Gisborne Rowing Club History
The Gisborne Rowing Club (formed in August, 1874) built its first shed opposite the site now occupied by the Harbour Board Offices. Captain Porter arranged with the natives for the use of the site. W. King (who donated the timber) was the first president, and C. D. Berry the first captain. The earliest plant consisted of two second-hand boats procured from Auckland.
With the aid of debentures (most of which were surrendered) the present club house, which superseded a smaller shed on the same site, was built in 1894 during W. B. Miller's lengthy term) as captain. The Poverty Bay Rowing Club dates its establishment from August, 1886, but, in fact, it came into existence in 1884, with W. J. Fox as captain.
Its present boatshed was built in 1909. A junior club, the Turanganui Rowing Club (sponsored by the Gisborne Rowing Club), had its shed a little higher up the Taruheru River than the senior club's. Its boats, however, were more suitable for use as pleasure craft. When a flood in 1904 carried away the shed and boats its members joined the Gisborne Club.
The first contest between Gisborne Rowing Club and Napier Rowing Club was held in 1876, and was won by Napier. C. D. Berry stroked for Gisborne, which used a racing gig which had just come to hand from Melbourne. Gisborne competed without success against Napier and The Spit in 1879. Its representatives were: E. H. Pavitt (st.), J. Carroll (3), Epiha Parau( 2) and W. Ratcliffe (bow). In April, 1885, Gisborne (E. H. Pavitt, E. F. Sage, E. A. Pavitt and Barnes) lost to Napier Rowing Club, and Poverty Bay ( J. Reed, J. Lee, W. Jones and W. J. Fox) defeated Union Rowing Club.
Formed in March, 1909, the Uawa Rowing Club, which had 60 members, held interchanges of visits with the Gisborne clubs, but its career was interrupted in 1925. It was resuscitated in March, 1948.
East Coast Rowing Association (formed in 1932 with jurisdiction over the clubs in Hawke's Bay, Wairoa, Poverty Bay and East Coast). 1 Presidency: A. Kirk, 1932.