Saving a Trinity Rowing Treasure

Image from “The Bantam Oar”, posted on Trinity College Athletic website.

2 June 2020

By Göran R Buckhorn

Kevin MacDermott, the men’s head coach at Trinity College, Hartford, brings to life the old out-of-print book The Bantam Oar (1974).

In 1974, Barbara Connell Mooney published the book The Bantam Oar: The Story of Rowing at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. The book tells the tale of the early days of rowing at Trinity College, Hartford, from the mid-1800s to the 1970s, when the college opened up for women and also saw them form women’s crews.

As The Bantam Oar has been out of print for more than 40 years, Kevin MacDermott, Trinity College men’s head coach, who has done voice acting since 2015, recorded, produced and edited B.C. Mooney’s publication into an audio book. Coach MacDermott and Trinity College are to be congratulated for such a sports and cultural achievement that will not only gain recognition for the college but is of interest to all of us involved in rowing history.

To get more information about The Bantam Oar and to listen to the book for FREE, go here.

Barbara Connell was born in 1923 and was educated in a one-room schoolhouse in the Catskill Mountains of New York. She later attended schools in California and Florida and graduated from Vassar College. During the Second World War and thereafter, Connell was a ‘donut dolly’ and drove a Red Cross Clubmobil in France and occupied Germany. After leaving the service, she worked as a part-time correspondent for the Herald Tribune in Europe. Returning to New York City, Connell worked for Herald Tribune’s Fresh Air Fund, met Robert Knapp Mooney, whom she married in 1950, and they moved to Hartford. She received an M.A. from Trinity College in 1968, and then taught briefly at the University of Hartford. Barbara Connell Mooney published The Bantam Oar in 1974. She died in 2007, age 84.

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