Emotions ran high as the School hosted what would become the last public event before the pandemic social distancing restrictions were announced – the Centenary of Eights Rowing Dinner.
Celebrating that wonderful event in 1920, when Eights rowing was introduced into the School rowing programme, and the King’s School borrowed an eights shell from St Ignatius College and famously won the inaugural Major Rennie Trophy for GPS Schools Eights Rowing.
The School was also delighted to host the victorious 1970 First VIII to help that wonderful crew celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their famous win.
The 1970 First VIII made a special presentation to the 2020 GPS Crews and wished them well for their forthcoming regatta.
Former Headmaster Jon Wickham gave a dissertation about the history of rowing, reminding the room that in 1920, the School was in the midst of a restrictive Spanish Flu epidemic that saw classes and sports significantly reduced. Olympians Cameron Girdlestone and Rob Black also entertained the audience with tales of their preparation for Tokyo – preparations that we now know will be extended into 2021.
Archivist Jenny Pearce curated a most magnificent display of rowing memorabilia from the previous one hundred years.
The 1970 First VIII was widely fêted into the early hours by the rowing community, and we are grateful that they could all come together for this very special occasion.
5 March 2020