Finally, with lockdown laws eased, about 100 donors and members of Sydney University Boat Club were able to gather on the outdoor deck of the club last Sunday 7th November. This event was held to honour those organisations and individuals who funded the building of the new Thyne Reid Boathouse – the main training home of the Sydney University Boat Club.
Our University Chancellor, Belinda Hutchison AC was our guest introduced by our co-Presidents Dani Pettit and Devlin Walsh. The Chancellor thanked all our alumni donors for their support and congratulated the Boat Club on its successes over the past twenty or more years.
At the end of her speech the Chancellor unveiled the new donor board. The board is mounted on the outer wall of the northern upstairs wing of the boathouse – facing onto the open deck. It is made from 316 marine grade stainless steel with the names of the main funders, Sydney University, Sydney University Sport and Fitness and Sydney University Boat Club. Under these logos, the board notes the official opening of the boathouse on 27th May 2017 and then lists all the alumni donors who contributed to Boathouse Appeal.
One of the major donors, Charles Moore, spoke on behalf of all the donors and mentioned how wonderful it was to see such a vibrant and successful club occupying and using this terrific facility.
Most of our Olympians and Paralympians from Tokyo were on hand. Tara Rigney thanked the Chancellor for her attendance and Nick Purnell introduced the returning Olympians who were in attendance.
Chris Noel – who led the fundraising and building arrangements spoke of the club’s journey to success over the last 35 years. Chris particularly thanked the main funders who helped build our magnificent club. These include, The University of Sydney and also the key donors, The Thyne Reid Foundation, Charles Moore, John Boultbee, Paul Espie and Austin Curtin but noted that every donor had their name included on the board.
Following the speeches, refreshments and sandwiches were enjoyed on the deck as our donors mingled with our active club members. A group of our women rowers took our newest Empacher eight -the “Belinda Hutchinson” out for a demo row for the Chancellor to see the boat named in her honour in action.