Last month, I had the privilege of attending a boat naming ceremony at my home club, Royal Chester Rowing Club, to introduce a boat being named after my first coach from my junior years.
Whilst I was there it was also a huge pleasure to see one of the other boats being named after UStABC’s founder John Browne, who settled in Chester after university and continued rowing throughout the rest of his life at Royals. Christine, his widow, was present at the ceremony and it was lovely to be able to catch up with her whilst wearing my UStABC blazer for the occasion. What was particularly warming was how when speaking about the boat to others, Christine was proudly explaining that this was not the first boat named after John and that the original was in fact up in Scotland as part of the UStABC fleet. I was fortunate enough to have also been present at that ceremony in 2016 when John and Christine visited Loch Ore – a lovely full circle moment.
It was really apparent during this ceremony just how extensive John’s legacy is and the impact he has had on rowing throughout his whole life, from setting up UStABC back in 1962 to being a big part of Royal Chester Rowing Club for the rest of his rowing career. The emphasis Christine put on his time at UStABC whilst at the naming ceremony at Royals was a lovely reminder of how much UStABC meant to him and I was delighted to be able to represent the club on the day.
Alice Thompson BSc (2019)
Eden BC Media & Publicity Director