top of page

March 2021 Newsletter


Fun history fact about AWRC

Our Club sometimes receives queries of a historical nature, including a recent query from Kevin Blight (whose son, Ethan, won the Boss Rooster and his first Red Coat rowing for the Champion North Shore Rowing Club Premier Four at last month’s NZ Rowing Championships).

In summary, Kevin has a sister-in-law whose father apparently rowed for the Aramoho Boating Club by the name of Wilfred Guildford. Kevin thought that Wilfred won the “Boss Rooster” for Aramoho, prior to or just after World War 2.

Our Club Historian, Ewen Noble, investigated and while the Aramoho Boating Club did win the “Boss Rooster” prior to, and after, World War 2; Wilfred Guildford was not a member of any winning Aramoho, or Wanganui based club crew that ever won the Champion Fours event.

Kevin Blight then forwarded the attached photograph, which shows Wilfred Guildford and his crew and trainer posing with a trophy, which looks remarkably like our Mitchell Shield, prompting Ewen to investigate further.

After polishing up our historic Mitchell Shield Trophy, Ewen was able to establish that W.J. Guildford in fact stroked his crew to victory in the Mitchell Four Trophy Race in the 1912-13 Rowing Season at the Aramoho Boating Club.

The trophy was first competed for in 1899, so at that time it was still quite new but very prestigious within the Club, as very few regattas were raced against other clubs.

Two aspects will be discernible in the photo, the first being the Club Singlet at that time being quite different to the green and gold quarters that were the Aramoho colours immediately prior to amalgamation in 1986. The original colours changed following World War 1.

Secondly, the Mitchell Shield must have been modified in subsequent years as the silver boat has been moved to the top of the trophy and other parts been adjusted to enable later winners to be recorded.

Finally, the Trainer, as coaches were then known, is wearing a fob chain which would have been attached to a pocket watch and on this chain is a small medallion which Mitchell Shield winners received.

Thanks to Ewen Noble for the research!


Say hello to our new plant addition

Pictured below is the Clubs latest acquisition which has been named “Adele” in honour of our long-serving Patrons wife, Adele Luff.

Allan Luff, who previously owned this single scull boat, claims it used to be extremely fast when he was in prime condition (allegedly as recent as 12 months ago) and it will be an immensely helpful addition to the Clubs fleet of singles.

Patroness Adele Luff has been an outstanding supporter and Committee Member of the Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club and previously the Aramoho Boating Club, whilst being a faithful follower and provider to our Patron Allan over the last 6 plus decades.

Adele herself became an active rower some years ago with the Club and proved to be also very capable on the water.

It is very appropriate that we acknowledge partners behind the scenes who have managed family life whilst also contributing significantly to our Club over such a long-time frame.

While Adele did not wish to have a formal boat naming ceremony, we are able to pay tribute to her by having her name on such a “fast” boat, and no doubt she will look forward to it featuring at the front of the field in future regattas!


NZ Secondary School Championships (Maadi Cup) 2021

Whanganui High School will have 26 rowers and 3 coxswains attending this year at Lake Karapiro.

Due to the cancellation of the Whanganui Championships and the North Island Secondary School Championships (NISS) this season, the School has decided to take Novices to this prestigious event which commences on Monday 22 March and culminates with the Maadi Cup Under 18 Boys Eights on Saturday 27 March.

Many secondary schools have obviously made a similar decision regarding entering their respective novices at this regatta which has resulted in the biggest Maadi Cup in history. with 2458 students from 122 schools being entered.

The competition will be extremely fierce with only the top 5 (out of 8) advancing from most Heats and in many Repechages, only the first 4 across the line will feature in the Semis and Finals.

Our WHS rowers have trained extremely arduously over an exceptionally long timeframe, and we look forward to our crews enjoying the full benefits of their endeavours.


In Memoriam: Les Saywood

It's with sadness we record recent the passing of Leslie Saywood, at the age of 91.

He was a former Wanganui High School Coach, NZSSRA Life Member, and long-serving qualified rowing official at local regattas and at Lake Karapiro.

Les was instrumental in securing the now popular Under 15 Octuple Events at School Regattas within New Zealand.

To his family, the Aramoho Whanganui Rowing Club extends its sympathies.


Lincoln University Billets

One of Whanganui High School Rowing’s main fund-raising activities is billeting about 30 Lincoln University 2nd Year Students who undertake an annual study visit to Whanganui/Taranaki.

Billets are sought for the nights of Monday 19 and Wednesday 21 April and all that is required is the provision of a bed overnight and a light breakfast the following morning.

Pick up from AWRC at 7:30pm both nights and drop off to Springvale Stadium the following morning at 7:45am.

If you are able to assist with one or two billets, our hard-working Lisa Murphy at Whanganui High School would love to hear from you. She can be contacted on 0276669884 or email


Booster Wine Fund Raiser

Annie Pawson is again organising this popular fund raiser over the next couple of months.

We will contact you separately and trust you are able to support this viticultural vintages venture!


Firewood Working Bees

Hayley and Jeremy Emmett (parents of Awen) have a large stand of firewood available for cutting/splitting/stacking at their Papaiti property.

Working bees have been scheduled for Sundays 11 and 18 April.

All our active members are asked to support this venture and of course we will nourish all those willing helpers with a barbecue at the end of the conclusion of each day.

We would welcome parents who can assist with chainsaws, log splitting etc to help with these two days.


Quote of the Month

“Pain is temporary- quitting lasts forever”!


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


bottom of page