grammar Schools have kayak programs based at Fairfield Canoe Club. Both school groups are coached by FCC members and the schools are associate members of the club. FCC hosts one the Winter series races at the Strathcona campus in Hawthorn.  Many of the schools paddlers have since joined the club and […]
Read More
History snippet 12 - Listen to Hamish interviews Jon about the paddle - see below. Seeing the Merri Creek in flood this week was an opportunity to visit the archives and learn from history.  Most of you will know that our latest Life Member John Mayne has many a story to tell of the early […]
Read More
  It all started in 1996 when Rose went on a Rutherglen winery walkabout weekend with a mutual friend and suggested that she’d like to learn to kayak and do the Murray River marathon. Rose met Carolyn Dun, who knew Janice Lane who knew Louise Ray. Rose had been in a kayak before and knew […]
Read More
  Eulogy for Rose’s funeral – Wednesday 19th October, 2016 Dear Rose, I’m writing this letter as you left suddenly and there was still so much to be said. Not just by me. Lots of your friends have expressed sadness and regret that they didn’t get a chance to express how they felt.  It’s funny isn’t […]
Read More
  It is a bit sad how so many in canoeing know so little about the ‘C boat‘ history of our club. When I joined Fairfield in the early 50’s we only had touring canoes and the men would race 17 and 18 foot canoes. There were no kayaks. I well recall seeing my first […]
Read More
  Roger French a stalwart of West Lakes Canoe Club has donated a Perpetual C4 Trophy for the 2013 Australian Canoe Sprint Championships that were held in Perth. The  "Jonathan Mayne C4 Trophy" is named in honor of Jonathan Mayne of FCC who at 74 years of age has had a continuous involvement in National […]
Read More
  Christine Raviart joined Fairfield Canoe Club in 2012, and paddled her first winter series race last Sunday. Christine paddled on the Maribyrnong at Footscray Canoe Club in a club TK1 and apart from the hectic race start enjoyed the day. Christine says "the fact that even if you finish last you still bring points […]
Read More
Resplendent in the FCC clubrooms, it might be easy to think that the winter series trophy has never has another home. Look back a few years, though, and there is a slightly different story to tell. Kerryn Bonnett, a Fairfield member in the 1990's, helped revitalise club interest in the the marathon winter series, in […]
Read More
  While we were in the Yukon to see the northern lights we took the opportunity to check out the great paddling rivers the Yukon and Tahkini, but in March there was no chance of paddling! With average night time temperatures below -25C and daytime temperatures (in direct sun) only touching -5C there was still […]
Read More
Tom, one of two life members at Fairfield, is moving interstate. Over his decades with Fairfield he has helped put our Canoe Club in the forefront of the canoeing community. To celebrate Tom the Canoeist, for his contribution and the history he has helped create we had a few drinks and nibbles on Sunday 24th February. A great crowd […]
Read More
Fully charged after a successful Winter Series dominating touring canoe racing and with the medal tally to prove it, the intrepid canoeists plus a few friends decided on a trip on the Goulburn River. On Friday night whilst most of the population of Victoria was considering if Meatloaf would or would not perform at the […]
Read More
There are few things in normal life that can create apprehension: your daughter learning to drive in your car, in traffic, the arrival of a letter from the ATO in the middle of the year, and  an email from the Head of Middle School asking to see you about an "issue" These events create mild […]
Read More
History snippet 11 Seeing the Merri Creek in flood this week was an opportunity to visit the archives and learn from history. Most of you will know that our latest Life Member John Mayne has many a story to tell of the early days of canoeing at the club. But one story that he hasn’t […]
Read More
History Snippet 7 The FCC Minutes Book for 1921 details the many motions, both won and lost, taken to organise their carnival. It was no small event and one that required much aforethought. Planning appears to start Feb 22 when it was determined “to make a request to Heidelberg Council for permission to hold a […]
Read More
March 16, 2018, sees the return of picture nights to 9, The Esplanade. History tells us to be aware and be on our best behaviour! In the heady pre-TV days of the 1940’s and 1950’s, the Club played a much broader role than simply canoeing on the Yarra, rather it was a social club of […]
Read More
Answers to last newsletter questions 1. Wikipedia states - Table Talk was a weekly magazine published from 26 June 1885[1] until 1939 in Melbourne, Australia.[2] It was established in 1885 by Maurice Brodzky (1847–1919), who obtained financial assistance[3] to start his own publication after resigning from The Herald.[2] Table Talk was a social magazine for men and women[4] that included articles about politics, finance, literature, […]
Read More
“The Fairfield Canoe Club closed their active outdoor season recently with their first Annual Club Championship Race. Mr.L.Cohen (Fairfield) kindly donated the trophy for the event. The race was run off in three heats, and the final resulted in a win for A.Lucke, by a length and a half from J.Reeves, with B.Kerr third. In […]
Read More
You will all be well familiar with the remains of this Swimming Basin as you cruise upstream to Zoli’s Straight, but do you realise its importance to the community in years after the Great War? I attach some information taken from the Darebin Library Collection and also a photo collage of a fundraising effort in […]
Read More
Over 200 club members and friends came together to celebrate five Fairfield members who have been selected to compete overseas. Elena Cementon organised the showing of the first Australian showing of Beyond the River, and the club raised over $2,500 for our Australian representatives. Club Chairman Peter Goldsworthy spoke at the Rivoli cinema before the movie […]
Read More

Follow us on social media

"We are a Good Sports Club" Logo
crossmenu