Blessing of the Fleet: Sat 21 October

Blessing of the Fleet: Sat 21 October

By Mr Gordon Marcks, Head of Rowing

The Blessing of the Fleet was held at Radford Boatshed on what was a beautiful morning on Saturday, 21 October.

This is a major event in the Radford Rowing calendar to start the season and was well attended by students, parents/carers and representatives of the College, College Executive and College Board.

Proceedings were guided by our 2024 Rowing Captains, Izzy Faris and Rohan White.

Acting Principal Andy Gordon warmly welcomed rowers, their families and special guests to the boatshed.

As part of the Blessing of the Fleet, we also had the absolute pleasure and privilege of naming five boats in honour of significant contributions to the College and rowing program.

A boys and girls single scull and a coxless quad were named after the Wyborn family, who were successful in bidding for the boat naming rights for all three boats.

Daniel Wyborn is a Radford collegian and member of the 1992 graduating class. As a family, Daniel, Jennifer and their sons Giles and Hugh joined the Radford community in 2021, with Giles starting in Year 3 and Hugh in Year 5. Hugh joined the Radford rowing program in Year 6 as part of the splash squad and rowed throughout the 2023 winter season. He is now in the Year 7 Paddlers squad.

We sincerely thank the Wyborn family for their generous contribution and support of the Radford rowing program.

Our new girls double scull was named in honour of Mariana Galinec.

Mariana served on the Building and Grounds Committee from 2010 until 2020, the last seven of those as Chair. She also served on the Board from 2013 until 2017. Radford benefited from Mariana’s service and her wide project management experience in the building and construction industry. One of the highlights of Mariana’s career outside Radford was delivering student accommodation and retail projects for the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

The final boat, a boys double scull, was named in honour of Mary Brennan.

Mary Brennan served on the Finance Committee from 2013 until 2020. Mary was appointed to the Board in 2015 and served as a Director until 2020. From 1991–2012, Mary worked in two national law firms. She was the managing partner of the Canberra office for the past six of those years and a member of the firm board for the past two. After retiring from that partnership, Mary was appointed to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal as a senior member. In those roles, Mary heard professional disciplinary cases, many of them involving health practitioners and lawyers. Mary presently continues her work with the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Mary was appointed as a member of the Psychology Board of Australia in 2012 and has undertaken dozens of independent reviews for a range of Commonwealth and ACT Government entities.

Both Mariana and Mary have had children attend Radford, and their connection and service to our community is both deep and meaningful.

Following the naming of the boats, the boatshed and all in attendance were blessed by Reverend Katherine Rainger in preparation for the season ahead.

I also welcomed all and encouraged the use of the boatshed and facilities to the broader College community and family. I thanked the dedicated group of coaches and spoke about looking forward to seeing all rowing crews stepping up to the challenges ahead for the season with the expectation of competing well in local regattas, NSW and National Championships, as well as the NSW Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Heads of the River Regatta.

Finally, Friends of Radford Rowing (FORR) President, Sarah Kruger, spoke on behalf of FORR regarding the value of the program to the College rowing community and closed the proceedings.