Brockville Rowing Club

In 1994, the Brockville Rowing Club celebrated its one hundredth birthday, a milestone reached by very few organizations. Over one hundred years of continuous operation is in itself a remarkable achievement, but the story of the Brockville Rowing Club is not one of longevity, but one of pride, commitment, challenge and, above all, a love for the community.

This was true in 1894 when a group of outstanding Brockville citizens came together to form the Brockville Rowing Club, and remains true today as the torch is passed from one generation of Brockvillians to the next.

Many of the photographs shown here appear in "The Brockville Rowing Club: 100 Years of Rowing" a book by Don Swayne. The hardcover 200-page book, a comprehensive record of the first 100 years of the Brockville Rowing Club, was published in 1994. To order a copy of the book, send a cheque for $35 to the Brockville Rowing Club, 1 Ferry Street, Brockville, ON K6V 2A7. Cost includes shipping within Canada.

History 1860-1949

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1894. John Maclaren, founder of the Brockville Amateur Athletic Association, percursor to the Brockvile Rowing Club.

The original Brockville Rowing Club building, built in 1894, was officially opened on July 23, 1895.

A picture of the Brockville waterfront from the river during the 1897 CAAO regatta. An army tent was used to shelter the racing shells and a grandstand was built for the regatta.

Winners of the 1899 spring regatta. Left to right: J Gill Gardner, Murray Dobbie, J Publow, and William C Maclaren.

Silk banner. Junior single award 1898.

War Canoe Challenge Cup. Donated by Major James Morrow Walsh, 1899.

Winners of the 1908 spring regatta. Left to right: C A Gillerlain, D P Hart, cox B Fitzpatrick, P Sherwood, and Willard H Row.

Brockville Rowing Club Minstrels, 1909. Back row: Charles T Wilkinson, Mike McGlade, Alex Murray, Frank (Goz) Graham. Front row: Bert Shirreff, L C (Lou) Dragavel, William C Maclaren, Joe Laing, George McGlade.

Brockville Rowing Club hockey team. 1919 City League Champions. Back row: S Hamilton, H Richardson, L Dillon, S Barton, C McCalpin, J Maclaren. Front row: W Johnson, Mort Simon, H Davies, H Reilly, D Richardson.

Winners, Spring Regatta 1919. J George, L Dillon, H Reilly, H Richardson.


Winners, Summer Regatta, 1924. Back row: D.A. Dunn, A.K. Bramley. Front row: T.R. Gray, Donald E. Lewis.

Comstock Tropy. Donated by William H. Comstock in 1925.

The Brockville Rowing Club's tennis court, looking toward City Hall. The area was later converted to a lawn bowling green, then to a paved tennis court. The photo is from the mid to late 1930s.

August 5, 1927. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, and his brother the Duke of Kent, board George T. Fulford's yacht Magedoma beside the Brockville Rowing Club.




Canadian Champions, Royal Canadian Henley, 1933. Cox - Fred (Peeney) Grant, George Power, Jack Hickling, Elmer Woodcock, Gus Parkins, Harvey Went, Fred Steele, Halbert Collins, Jim Collins.

Abbie Buett, Brockville Rowing Club Coach, 1932 to 1934.

Thain Simon won the Henley high school single championships in 1940 and 1941, the second year also claiming the junior single title.

Memorial scroll recording the BRC members who served and those who died during World War II.


Back: Roy Wall, Thain Simon, Jim Shorey, Tom Major, John Whiteland, Jack Earle, Russ Shorey, Craig Earle, Mac MacNaughton, Jack Davies, Harold Gaffney, Walter Bak, Don Culp, Rod McLennan, Frank Tucker, Vern Richardson.

Front: Fred Steele, Jim Cunningham (visiting medical student), Harold Shannon, Hayden VanDusen, Paul Crowley, Bill Higgins, Ernest Campeau, Al Leeder, Art Farrow.

Royal Canadian Henley, 1947. 145lb four of Craig Earle, Robert McCullough, Edgar 'Bud' Lavergne, and Craig Swayze. Craig Swayze became a sportswriter and was Sports Editor for the St. Catherines Standard. Swayze was a strong supporter of Canadian Rowing and he was instrumental in organizing World Rowing events hosted in St. Catherines.

history 1950s  history 1960s  history 1970s  history 1980s