The Great Fire of '73


In September 1973, clubhouse on the cooks river was burned to the ground. It was obviously pretty devastating for club members at the time. This edition of Splash! from October of that year provides a facinating perspective of how the club dealt with the loss. It wasn't long before plans were afoot for the new (present clubhouse). Also facinating is the trouble members would go to to illustrate their articles, and produce a monthly club magazine without any of the fancy technology we have today.

A couple of members mentioned in that edition of Splash are still active within the club today. Basil Slaughter and Helen Brownlee are both lifelong members and can recall the club both before and after the fire.

Site of the River Canoe Club Clubhouse, Cooks River circa 1946

Helen Brownlee Remembers

"The photo definitely looks like the old clubhouse, but it is difficult to see detail. The old clubhouse had wooden external stairs to the upper level, which also connected to external toilets – all on the park path side. Downstairs was the boatshed which “flooded’ when the tide came in."