Reunion Row for the winning 1969 Trinity College First Eight

In August the winning 1969 Trinity College crew held a reunion row on the Yarra River to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that success.

Rob Stewart (TC 1967) shares his memories

"The crew on race day was Rob Stewart (bow), Michael Hamer, Rob Benson, David Bainbridge, Ian Farran, Geoff Withers, Arthur Godfrey, Mark Stephens (stroke) and Tony A’Beckett (cox) – five of whom were freshmen. Some said that this was a major reason for our success because the freshers did not understand what College rowing was all about and took it all too seriously. 

In the lead up to the Inter-collegiate Regatta we had won the Open Eights at the Scotch Mercantile Regatta (the first time for any College crew). In the heat we won from Ormond by five lengths and defeated Newman by seven lengths in the final.

For the reunion row two Trinity oarsmen from around that era in Greg Longden and David Yates substituted for Mike Hamer and Rob Benson and we were extremely fortunate to have a renowned coxswain in the Member for Higgins, Katie Allen, (Mark’s niece) to steer the crew through the bridges in place of Tony A’Beckett. Our esteemed coach from 1969, Bill Stokes (who had attended one of our regattas 50 years ago dressed in morning tails), was not well and couldn’t join us. Unfortunately Bill passed away shortly afterwards on 29 September, aged 76. He will be sadly missed."

10 Nov 2019
Category: People