The Society Elects Its First Honorary Member

Oxbridge Malaysia - Society Information

The Society has elected Mr. Bill Dobson of Benalla, Victoria, Australia as its first Honorary Member in recognition of and gratitude for his donation of the Benalla boats and trailer to the Society. Bill's election follows a change to our Constitution last year to provide for Honorary Membership.

Bill Dobson

John William Lambert Dobson was born on August 8th 1943 in Benalla, Victoria, Australia. He is a retired lawyer and he lives on the family farm in Benalla, Victoria, Australia.

He was educated at Geelong Grammar School where he rowed in the Head of the River 1st Eight in 1961. He then attended Melbourne University where he obtained his LLB and rowed for Queens College (1962 - 1965).

Bill also rowed for Melbourne University (MUBC) in 1963 and 1964 as well as in the Australian Universities Boat Race for the Oxford and Cambridge Cup, the only official three mile race in Australia at that time (now reduced to 2000 metres, for Olympic training purposes).


The 1963 race was held on the Yarra River in Melbourne, where Bill's eight won. A photograph of that winning crew is shown below. The 1964 race was held in Tasmania, where Bill's eight came second by a canvas.


The winning crew of the 1963 Australian Universities Boat Race for the Oxford and Cambridge Cup. Bill is front row extreme right.

Bill writes:

"I am honoured to be proposed as an Honorary Member of the Oxford and Cambridge Society, and I most gratefully and humbly accept that honour. Although I am not able to wear a Cambridge Light Blue, the Geelong Grammar Light Blue is the next closest rowing blazer around.

In 1997 I started a rowing club on Lake Benalla.  I used to look out over the lake from my office window,  and felt that there should be rowers on the water. We rounded up old wooded boats that were either donated or sold to us for a nominal price.

For quite a few years, we had an annual regatta, and a good number of veteran rowers and beginners, actively rowing. Over the years, our numbers have dwindled, although we are still receiving new interest.

Thus I am delighted that our excess boats and trailer are now with you in Malaysia."