Friends’ 60th Rowing Anniversary

Posted on July 15, 2022

The winning Head of the River rowing team got back together recently to celebrate the anniversary of the 1962 race and look back over old photos from their rowing days, the christening of their boat that they would win the race in and of the race itself.

L-R: Russell Reid, Robert Walker, Tony Ibbott, Graham Gourlay
L-R: Russell Reid, Graham Gourlay, Tony Ibbott, Robert Walker

1962 Head of the River

On the occasion of the 1962 Head of the River anniversary, former rower and student Tony Ibbott (1962) took the time to share his reflections on the values held for rowing and how they aligned with The Friends’ School ethos, the two being continually intertwined.

Friends’ Rowing – A family affair
By Tony Ibbott

Tony Ibbott with the Ibbott Family Boat

Rowing at Friends’ is offered in accordance with fundamental Quaker beliefs and values as outlined in the the Purpose and Concerns of The Friends’ School.

For instance, rowers and their families who have shared early mornings, long trips, boat loading, and the highs and lows of training and racing would well understand what Samuel Clemes meant by “Education in the spirit of the family”.

Clemes and George Fox before him would have supported the spirit of coeducation and mutual respect developed between rowers at Friends’.

Caring is a central value – for each other, the fragile equipment, and the rivers and lakes which provide the often peaceful settings where we row.

An appreciation and love of the skill of rowing and the art of boatmanship become lifelong attributes of the true rower.

As did Samuel Clemes, so we too, “Live with the tension between distrust of excessive competition and the success of students”. However, while the outward competition consists of a few minutes of racing each regatta, the inner competition is within each rower – a test of self against self in character development during training sessions, striving for skill perfection, often in bad weather, feeling tired, or at inconvenient times. 

Above all, rowing is the ultimate team activity requiring 100% commitment and cooperation. Truly in rowing, “Nemo Sibi Nascitur.”

In accordance with Guidelines for Children’s Sport, the focus of rowing at Friends’ is PARTICIPATION and for senior rowers the pursuit of excellence which are MOTIVATED by:

  1. FUN and enjoyment
  2. SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS & respect for others
  3. Pursuit of, and satisfaction from SKILLS well performed
  4. SELF ESTEEM that comes from CHALLENGES accepted

PROBLEMATICAL OUTCOMES (some wins- some losses)