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December 2020 Newsletter


RECAP - Johns Trophy Regatta

Our photo shows our youthful coach Tom Monaghan and veteran coach Des Lock supporting each other during a very busy day at the Annual Johns Trophy Regatta at Waitara.

Our Club won 9 events, and with 11 seconds and 13 third placings, gained 85 points. The Johns Trophy was jointly shared this year by Whanganui Collegiate (who have a very large squad this season) and host club Clifton, with both clubs securing 107 points.


Upcoming events

Hawkes Bay Regatta - January 3 to 4, 2021

Billy Webb - January 24, 2021

North Island Club Championships - January 29 to 31, 2021

Thirsty Thursdays - Every second Thursday 5:00 - 7:00 pm in our Oarsman Lounge. Come along and enjoy the robust conversation! Non - alcoholic drinks are available.


Recap - Jury Cup

The following weekend the Jury Cup Regatta was completed over the two days. With 480 competitors from 11 Clubs, this was a step up for everyone, however, Aramoho Whanganui enjoyed 16 Wins, 10 Seconds and 12 Third placings.

Pictured are our Under 15 Boys Coxed Quad of George Hughes, Malachi Tangira, Petera Rogers, Eli Kuehne with cox Paige Guilford, who won their race.

The Chief Umpire was pleased with the Regatta organisation overall. Aside from our busy coaches, it needs to be acknowledged our local regattas involve a tremendous amount of contribution from our AWRC Members. At the risk of omitting someone, the following were all involved over the two days: Trevor, Ewen, Murray Carey, Brocky, Craig (Crash), Gus, Alistair, Martin, Luffy, Buck, Lance, Garth, Barb, Lou, Cheryl, Jolene, Kirsty, Barry, Steph, Jane, Jo, Jacs and Bruce.


Recap - Christmas Regatta at Lake Karapiro

Our youthful athletes completed a busy 3 weekends of racing at the Karapiro Christmas Regatta and succeeded in reaching an impressive 16 A Finals to conclude the regatta season for 2020.

Our Girls Under 16 4X+ were second in the A Final and also secured 3rd place in the Under 17 4X+ A Final. Pictured are Eliza Maxey, Reeve Watson, Portia Eastabrook, and Victoria Soutar (unfortunately Cox Lillie Taylor was unavailable).

Jordan Manville and James Clear secured the second place in the Men's Intermediate Doubles, while Georgina Ross and Messina Su’a were third in the Girls Under 17 Doubles.

It was great to see our Olympians in action as well. with Chris Harris achieving second place in the Mens Premier Single and Georgina Nugent-O’Leary achieving 5th in the Womens Premier Single A Final – a big step forward for her.

A vote of thanks goes out to Jo, Deborah, Catherine and Steve, as well as Haley and Jeremy for providing the parent help at this fixture, which required taking time off work.


WHS School Junior School Awards

Well done to our last seasons Girls Under 15 (Novice) Octuple of Awen, Reeve, Lana, Victoria, Reeve, Hannah, Jordis, Portia and Cox Lillie, who were recognised at the WHS Junior Prizegiving, along with Callum Ross. It is gratifying to see all these athletes returning to compete again this season.


WHS Principals Distinction Award

It is most appropriate also that we acknowledge Georgina Ross who received the above Award. Georgina is now in her third season of rowing, is a valued member of our Committee and has demonstrated clearly that her rowing dedication has not limited her academic endeavours – well done!


Colin Johnstone

The Club was recently visited by Kerry Johnstone, son of one our most outstanding coxswains, who donated Colins megaphone, Red Cap, and NZ Rowing Singlet, which are being admired by “Thirsty Thursday” regulars Russell, Ewen and Gus. Ewen Noble has kindly compiled the following information relating to Colin:


From time to time the Club is approached by families wishing to donate memorabilia collected by past members during a rowing career. This memorabilia often includes photographs, blazers and medals. One recent collection included a coxswain’s megaphone....

That megaphone was the property of perhaps the Aramoho Boating Club’s most renowned coxswain....Colin Johnstone.

Colin was a member of the Aramoho Boating Club during that “golden era” of the 1940’s and 50’s. The era when Aramoho appeared to own the Boss Rooster for the Senior (Premier) Coxed Fours and the Senior (Premier) Coxed Eight and also Senior (Premier) titles in the Single and Double sculls...

Like a number of other Club members during that period, Colin’s competitive years were interrupted by overseas service during World War 2.

During a period when most competitive rowing was undertaken in coxed boats, the coxswain was an extremely important member of a crew.

Unlike today, when communication through a boat is provided by modern electronics... microphones and speakers, Colin and his fellow coxswains were only able to communicate via a megaphone placed over the head.

Imagine the difficulty and challenges encountered in windy conditions and in racing conditions! Nevertheless, Colin amassed an outstanding record of coxswain achievements during a long and industrious career.

Apart from numerous titles with the Aramoho Boating Club in the Senior Coxed Four and Coxed Eight Colin was also selected as the coxswain for the NZ Coxed Four at the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952 and Melbourne in 1956.

Perhaps Colin’s greatest achievement as a NZ representative was with the “All Aramoho Effort” in 1950 at the British Empire Games (Commonwealth Games) in the Coxed Four where the crew of Ted Johnson, John O’Brien, Bill James and Bill Carroll won the Gold Medal.

Although Colin retired from competition in the Mid 1950’s ...this was not to be the end. So highly was Colin’s expertise regarded that the Union Boat Club enticed him to come out of retirement and cox the Club’s Senior Eight on the difficult Kerr’s Reach course on the Avon River in Christchurch 1961. Union won. That was to be Colin’s final Red Cap achievement.

For his outstanding contribution Colin was awarded Life Membership of the Aramoho Boating Club. He passed on in 1991 aged 70.

The Club would like to extend thanks and appreciation to the Johnstone family for the wonderful gesture of the donation, which includes Colin’s megaphone, NZ Championship Red Cap, NZ singlet and numerous photographs and articles. Be assured that the Johnstone Collection will be treasured and displayed with pride.

On his retirement from competitive rowing, Colin was interviewed by the local newspaper and asked to recall his most “memorable” race as a coxswain. One needs to remember that Colin Johnstone had coxed crews at Olympic Games and won a Gold Medal at the Empire Games...and numerous NZ titles...and his reply really highlights the strength of Club and Community spirit in Rowing during that “golden era”...

“Unquestionably winning the NZ Senior Eights title on the Wanganui River in 1950. We had a “makeshift” crew forced through some changes. Max Lawrence was taken from stroke of the Youth Eight and placed in the stroke seat of the Senior Eight. It is reported that there were 5000 spectators lining the banks that day. To me sounded like 10 000!! We beat the current Champions, West End.”

And in conclusion....members of that Champion Eight never had to buy another beer in the Aramoho Hotel....believe it or not!!


Have a good photo we should share with others?

We are always on the hunt for photos. If you have one that you want to feature in an upcoming newsletter, send it to


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