Todd River Boat Race

September 28, 2022
The Henley on Todd

Reg Smith had been the creator associated with the Henley-On-Todd, a unique, mad-cap event, which had its inaugural regatta in December 1962.

Earlier on that 12 months members of the Rotary Club of Alice Springs came across for a picnic at 16 Mile Creek, where over some beers they discussed approaches to boost money for charity. Reg created the concept of holding a waterless ‘Regatta’ from the dried out sleep associated with Todd River.

“Okay, what about the boats – do we tow them or press all of them?”
“Neither, ” said Reg. “We slice the bottoms out and carry all of them!”

Reg came to be in Oakleigh, Victoria, on Friday, 13 August 1926. He very first found Alice Springs in 1946 as a meteorologist after their release from the RAAF. Reg after that went on to operate the Met Bureau on Heard Island in Antarctica as a-weather observer for a year, Reg gone back to Alice Springs in 1949 as a nearby weather condition observer. He found and married Pat in 1950.

A single day had been made even more special because of the Todd River running a ‘banker’, stranding the plants and meals from the incorrect side of the river. And, there was a beer shortage! Products needed to be raised through the William Creek pub, in the Oodnadatta Track, by train.
He annexed the Met household together with puppy “Teddy” from fellow observer Murray Weaver at 86 Hartley Street (which incidentally has become heritage listed) Reg left the Met Bureau after eight many years and joined up with Wal Mason at W. J. Mason Sales in 1959. Wal was a Alice Springs basis Rotarian and Reg couldn’t be accepted under exact same group of profession. He joined up with the Rotary Club of Alice Springs in 1962 when he became Manager of S. C. Eyles once they purchased Wal out, and ended up being President in 1965/66.

There isn't any doubt about Reg’s commitment to the Alice Springs neighborhood. In 1950, he put together Alice Springs’ first visitor pamphlet, detailed with chart of outlying tourist attractions. In 1964 he was chosen President for the recently formed Tourist Promotion Association. He was President regarding the Alice Springs Memorial Club (hub of city’s social activities during those times) from 1959 to 1963, and had been consequently provided life account but modestly declined.

He had been in addition really energetic in municipality, elected toward Town Management Board in 1966, Alderman in the Alice Municipal Council and Chairman of Functions Committee in 1970, and later appointed by the NT Government towards town-planning Board.

It's for their share to Rotary but that Reg will likely to be remembered most. In 1984 he was granted a Paul Harris Fellowship for solutions to Rotary together with community.

Unfortunately, Reg died in 2004. But you want to trust that their spirit is resting peacefully in Davy Jones’ locker, which will be located at the bottom of the mythical inland ocean inside Simpson Desert. Let’s keep in mind that the seas that feed that sea movement deeply below the surface associated with sandy lake bed on which we hold our annual regatta!

The Henley-On-Todd, recently formally declared an iconic occasion by the NT national, is in its 54th 12 months and is still a global popular tourist destination.

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