Queenscliff Rowers 1

(L-R) Alexandra Salier, Alex Butt, Chris Snel, Pip Butt and Samantha Butt from the Queenscliff rowing crew. Picture: Mitch Cameron


Nearly 100 years after their forefathers fought at Gallipoli, a team of Queenscliff surf rowers will honour their memory by taking part in a marathon through the Dardanelles to Anzac Cove. They are members of the only all female crew from Australia to take part in the Gallipoli 100 Surfboat Race with teams from New Zealand and Turkey. One of the crew members, Alex Butt, teaches at Barker College, and is currently heavily involved within ISA. Alex is the ISA Representative Netball Convenor, the ISA Netball Umpires Convenor, the ISA Boys and Girls Touch Football Convenor as well as the NSWCIS Netball Convenor. This marathon event which takes place on April 22 and 23 is one of many which will commemorate the Gallipoli centenary. It will also honour the many lifesavers who fought in World War I. The Queenscliff surf rowers – Alex and Samantha Butt, Pip Butt and Alexandra Salier – all have ancestors who fought at Gallipoli. They are already in training and will share the 60km marathon route with their teammates from Broulee on the state’s south coast and their male sweep Chris Snel. Alex Butt said she and fellow crew members would no doubt be thinking of the young Diggers 100 years ago during the marathon. “It gives us time to reflect on the sacrifices that soldiers and their families make and continue to make to protect our way of life,” she said. As part of the event, Ms Butt and her twin researched their great uncle, Private Robert Gordon Butt, who served at Gallipoli. He was allocated to the 1st Battalion for three months in 1915 until sickness forced his return to Australia. After he recovered, he reenlisted and was sent to France, where he sadly died in April 1917. Long-time Queenscliff SLSC member Tommy Hand has spent two months refurbishing the team’s 25-yearold boat which they have named Eternal Spirit. The surf rowing teams will also be taking part in cultural activities.



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