Impact of the December 1934 Floods A sad reflection of a Clubhouse, proudly completed in 1928, as “the only canoe sheds built out of reach of flood water”. “Floodwaters here have an average rise of from fifteen to twenty-four feet above summer level and all present canoe sheds become inundated for some period, which means the removal of all canoes and gear”. H De La Rue Evidently more than 140mm rain fell in 48 hours creating these record floods in December 1934; 36 people died, 400 buildings damaged and 6000 people made homeless. A single lake being formed that extended from South Yarra to Warrandyte. The interior of Clubhouse dance floor decorated for Christmas. Warping of the floor resulted from these floods, the floor subsequently described as having a ‘bow’ with slopes to the side. Not only was the fabric of the building damaged but numerous club records, competition pennants and trophies were lost as well. As the water receded, the inundated canoe storage area underneath the dance floor reappeared. Apparently boats were undamaged but the contents of club member lockers revealed a problem for future picnics…..all the labels on the canned food had floated away leaving behind tins of “unknown” food!.
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. FCC thanks Rober Wagner (Robert Wagner Photography) for taking the group and individual photos on the day.
Where did it all begin? The Kulin nation resided beside the banks of the Yarra and its many billabongs. These provided a rich and reliable food source as well as excellent meeting places. The junction of the Merri creek and the Yarra at Dight’s Falls was such a place, with a large corroboree being documented in mid-1860’s. A full description of this period can be found in the history pages of the club website.