A special commemorative exhibition and ceremony to be hosted at SIRR 2015
Visitors to this year’s Sydney International Rowing Regatta will be treated to a special free exhibition entitled ‘Rowing with the ANZACs – Remembering mateship and sacrifice’. The exhibition commemorates the Centenary of ANZAC in the context of Australia’s rowing heritage.
The exhibition has been put together with support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Australian War Memorial, with contributions also coming from Bruce Coe, Andrew Guerin and Wayne Groom.
Many visitors to the event may know that Australia won the 1919 Peace Regatta raced at Henley, England in July 1919 with a crew from the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). The crew were presented with the King’s Cup by Princess Arthur of Connaught on behalf of King George V, and this cup is still part of Australia’s rowing history, as it is awarded to the winners of the Men’s Interstate Coxed Eight each year.
The 1919 AIF No. 1 crew featured rowers who had competed at State, National and International levels, including the Olympic Games, and who enlisted and fought in the First World War.
The exhibition not only commemorates these athletes but the numerous rowers who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for Australia. The exhibition will be on display in the Regatta Village at the Sydney International Regatta Centre from Wednesday 25 March to Sunday 29 March.
On the 29 March, after the Schoolboys Eight race, there will also be a Commemorative Ceremony that will pay tribute to South Australian rower, Tom Whyte, who died on 25 April 1915 at Gallipoli, Turkey, while rowing to shore.
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales and Mrs Hurley will lay a wreath during the Commemorative Ceremony. Wreaths will also be laid by Captain Charles Huxtable, Royal Australian Navy, President of the Australian Defence Rowing Association, and para-rowing World Champion and former Australian Army Sergeant, Gavin Bellis.
Captain Huxtable, Royal Australian Navy will give a reading, followed by Mr Bellis who will recognise our fallen by delivering the Ode of Remembrance. Spectators and competitors are invited to attend this commemorative ceremony to remember the courage, sacrifice and mateship that Australians have made over a century.