Greg Bowdens, rise through the ranks of the Middle Island Fishing Crew has been nothing short of remarkable. The inland fishing society, the longest running in Australia, named him as its new admiral on November 28 at the society’s annual banquet at the famous Hannans Club.
In just over three years since Mr Bowden undertook his first MIFC voyage, the Kalgoorlie-born-and-bred plumber and businessman was reveling in his new appointment at the 2018 soiree. He takes the place of Carl Scarvaci, the departing admiral have has held the position during a period of significant success for the MIFC. Troy Dalla Costa is the other previous holder of the position.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Bowden acknowledged the effort that his predecessors had put in towards overseeing the crew and the growth of the banquet as a major social and charity event. He admitted that maintaining their high standards would be a daunting task but promised to emulate their passion and work as hard as they did.
Mr Scarvaci took the rear admiral’s position, with the club hoping for a record-breaking $40,000 from the dinner. The funds will mainly be spent on leadership voyages for Kalgoorie-Boulder youths aboard the tall STS Leeuwin II. So far, almost 100 youth have gone on these voyages. He spoke about his time at the helm of the club saying he felt fortunate to have held the position at a time when MIFC’s guests had shown tremendous generosity. The number of guests was at least 700 this year. He praised the Kalgoorlie community for its generosity during his three-year tenure. He also tipped Mr Bowden to succeed at the helm saying he would be able to find his own way to become a good admiral.
The MIFC was celebrating its 70th anniversary since a small group of Kalgoorlie-Boulder mates founded it. The group had come on an expedition from the desert to the high seas near Middle Island for their holidays.
The banquet was started in the 1970s. It was initially meant to appease the families of fishermen who would spend weeks on the high seas away from home. Over the years, it has grown into a huge charity dinner that draws some of the top movers and shakers in Kalgoorlie.
The event also saw the MIFC release a book as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations. The “Admiral’s Orders” tells the MIFC’s story for the first time ever. It was written by Michael Zekulich who is a former journalist for The Western Australian. The funds raised from the sale of the book would be added to the cash raised at the banquet. Jim Keogh, a long-time crew member said even he had been surprised by the crew’s uniqueness when he began the process of organizing the book.
Breaksea cod, queen snapper and nannygai were among the 20 whole fish varieties served to the guests at the event at the charity event. There was also 50 kilogrammes of gummy shark and 200 dozen oysters on the menu to be served along with clam chowder, roo-tail stew and paella.