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News > Old Boy News > Eight of the Eight

Eight of the Eight

17 Mar 2023
Old Boy News
The 2023 1st VIII with eight of the nine members of the crew being sons of Old Boys.
The 2023 1st VIII with eight of the nine members of the crew being sons of Old Boys.

Above (L-R): Scott Porter (1985), Jake Porter (Captain of Boats 2023, Cox 2021-2023), Michael Gearing (1988), Pat Gearing (Stroke), Ben Roughan (1992), Angus Roughan (7 seat), Grant Murphy (Downlands College, 1986), George Murphy (4 seat 2022, 6 seat, 2023), Rory Bliss (5 seat, 2022-23), Simon Bliss (1986), Harry Cool (Stroke 2022, 4 seat 2023), Simon Cool (Stroke 1985), Will Yunker (3 seat), Karl Yunker (1987), Eddie Parr (2 seat), Nick Parr (1992), James Stinson (2 seat 1988), Angus Stinson (Bow).

The 2023 GPS Rowing season, culminating recently with the Head of the River at Lake Wyaralong, brought about an interesting chapter not only in Churchie’s rowing history but perhaps a first for any GPS school in Brisbane. Of the nine members of the 2023 Churchie 1st VIII, eight are sons of Churchie Old Boys and two of those Old Boys, Simon Cool and James Stinson, are former Churchie 1st VIII rowers. Also of note is that Simon’s father, Bastiaan Cool rowed Bow seat in the 1960 1st VIII, likely making Harry the first third-generation Churchie 1st VIII rower.

Above (L-R): Harry Cool (2023), Bastiaan Cool (1960), Simon Cool (1985)

Furthermore, and following the precedent set by the 2022 1st VIII, five of the crew are boarders: Pat Gearing, Angus Roughan, Harry Cool and Angus Stinson from Gerald and George Murphy of Goodwin.

Above (L-R): George Murphy (Goodwin), Pat Gearing (Gerald House Captain), Angus Roughan (Gerald), Harry Cool (Gerald & Head Boarder), Angus Stinson (Gerald).

Anyone who stands on the Churchie sideline can see the strong tradition of Old Boys returning to the school as parents. It is also clear to see each Old Boy’s pride in continuing their own family’s Churchie legacy. Interestingly, based on 2023 enrolments, 19% of the current 1,883 students are the son of an Old Boy. This translates to 281 Old Boys as current parents; some with more than one son currently attending Churchie. The largest representation is in the Year 11 cohort, where 51 students (20%) are the son of an Old Boy.

Long may this tradition continue in the Rowing Shed and elsewhere at Churchie!

2023 1st VIII preparing for a regatta at Lake Wyaralong.

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