The struggle to establish rowing in Cairns
Periodically over the next sixty years, there were many attempts to resurrect the sport and all gained short term support. Notable developments occurred in the 1950’s, the 1970’s and in the early 1990’s. The growing commercial value of water front property in Cairns however restricted the opportunities to develop a dedicated rowing facility similar to that created in 1930, and all attempts to operate a rowing club from makeshift facilities inevitably failed.
In 1995 a former coxswain from the Southport School and Senator at the time, Bill O’Chee advertised a meeting for locals interested in forming a new Rowing Club. The meeting was attended by Lowan Hardy, Chris Polinelli, John Flynn and Peter Thoren, all new to the Cairns district and all with rowing backgrounds.
The aim of the meeting was to establish a committee who would take up the challenge of developing the sport in Cairns. The goal was to make the sport a permanent fixture in the city. The group understood the difficulties in the challenge, but agreed to take up the task.
Then came the question of where it should happen.
The group quickly came to terms with the restrictions imposed by the Cairns environment. In consideration of the scarcity of land around the Inlet, the often difficult water conditions on the Inlet, the abundance of commercial boat traffic and the presence of the local wildlife, the group decided to commence rowing operations out of Kuranda, on the upper Barron River.