Dear LRC Members

Moving Forward, or should I say “Come Forward”

I just wanted to let you know that your Committee is working hard to keep our facility in good condition and to develop a “Return To Normal” plan.

Christiaan has contractors carrying on with important works such as plumbing and electrical tasks. Nancy has the upstairs area looking great. Bob & Margaret have maintained all the tinnies and safety kits. Our captains are going to release a stepped return to rowing program in the next few weeks as restrictions start to lift. Jeff and Tim are working on an off water program and also developing a Winter Program should conditions allow. Our finance team has mapped out a secure path for us with several options depending on how long and severe the lockdowns continue. Virginia has done the calculations and so we are planning an “AWARDS / Go away COVID-19” Party Night to be held as soon as we are allowed. Matt tells me that boat damage has been at a record low over the past month.

As a Committee we agreed to work within Government directives, putting the Community’s safety as our priority.

I hope everyone is keeping well and those affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns will all come out the other side intact. Catch up soon. – President Steven Duff

Thank you to all the people who have offered thanks, support, pics, stories and general loveliness. It’s good to know that it’s a good read for a lot of people. Next week we’re doing a special on Quarantine Cooking. Have you tried a bit of baking therapy lately? It doesn’t matter whether it’s Haute Cuisine or a vegemite sandwich please share your recipes and send them to me, your editor Catherine Gleeson (Gleeso) –

Take care everyone.
Captain Tim, President Duff and Ed.


Australian Coxless pair Steve Roll and Kevyn-Webb

Above: Australian coxless pair Steve Roll and Kevyn Webb training on the Henley course 1958

Steve Roll and Hazel Horth

Above on the left: Don Dudgeon (Vic) speaks with Steve Roll (NSW), 1958 Champion
Above on the right: 1955 NSW Women’s Four containing Leichhardt’s Hazel Horth in the three seat and Lionel Robberds in the cox seat.


Celebrating the life and times of our life members 

Steve Roll

Following his introduction to Rowing at Leichhardt in 1952 weighing 10 stone 13 pounds, Steve, encouraged by Leichhardt’s successful representation at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics competed in both Lightweight and Heavyweight State and National championships from 1952 to 1975 in all classes of boat. He competed in 69 NSW Championship events for 44 wins, 15 2nds and 7 3rds in both weight divisions. It was in 1958, on the same day at the State Championships, then held over 3 miles, that Steve took out both the State Scull heavyweight as well being a member of the winning heavyweight Eight Championship. Weeks later he won the Australian Championship Sculls (the President’s Cup), and competed for Australia at the 1958 Commonwealth Games at Cardiff in the Coxless Pairs, after a demanding selection process in both coxless fours and the pairs.

NB (NSW Lightweight Rowing officially commenced in 1922 with the other States following some time later. It wasn’t until 1948 that a special challenge race between Victoria and NSW resulted in a complete Leichhardt crew win.  In 1949 the then Australian Amateur Rowing Council included a Lightweight four oared event at the Kings Cup Regatta; on that occasion on the Nepean River, and hence the LW4 thereafter was referred to as the “Penrith Cup” having an individual weight limit of 10 stone 10 pounds (now 72.5kg but not exceeding a 70kg average crew)

During his return from the Commonwealth Games and whilst visiting relatives in the USA (Steve’s Dad was born there) Steve won the Middle States Sculling Championship.

His marriage, to Hazel Horth (picture above) a Leichhardt Women’s Club Champion and State representative, complemented his role as Club Captain in years 1958 and 1961, when he stroked the winning Australian Penrith Cup Lightweight Four. Steve and Hazel raised their family in nearby Fivedock.

It was in the same year (1961) recognition of Club Life Membership was also  awarded to his fellow lightweight champions Derek Docherty, Len McPherson (coxswain) and his great friend Bob Stone (President 1986 -2001) as well as their long time and dedicated Coach Bert Harding. (Deceased).

