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It is now nearly a year since those i who did not see tbe fire woke one 1 morning to learn the disappointing.! news, probably from tbe butcher boy 11 calling for orders, that the Akaroa il Boating Club's fine shed and plant J bad been completely destroyed by fire S during the early hours of the morning, il and a survey of tbe debris left a few I hours later, only too truly bore out tbe j butcher boy's statements. Tbe club ; house had grown with tbe prosperity : of its members, and their successes in '; Canterbury and championship re gattas to a very roomy, well equipped j boat-house, containing a plant tbat '■ supplied everything from the old " barge '' four, where the youngsters i got their first " tubbing " or gruelling, ■ to the most elaborate best and best \ rowing machine providing stability with the least amount of weight, and requiring no sluggard oar to push ber along, or she would soon deposit bim : in tbe briny. Besides one of the j most up to date racing plants in tbe, dominion the shed contained a first-; rate pleasure plant, and in addition • the racing skiffs of George Whelch, the; local rowing champion. These wager j boats alone bore associations tbat! were of interest, not only to members j of the club, but to all who have fol j lowed tbe sport, both amateur and j professional. George Whelch's little , fleet included the little craft in which [ he won his first red coat as New Zea ; land amateur champion. Then there j was the one in which Thorougbgood j beat him in Australia, and in which ! be rowed to victory against. Fogwell; in his second big race. There also! was his last fine boat in which he was j defeated by the world's champion, j Arnst, when Akaroa mourned greatly, j but owned manfully tbat the victory went with the best Eculler. Again there were the trophies that had ao cumulated through the club's years of successes, on which names were in ■ scribed, whose owners had passed tbe winning post many time?, and added 1 another lo tbe long list of the club's victories. And in one small hour all this was swept away by a devouring fire, the associations of many years of a thriving rowing club, which had matured scullers and oarsmen who bad gone to tbe top of the tree in what is admittedly one of the finest and oldest of Bports. Though the set back was a severe one. and the club was shorn of all its material associations, an active interest in the sport and the club has enabled the executive to re house its members in a fine new boathouse,

from which no doubt will go many a doughty oar, who will be in keeping with the traditions of his club. The new 9hed, which is in good view of tba town, boasts come architectural ; beauty, and more it provides what the ! club has long required, vis:., a dancing j room or • social ball above its boat* j house that will be the means of fosterling a further interest in the club's 1 operations, Although as yet the new j racing plant is a small fleet, it provides all urgent wants for those who will represent the club in the Canterbury regattas,and includes two clinker four?, a clinker convertible and a fine new stump, and a best and best convertible is soon to arrive from Ausi tralia. A pleasure plant will be housed jas soon as the boatbuilders fill their j their orders, so that before Easter, j when our local regatta takes place, j tbe new club will have a fairly com*

plete fleet in which to send their representatives to tbe starting post. The opening function on Thursday night was rather spoiled by disap pointing weather, and heavy rain fell, keeping many from attending The evening was spent, firstly, in a erchre tournament, and later in dancing, while in the interval a very tastefully laid supper was partaken of in tbe boatshed proper. The room was taste fully decorated for the occasion by the club members, and the tables laid by Mr W. Parkin. About eighty sat down to supper, and appropriate speeches were made and tbe health of the new boathouse duly honoured. The president of the Club, Mr C. W. Leete, propo?ed tbe toast of tbe new shed, and it was drunk enthusias fcically. His Worship the Mayor, Mr G. Armstrong, poposed the toast of the Club, in which be complimented the executive uj o i the new boa-house and wished the Club every success. Mr T. Lewitt responded, and thanked all those who bad helped to bring tbe new shed into being. Mr G. Checkley proposed the toast of the kindred rowing clubs Mr Kesteven, of the Union flowing Club, Christchurch, and chairman of the New Zealand Rowing Association, responded* Mr Kesteven also 'complimented the Akaroa Club upon its new sheds. He referred to the Club's past successes, and said, in company with other rowing clubs in Canterbury, be hoped the members would keep up their fine standard of rowing. There were other visiting rowing men from Christoburch from the Avon and Union Clubs, and an apology was read from the executive of the Canterbury Club, who regretted that an important meeting the same evening prevented their being present. The architect of the new shed, Mr J. B. Guthrie, and the contractor, Mr. W. Mutton, also both sent apologies. After the speeches had been made, tbe Mayoress, Mrs G. Armstrong, pre sented the medals and prizes won by members in regatta and club races in 1912 and 1913. Tbe list of prizes was as follows : —

Championship Regal'a—F. Wes tenra and H, R. Newton, Champion Double Sculls. Akaroa Kegatta—F. Westenra and H. R. Newton, Senior Pairs and Doubles , Cyril Walker and Clem. Walker, Youths' Pairs. Lyt telton Regatta—Cyril Walker, second in Youths' Singles (erold medal). Christchurch Regatta—F. Westenra and EI. R. Newton, Senior Pairs and Doubles- -Club races -C Walker, Youths' SiDgle9; C. Walker and L; Armstrong, Youths' Pairs ; A. We-*t-laka and R. Spooner, President's Cv •, W. Jacob3on and I. Walker, Maidm Doubles. The following prizes for tho euchre tournament played during the eveni> g were also presented by the Mayorets and were as "follows : — Miss May Dierck, first (lady's priz?); Misa Norah Lelievre, lady's booby; Misa M Jacobson, first (gm leraan's prize); Mr E Staple l *, gentleman's booby. After supper dancing waa carried on until a late hour, and a very enjoyable time spent, The new dancing hail proved a very valuable addition to the town as a place of amusement, and it 3 pic.turepque surroundings make ifc a charming ballroom. The floor provides ample room for sixty or seventy couples, and the club baa acquired a piano. Dressing rooms and a kitchen are also included on tbe same floor. Overlooking the sea there i 3 a fine balcony, which gives a unique view of the town and harbour, and that end of the hall is almost all windows, which will be thrown open to the sea air on hot nights. .The new boathouse certainly fills a long felt want from the social view of the club's welfare, and will besides provide a splendid hall, which will be a boon to townspeople,

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Bibliographic details

AKAROA BOATING CLUB., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4370, 10 February 1914

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AKAROA BOATING CLUB. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4370, 10 February 1914

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