To the Family of Bruce Culpan,
The following are the words of the West End Rowing Club song the members of my day sang when crew mates got married and sadly when one of our number passed on. Sung to the music of an old rugger song I believe, and the words were strung together I think by Kerry Ashby, one of the Club stalwarts who rowed in crews stroked by Bruce at the club and at Empire Games.
As one of the younger members of West End at the time, I was always impressed by Bruce’s fellowship with all members of the club and we had some fun times together. The song below brings back many happy and at some times emotional memories of West End and West Enders. Regrettably many of us will not be with you to sing the ‘Club Song’ for Bruce but we will be there with you all in spirit, to honour one of those fellows we all looked up to.
There’s a sort of fellow feeling,
That is hard to understand
And yet somehow it is plain enough to see.
It is born of united endeavour
And will live for evermore,
Wherever there’s an oarsman with an oar,
But there’s not quite the same spirit,
As you’ll find out Westhaven way –
When Westenders get together, they all say.
To the memories of the old ones
And the oarsmen yet to come,
To the dear old rowing club we know so well.
See the Black and Whites assembled,
With our voices raised on high,
And the magic of our singing casts its spell.
And we’ll sing to coach and coxswain,
Who are with us all the while,
And the comrades that we row with mile by mile,
And we shout out ‘Ake Ake’
While life and lung give zest,
To go on and not forgotten by the rest.
With a swing and a sway
And the hands fast away
On we’ll row
And a bell note each blade
As they bite through the spray
Dip Way Slow.
And when the crew work is over and done,
Whether the races were lost or were won,
We will remember the feel of the oar,
With sincere sympathy,
Warwick Dugdale. Club member 1955 > +