Fairfield Canoe Club celebrates 100 years in 20s style

Looking at the party

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 party presentation
City of Yarra Mayor, Cr Danae Bosler, honoured the occasion with the presentation of a certificate recognising the club’s contribution to the City of Yarra as the oldest canoe club in Australia.

 

FCC cake cutting
Life member and 1964 Tokyo Olympian Margaret Buck cut the centenary cake with the aid of fellow life member Jonathon Mayne.

 

Partygoers clustered around the display of more than 100 photographs showcasing the club’s history, events and people, while a number of beautiful restored antique canoes and kayaks lent a wonderful atmosphere to the 1980s A-frame clubhouse.

Located on the Yarra River in an idyllic part of Alphington overlooking Yarra Bend Park, the Fairfield Canoe Club is one of the few canoe clubs in Australia to have private access to a river. The peace of the surrounds is punctuated by the gentle chiming of bellbirds and provides a unexpected haven from the busy Eastern Freeway and Lower Heidelberg Road only minutes away.

In front of the club
Holly Payne, Robin Curwen-Walker and Hilary Royston in front of the club house.

 

The FCC has welcomed paddlers of all abilities and ages since 1919 and the canoe and kayak classes and school programs bring a constant stream of curious newcomers to the sport.

Simon Boyd Chairman of the Board was delighted with the centenary celebration:

“Fairfield Canoe Club has welcomed people with a love of paddle-sport for 100 years, is still going strong, and continues to be a community group that fosters the healthy fun of being on and enjoying the Yarra River and its environment.”

Hamish Ewing
Hamish Ewing interviews Kevin Hannington.

 

Leader of the Centenary history project Hamish Ewing commented that:

“Throughout the century our club has been community oriented, supporting people from all walks of life, male and female, young and old. In addition, during the 50s and 60s there was a significant influx of ‘New Australians’ (immigrants) to the club who found a new ‘home’ here at Fairfield. The welcoming atmosphere continues to this day.”

Front page slide. Members in front of club. Thanks to Robert Wagner Photography.