Fairfield Canoe Club
2019 Centenary Year

Fairfield Canoe Club Cross-training endeavours - History Snippet 31

Shooting was a popular sport too.

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 to run repetitive weight lift training and all this sort of thing. That was pretty social too, there'd be chess, competitions intra-club, just with the people associated with the training nights.

The winter club socials would also include games of euchre and Monopoly.

This was not all, Club Committee Minutes record table-tennis and darts competitions against Rudder Grange Canoe Club. The table-tennis table occupied up a lot of discussion time for the committee to determine how best to pay-off the purchase. Time-instalments being the final answer. There is even mention of a cricket match against a local football club.

Some of you might imagine that netball is not part of the Club history, wrong, Geoff went on to relate this yarn. “About 1959-1960, when the club was fairly active with a lot of older teenagers and young 20-year olds, there were also involved, what in modern day parlance would be termed WAGS, a lot of young ladies. They were involved in the club activities in a non-canoeing way. Some were members and others would just be friends. One of these girls, I think she actually was a member, was Jan Clark, & Jan came from a pretty sporting sort of family. She was very involved in netball & she decided that all these young ladies would enjoy participating in netball, so she organised a team and associated them with a netball group who used to compete at Flagstaff Gardens. These girls would compete in a competition there, and although not many of them had played a lot of netball, they became very keen and they were a pretty good side actually. They won their grade the first year they were involved and then went on to the second one. It was some time after that it broke-up as people came and went. It was quite lot of fun.

A side issue was that, at that time, there was also socially associated with the club a group of North Melbourne footballers (VFL), Adrian Perry, Barry Goring and a couple of other guys and they took it upon themselves to train these girls. We used to have matches, boys against the girls in netball, at Royal Park quite often, on a Sunday. As I say, it petered out after a while but it was there briefly and they were a good competitive group.

Finally, as this photo indicates, shooting was a popular sport too.

cross training

Back in the 1920’s, Arthur Howard notes, “After a very successful carnival in February 1921, some of the members had a little too much to drink and the proprietor of the F B H closed the club room but not the canoe storage to members of the F C C.  It seems history repeated itself, this time with their new proprietor.  For the next few months the club held their business meetings and other social gatherings at the Rifle Club Hall in Wingrove St. Fairfield, as some of the F C C members belonged to the Fairfield Rifle Club who at all the carnivals held on the Upper Yarra set up a miniature rifle range’s so both clubs earned a little money from this event”.

It is also recorded in the FCC Committee Minutes, September 1957, that “All rifles to be banned from club premises”!

So what are you doing to keep body and mind fit this Winter?


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