Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Museum Highlights: St. John's Regatta 1926 Silver Cup

Looking through the Sports section of the museum, the dominant theme is of course the 1901 Outer Cove Crew. But Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove has a long history with the Royal St. John's Regatta that goes well beyond the championship races of 1901 and 1982.

1926 Regatta Silver Cup [999.1.1]
One item that catches the eye among the Regatta programs is a silver cup. This cup reads:

ST. JOHN'S REGATTA
1926
PRESENTED BY
HIS EXCELLENCY
SIR WILLIAM ALLARDYCE K.C.M.G.

Sir William Lamond Allardyce was the governor of Newfoundland from 1922-1928. According to the program for the day, Allardyce was offering the Governor's Cup for the quickest time of the day, which came with a bonus of $20.
Lady Allardyce, Hon. W.J. Higgins and Governor Allardyce at the Regatta during Sir Douglas Haig's visit, 1942. Maritime History Archives [PF 315.318]

This cup was won by the Outer Cove crew in the Star of the Sea with a time in the championship race of 9:41:00. The crew was L. Rodgers, cox; W. Power, stroke; S. Power, D. Houston, J. Coady, N. power and M. Smart.
A hand-written note in the Souvenir Regatta Programme notes the time, the racer and the crew for the championship race.

The cup was found in the church, and Father St. John was going to throw it away when Katherine Lynch, the parish secretary at the time, asked if she could take it. Later, it was donated to the museum by her husband, Cyril Lynch.

The program for that Regatta features the caribou of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, it being only ten years since the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel. The introduction in the pamphlet reminds everyone that there are medals offered by Earl Brassey for the crew that beats the 1901 Outer Cove time, and mentions the recent retirement of the racer Blue Peter. Blue Peter II was present at this regatta.
Cover of the 1926 program. From the Digital Archives Initiative

Over the lunch hour, dory races between bank fishermen of Nova Scotia that were in port at the time were planned. An announcement for the Grand Regatta Dance for that night at Prince's Rink is hailed as "The Big Outstanding Event". At 70c for gents and 50c for ladies, the dance would feature two big brass and reed bands; The C.C.C. Band and the Mount Cashel Boys' Band, and would follow the "Old Time Regatta Proramme". As someone who loves a waltz or foxtrot, I believe this should start up again, complete with competition (and perhaps some lessons for those unfamiliar with the dances).
A Moonlight Dance sounds quite romantic. From the Souvenir Regatta Program.

As always, the Regatta is a lot of fun, and here at LBMCOC Museum, we are proud of the Outer Cove crews who have, and continue to, do great at the Royal St. John's Regatta.



Sources:

The Newfoundland Tourist and Publicity Association
1926  Souvenier Regatta Programme. Available at the Digital Archives Initiative: http://collections.mun.ca/cdm/ref/collection/cns/id/145180

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