Fairfield Canoe Club
2019 Centenary Year

Club Timeline

Club formed 1919

April 1, 1919
First sod

  

The Fairfield Canoe Club (FCC)  Club was formed at the Heidelberg Boathouse at Fairfield Park (opposite the Pipe Bridge) in April1919, but friction with the proprietor soon had members thinking of their own club house. One bone of contention was the necessity of hanging the club boats from the trees outside the building as no storage […]
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Land purchase

June 1, 1925

  

Having determined to purchase land to have a "bid for our own premises" in 1924, funds were raised by selling debentures and land purchased at 9 The Esplanade, Fairfield in 1925. Excavations commenced by club members June, 1925 and completed January,1926.
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Harry De La Rue President of Fcc

October 15, 1926

  

The purchasing of the land at the Esplanade was the start. Debentures were sold and the grand plan started. The club house was completed in April 1928 and our great era of canoeing started. At the Victorian Championship for C4s at the annual Henley Regatta, competitors had a lot of fun decorating canoes. Mr.H. De La […]
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The Great Depression

January 1, 1929
Image: Australian Museum

  

The Great Depression ran from 1929 - 1935. This time of unemployment had a significant effect on FCC. More people looking for cheap forms of entertainment saw canoe clubs initially prosper. However, as time passed, non-financial membership cast the Club into significant difficulties. This led to the co-location with a newly formed Rowing Club (NDRC) in 1933.
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Northern Districts Rowing Club (NDRC) created.

July 31, 1933

  

1933 was caught in the midst of the Great Depression (1929-1935). Reading the Fairfield Club Minutes of the day, it is clear that there were significant financial  pressures on the Club with falling membership, and many of those members being non-financial. The Club was at significant risk of folding as the club went bankrupt. There was […]
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Yarra River flooded

November 1, 1934
Yarra in flood

  

The Yarra River was flooded to 60 feet in December 1934. The 1934 flood almost wiped out the club house as there was about two feet of water over the dance floor. Club records were lost as a result of this.It also caused the demise of many of the other canoe clubs whose club houses […]
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Second World War

November 1, 1938
Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/

  

Most members went into the Armed Services and Victorian Amateur Canoe Association (VACA) went into recess. The main activity was the Sunday morning paddle / row with fundraising drinks afterwards.
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Crisis at FCC

November 1, 1940

  

Fairfield nearly lost everything. New members, "The Bear Hunters", joined the club. "A pretty rugged group" said Jim Smith. Due to the rationing of petrol, long paddles up and down the river were very popular. Close canoeing became more popular than rowing.The club mortgage was called in and rowing boats were sold to finance the loan repayment.The club […]
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Yarra River flooded

November 1, 1950

  

The Yarra River flooded. This would be the last major flood as the Upper Yarra Reservoir was finally completed in 1957. Approval to construct Upper Yarra Reservoir was granted in the early 1940s but due to World War II work did not start until 1948. Initially being constructed for the purpose of preventing flooding downstream.  
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Rudder Grange

November 1, 1950
Rudder Grange

  

Ownership of Rudder Grange Boathouse changed; the new owner wasn’t as keen on boat building as the previous one, and the Rudder Grange Canoe Club duly dispersed. Arthur Howard, Jim Smith and others came across to Fairfield Canoe Club and other members of Rudder Grange Canoe Club went to Ivanhoe with Ross Chenoweth. There was some ill […]
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