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Rowing History Rediscovered

Original Scroll Donating Oxford and Cambridge Cup

The Original Scroll Donating The Oxford and Cambridge Cup

Rob Zahara, an alumnus of Melbourne University Boat Club, has advised that the original scroll donating the magnificent trophy for The Intervarsity Men’s Eights has been rediscovered after lying in a cardboard box in a Melbourne garage for around 40 years.

As Rob reports “The brother in law of an old friend of mine found the scroll in a cardboard box in a garage where it has sat for 40 years or so following the death of his father who was a past Treasurer and President of MUBC.”

“It was decided to present the scroll to Melbourne University Archives where it has been refurbished and will be kept in proper condition. The “deal” was that they would take a very high-resolution image of the restored document and provide us with copies – one for MUBC, one for SUBC and one for AUBC, the three extant universities at the time of the gift. We felt that it was important for the three universities to each get a copy.”

The scroll records that “ This Challenge Cup is presented to the Universities of Australia, for annual competition by representative crews in eight-oared boats under such conditions as from time to time shall be mutually agreed upon by the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in conjunction with other universities hereafter admitted to compete in any Australian Inter-University Eight Oared Race.”

Further: “The funds for the purchase of the Cup were contributed from Old Members of the Oxford and Cambridge University Crews”.

The scroll then lists the Committee appointed by the Presidents of OUBC and CUBC to raise the funds and then goes on to list the names of well over 150 former rowers of Oxford and Cambridge who contributed to the purchase of this Cup.

That the trophy is still sought after and treasured in University rowing nearly 130 years later is a tribute to the foresight of those who subscribed to donate this trophy back in 1891-93.

At the conclusion of the 2019 Intervarsity Rowing the Cup has competed for 123 times with the following winning results:

Melbourne 42, Sydney 41, Adelaide 11, Queensland 8, Western Australia 6, Monash 6, Tasmania 5, UTS Sydney 4



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