History snippets

“Yachting on the Yarra” – with special thanks to Bob Bateson

Riffling through our collected photos we uncovered some extraordinary shots of sailing dinghies on the Yarra, one even taken at the Pipe Bridge. Evidently, according to Bob, in earlier times this was a not uncommon site, especially further upstream (above Darebin Creek inflow) at Wilson Reserve where there was a large beach with associated broad reach of water used for both swimming and all manner of boating.

Snakes, Horses, Sheep and Ducks – wild life of the Yarra. Update

photo: Museum Victoria website

One of the great attractions of paddling at Fairfield is the seemingly endless opportunities to spot wildlife in and around the river. There are a multitude of birds and at different times of the year you are likely to spot turtles, water rats and water dragons and perhaps an elusive platypus.

History snippet 35 – ‘The Skeleton in the Closet ‘ is  explained

It transpires that this ‘skeleton’ is the ‘mould’ for a new canoe. We could not fathom how the mould could be removed if the canoe was built on the outside of the mould, as one does for a fibreglass canoe. All is revealed in a three-part series published in 1934 in The Age newspaper…..the canoe is built insidethe mould instead!



Recently I was proudly sharing our “FCC Centenary in Photographs “ with some friends when one, upon espying the NDRC rowing pair, announced “I think my father-in-law rowed for Heidelberg”. I immediately, & carefully, leafed through the membership list for the Northern District Rowing Club (NDRC & later to become, Heidelberg City Rowing Club) and to our shared delight there he was, Wesley Cross (see photo above).

Joe Alia’s Introduction to Paddling, with thanks to “The Murray” (an instructive tale of tenacity) snippet 33

In 1970, young Joe Alia was working at Ericssons when he and some workmates learned of some Scouts rafting down the Murray. Needless to say, this sowed the seed of an idea amongst ‘the lads’ – “Let’s build a raft and float down the Murray next summer”. This they did, after-hours in the works yard.

Fairfield Canoe Club Cross-training endeavours - History Snippet 31

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.