They would laugh and shake their heads those old boys and girls from 1935 if they saw us paddling now. They would laugh at our neoprene, our waterproof clothing and our buoyancy vests jingling with hardware. They would be bemused by the tiny plastic craft we paddle on whitewater and the sleek boats used on flatwater rivers and at sea. But at an evening paddle by the clubhouse on the Cooks River, out at Penrith whitewater course, down by Kosciusko side on the Victorian safari or when camping on the shores of Jervis Bay, they would still recognise the camaraderie of the Rivers Club and the excitement of new paddling adventures.
River Canoe Club Trip to the Barrington - 1930s
As these changes have flowed into our members paddling lives the clubhouse at Tempe has been not only a treasured meeting place but also a storehouse of our history, keeping safe many journals and original records, hand written in pen and ink. It has protected boat moulds, slalom gates, rafts, trophies, photos, mementos and a variety of craft.
Such is the River Canoe Club, founded in 1935 when Paddy Pallin brought together those who were known to have canoed down the Shoalhaven River, and created a canoe club.
As the sport of canoeing has evolved, so have the activities of kayakers. Today our members enjoy a wide range of kayaking activities which goes beyond what was envisaged by the Club’s founders. We have our day trips, weekends away and multi-day paddling safaris and then there are the qualified instructors who volunteer their time to train members in the various kayaking disciplines.
A great deal more of the club's history (including the club song) can be found in the club's official history documents: