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George Edward Upward (1855–1915)

George Upward (r) with Sir William Lyne, 1902

George Upward (r) with Sir William Lyne, 1902

National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an24587070

By the death of Mr George Upward it may well be said that Australia loses one of its best known amateur rowing supporters. His career dates back to 1875 when he commenced rowing with the Corio Bay Rowing Club, in which year he won his first race on the Barwon. For the subsequent five years he won several important races with that club. In 1860 he came to Melbourne, joining the Civil Service club and in that year he stroked his first intercolonial eight-oared crew, beating the New South Wales crew rather easily. He again won the following year, was defeated in 1882, but won again in 1883, occupying the stroke seat on each occasion. His last appearance as an active oarsman was in the year 1888 when he successfully stroked the winning Victorian crew in the first Australasian four-oared contest, defeating New South Wales, New Zealand, and Tasmania.

To the present generation of oarsmen he was best known as chairman of the Victorian Rowing Association, being first appointed as a delegate to that body from the Civil Service Rowing Club in 1881. In 1891 he was elected vice-president and for many years up till quite recently he acted as chairman. He was the founder of the Victorian style of coaching, and was a keen follower of Woodgate, whose knowledge he was enabled to impart into others, and through this the Victorian crews were for a great number of years unbeaten.

At the last meeting of the Victorian Rowing Association feeling reference was made to his death by Mr. W. B. House, who occupied the chair, and as a mark of esteem and sympathy the meeting was adjourned.

Original publication

Citation details

'Upward, George Edward (1855–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 July 2024.

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