There’ll Always be a Henley

HTBS writer William O’Chee is longing for Henley. Here he is at the regatta in 2019. Photo: Tim Koch.

21 January 2021

On 17 January, the Australians received the news that they were unlikely to be allowed to travel overseas until 2022.

About this sad news, William O’Chee writes ‘that means no Henley for me, nor many other Australian rowing aficionados. With this in mind, I penned a few lines with apologies to Parker Ross and Hughi Charles, and Vera Lynn’s haunting rendition of There’ll Always be an England:

I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen
I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen
May this fair sport we love so well
By fair skies and waters dwell

Though worlds may change and go awry
While there is still one voice to cry

There’ll always be a Henley
While there’s a ringing oar
Wherever there’s a coxswain small
To call one effort more

There’ll always be a Henley
While there’s a humming shell
Wherever there’s a churning chain
Of puddles pulled so well

Pink, white or blue
What does it mean to you?
Surely you’re proud, shout it aloud
Stewards, awake

The oarsmen too, we can depend on you
Henley remains
These are the chains
Nothing can break

There’ll always be a Henley
And Henley shall mean glee
If Henley means as much to you
As Henley means to me.

William rounds up his message by saying that ‘rowers around the world look to a day when we can all meet again at Henley’.

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