By 1966, Steve had accepted the position of Secretary Manager of the then newly licensed Haberfield Rowing Club, whilst continuing to support Leichhardt through a record marathon row to Manly and return in a Tub Pair with Barry Moynahan; with Fred Fullerton 116 miles in 22 hours down the Hawkesbury and later single sculling from Newcastle to Sydney Harbour in 18.5 hours.  Steve was also a major player in the instigation and development of Masters’ Rowing within NSW.  In 1970 he was awarded the Western Suburbs Leagues Club Award for outstanding sporting achievement.

On Hazels passing, Steve made a significant financial donation to the Club, at the same time assisting with telephone book deliveries by way of his courier business.  He was sought by St. Joseph’s College as their new sculling coach; by boat builders for the carriage of racing shells, and eventually by the Benedictine Monastery in New Norcia, WA. for the care, surprisingly, of their vineyard. Steve’s strong Christian Ethics and support from friends had encouraged his new vocation as a Benedictine Brother. This was his home for several years followed by sculling coaching on the new Champion Lakes International Centre in Western Australia.

As a coach Steve had assisted State Champion winners here in NSW in 1963, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1975 again across mostly small boat racing including Australian Championships.

On his return to NSW, in recent years, Steve has undertaken extensive research on Rowing in support of Andrew Guerin’s Australian Rowing History.  He continues to coach and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow rowers at Leichhardt, and commutes between the Central Coast, where he lives with his daughter and granddaughter, and LRC where it all began in 1952. He needed little encouragement to coach and compete at Henley (England) Masters, along with other Leichhardt TRAGICS in 2016.


Rowing Australia Winter Program


LRC Head coach Jeff shares an excellent winter program

Our Head Coach Jeff has shared a Rowing Australia winter program with us. You can do all or some of it and in Jeff’s words “Just pick whatever suits – anything is better than nothing.” Download it here.

Next week we’ll share another of Jeff’s own programs which again is a pick and mix.

Thanks Jeff!


A new friend for Eric the watch croc


Feel good about not being on the water edition #5

The inspiring, true story of a lonely crocodile doing a terrific job of looking after an abandoned pontoon in troubled times… who has found a new mate called Penelope!

Penelope has taken up residence next to the shed in a luxurious house atop two gas bottles. She’s not been available for comment as she’s a bit media shy. On her behalf, Eric (the LRC watch-croc) says that when anyone comes near the clubhouse at night Penelope she does a “very good angry possum impression” – which is a good thing, because she is actually a possum.




50 free online courses

Now that the kids are going back to school one day a week – maybe you’d like to go back to school at least one day a week too? From psychology, biology, early education, political science, history, mathematics, this list gives you 50 websites that offer free online (mainly US based) courses. And if you’ve always wanted to study at Harvard – now’s your chance.


Astrophysicist gets magnets stuck

up nose while inventing

coronavirus device

This story is a few weeks old now – but SO worth sharing. Australian Dr Daniel Reardon ended up in hospital after inserting magnets in his nostrils while building a necklace that warns you when you touch your face – read more here


Pure Joy!

The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary Facebook page shared a video montage of animals hugging and kissing and dancing with their human friends, and it’s just the injection of pure joy we could all use right now – watch it here

(NB: Orangutan footage is a bit disturbing – but everything else is sweet.)


DIY Vivid Festival

Sydney comedian James Breko has come up with a delightful, social distancing-friendly alternative encouraging Sydneysiders to illuminate their balconies, apartment blocks, front gardens and windows with fairy lights and coloured bulbs every night from May 22 until June 5, which are the actual dates of Vivid.


John Digweed Bunker sessions

Who doesn’t love a bit of House, Tech House, Progressive House, Trance and Techno? Again, probably a lot of people. But I know you do (and you know I know who you are…). Also great if you feel like a long drive without going anywhere and of course good for a dance like nobody’s watching. Watch the Bunker Sessions here