Life members

Life membership is FCC’s highest honour, awarded to a member for service in volunteering for FCC over many years, showing leadership and being a great role model. Life membership requires a unanimous vote of the club Board and is then recognised and awarded at the following Annual General Meeting.

Life Member

Jonathan Mayne

"I have a unique record in that I have never kicked a footy or hit a cricket ball in my life. I wagged school on sports days as paddling was much more fun."

Jon Mayne began canoeing at Fairfield in 1952 while still at school - wagging school on sports days because paddling was much more fun!

Jon won his first Australian title in 1957: C1, 10,000m on the Goulburn at Nagambie.  He went on to win 38 Australian championships, 72 Victorian titles, 25 Masters golds and several World Masters titles.  He also won the Murray Marathon 3 times.  Kevin Hannington and Jon paddled TC2 together for many years.

Jon served on the FCC board for many years including as Commodore and President, as well as organising Marathon and Sprint for Canoeing Victoria.  He has been race commentator for Australian Canoeing for more than 40 years.  Jenny and Jon worked at the Sydney Olympics at Penrith together in 2000, looking after 30 containers of canoes and kayaks.

Jon received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

Life Member

Zoli Szigeti

"Zoli was a much loved member of FCC and introduced hundreds of people to canoeing and the club."

Zoli Szigeti defected from the Hungian Canoe team after the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games. Soon after he joined the FCC and immediately had a huge impact at the club. Zoli became the main coach at the club and his coaching squad had great success at the Victorian Canoeing regattas. Zoli infuence at the club contined well into the 1990's where his Sunday canoe classes and the club "Sunday sessions" were to become a focus at the club. A large number of Zoilis begginer class students went on to join the club. Zoli was a much loved member of FCC and introduced hundreds of people to canoeing and the club. 


The Pleasure was mine from Fairfield Canoe Club on Vimeo

Life member

Vale Tom Ohman

"He was always proud to be invested as a Life Member of FCC."

It is with great sadness that the Club advises that our long standing member, friend, and FCC Life Member Tom Ohman  passed away last week. He was delighted to have reached his 90TH birthday on the 17TH of October last . He was always proud to be invested as a Life Member of FCC. He joined FCC in the 1940’s as his older brother John was an enthusiastic member. His sister Dorothy was also a regular paddler. At the time canoes dominated our club and other clubs such as Rudder Grange at the end of Alphington Street. Tom was selected for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 to represent Australia.

Tom and his partner Billy Jones from Essendon Canoe Club achieved 5TH place in the final of the 1000 metre Canadian Pairs Championship—a significant achievement. At that time Olympic representatives had to fund themselves for the honour of representing their country—they were provided with a uniform.Tom was on the FCC Committee at various times. As treasurer in the 1960’s he realized the need to plan to rebuild the old clubhouse. The Clubhouse was originally built with second hand materials and was steadily falling into disrepair. He was pleased to see the establishment of our Co-operative in 1981 and the resulting building of our current clubhouse.His daughter Sandy said Tom and John felt a special affinity with our Club. “Fairfield Canoe Club was a place where Tom and John smiled a lot –a happy place to be “ . Nearby neighbours Ron and Betty Willis, along with  Jim Smith, Roy Mayne,  Eric Davidson and Zoltan Szigeti were some of the many friends at the Club in the earlier days.

He was pleased his nephew Peter and daughter Sandy were also paddlers. Recently Tom moved to Jervis Bay to be near his daughter. He also donated to the Club an historic Anderson K2 which was the reserve K2 for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, By his request there will be a private ceremony with his immediate family to celebrate his life. The Club thanks him for his numerous contributions over many years.

Margaret Buck


Interview with Tom Ohman from Fairfield Canoe Club on Vimeo.