History of the Queen of the Harbor race

The Australian 18 Footers League’s 2021-22 season ends on Sunday when the club hosts the age-old Queen of the Harbor race in Sydney Harbour, when each of the 21 boats in the fleet will include a female crew member in the team framework.

Although the race still recognizes the support of fans and families, it is very different from the original activities associated with the event in the 1930s-1940s.

The League was formed in 1935 and first organized the race (originally known as Queen of the Waves) in 1936 and early in 1937 incorporated a Queen of the Waves competition with the race to collect funds for the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Camperdown.

The aim was to use the proceeds of the competition “to build a school in the hospital for disabled children to be transported from their homes to the hospital, receive treatment and education, and then be brought home each day. “.

With the cooperation of individuals and companies, the program, to get off to a successful start when the candidates for the honor of being named ‘Queen’ raised over $6,000, and plans were drawn up to build the school on the Booth Street frontage. of the hospital.

Global unrest at the time curtailed the program and the $6,000 was given to the hospital as a trust fund. The hospital authorities decided to build the school with other funds they had and named it the Fred Birks Activity School, then suggested that a wing of the school be named after the club.

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