The 1969 MUBC’s Trip to Tokyo

Melbourne University BC, established in 1859. Photo: Melbourne University BC website

20 September 2021

By Göran R Buckhorn

A book with unique rowing images from Japan in 1969 came HTBS’s way.

The other day, HTBS received a “book” from Michael “Mike” Nicholson, Australian filmmaker and member of Melbourne University Boat Club (MUBC). Readers might remember the 20 May 2021 article “Mike Nicholson: A Life of Rowing and Filming” about Mike and the film he made about the 2021 Australian Rowing Championships held on Lake Barrington, Tasmania, between 22 and 28 March.

Now Mike wanted to share his 2015 book Melbourne University Boat Club Tokyo Crew 1969: The All Japan Rowing Championships with HTBS’s readers. In 1969, MUBC rowers were invited to Tokyo to compete at the All Japan Rowing Championships in August. The MUBC Team spent two weeks in Japan. See some moving pictures from the trip here.

The Japan Rowing Association had organised a Japanese photographer, Mr. Watwaz Hiznam, to follow the Australian crews during the two weeks. He took many wonderful and unique pictures of the MUBC crews on and off the water.

In a 1970 MUBC Newsletter, Coach Harvey Nicholson, Mike’s father and MUBC president for 27 years, wrote an account of the team’s trip, which Mike later edited and turned into Melbourne University Boat Club Tokyo Crew 1969 with many of Mr. Hiznam’s photographs. The last sections of the book is the story how parts of the 1969 MUBC Tokyo crews – Ian Farran, Paul McSweeney, Mike Nicholson and Rob Zahara – together with 14 other MUBC master rowers and coxes, and their wives returned to Japan 46 years later to race in the 2015 All Japan Masters Championships in Shimane.

Here is a Mike Nicholson’s film about that trip:

Mike Nicholson’s 150-page Melbourne University Boat Club Tokyo Crew 1969 is uploaded on issuu, a digital sharing platform that allows you to upload papers, magazines and books – and it is free to read.

I hope you HTBS readers will enjoy the book as much as I did. Thank you, Mike, for sharing!

Click here to read the book.

Some technical advice: by clicking on “here” you will be taken to issuu website and Mike’s book. If you click on the fullscreen icon in the lower right hand corner just below the book, you will fill your entire computer screen with the book pages. Use the arrows left or right to turn the pages. To go back from the full screen, press the “Esc” (Escape) button on your computer.

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