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Aussie rowing greats honoured

Two of the great oarsmen of Australian rowing were honoured at the Cardinal Club's annual breakfast in the first week of February. Cam Johnston ('67) and David Douglas ('65) had racing VIIIs named after them, in recognition of their long and distinguished contributions to Australian rowing.

More than 300 members of the Scotch rowing community took part in the breakfast, at which Cardinal Club President, Ian Addison presented the Principal, Dr Gordon Donaldson, with a cheque for $7,000 to cover the cost of two single sculling boats for use by Year 8 students. Dr Donaldson spoke of the outstanding achievements of Cam Johnston and David Douglas, before Caroline Johnston and Libby Douglas christened the respective boats.

Cam Johnston

Cam Johnston rowed in the Scotch College 2nd VIII in 1966, in a crew coached by Vic Nash, finishing 2nd in the A final to Melbourne Grammar.

In 1967 Cam rowed in the seven seat of the 1st crew, coached by the legendary Don Macmillan. Cam was Vice Captain of Rowing. Incidentally, Captain of Rowing was Max Jelbart, whose son Wil rowed in last year's winning crew and whose second son, George, is in this year's crew.

Cam continued rowing after school at the University of Melbourne and at Ormond College. For 7 years, from 1969 to 1975, he was a member of the Victorian Lightweight four and they won the Penrith Cup five times in succession from 1971 to 1975.

Perhaps the highlight of his career was a gold medal at the World Rowing Championships at Lucerne in 1974 followed by a bronze medal at Nottingham in 1975. Both crews were coached by Old Boy Peter Philp and included another Old Scotch Collegian, Geoff Rees ('71).

Cam has continued his association with rowing, representing MUBC in veteran crews. Cam has continued to make a significant contribution to Scotch as an active and valuable member of the Scotch College Council.

David Douglas

David Douglas rowed in the 6 seat of the Scotch College 2nd crew in 1965, coached by Old Boy Graeme McCall, who was rowing in the Kings Cup crew that year. The crew finished 2nd in the A final.

He returned to school in 1966 to row in the six seat of the 1st VIII, coached by Don Macmillan. The crew was disappointed to miss the A final, but went on to win the B final.

David continued rowing at Mercantile Rowing Club after leaving school and had a long and distinguished career. He was truly one of the great Australian oarsmen, competing in 7 Kings Cup crews for Victoria, winning four of them 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1980. He won a gold medal at the FISA World Champions in 1967, in a coxed four at St Catherines in Canada, a crew that included Old Boy Graham Boykett. He won a silver medal at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968, beaten by 0.98 sec by the West Germans.

He was in the Australian VIII that finished 5th at the 1970 World Championships in Canada.

David has continued his involvement with Scotch and rowing. He regularly rows in veteran crews, is a current member of the Cardinal Club committee, and has served two terms as President. His son Rob, rowed in the winning 1992 Head of the River crew and was Captain of Rowing in 1993. His daughter Georgina has won national titles and competed at the Olympics. She is the current Australian Single Sculls Champion and represented Australia at the World Rowing Championships last year.

Updated: Monday 24 June 2013