Hash House Harriers

Two date outlines:

  • the life of Albert S Gispert

  • the history of the Hash House Harriers

    A Life In Outline

    ALBERTO STEPHANO IGNATIUS GISPERT = ALBERT STEPHEN GISPERT = GISPERT = "G"

    • 1903 - born in London to Catalan Spaniard parents who had imigrated to England
    • 1928 - admitted to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in UK
    • 1928 - joined Evatt & Co, an accountancy firm, in Singapore, one of the Federated States of Malaya
    • 1937 - son Simon was born in UK, marriage was to come later, after the mother got her divorce.
      It cost "G" £200 to pacify the husband.
    • 1937 - "G" appointed branch manager in Malacca
    • 1938 - "G" transferred to the Kuala Lumpur branch of Evatt & Co
    • 1938 ( December) - "G" started the inaugural Kuala Lumpur paper trail which he called the "Hash House Harriers" .
    • 1938 - "G" became Capt Gispert, OC of the Selangor Batallion of the Federated Malay States Volunteers
    • 1941 - prior to going on leave to Australia with his family, "G" took over as manager of Evatt & Co in KL
    • 1942 ( January) - at the end of his leave , he returned to Malaya as the Japanese advanced down the Malay peninsula to Singapore. Gispert was made a 2nd Lieutenant of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. He was later field-promoted to Captain.
    • 1942 ( 11 February) - "G" is killed defending Singapore Island, where he was serving as a mortar officer with the Argylls. Gispert is buried in the Kranji War Cemetery and the annual Gispert Memorial run is held on the Monday closest to 11 Febuary each year.

    "G" - a description: " no pretensions to athletic prowess, being short, rather rotund, and a bon viveur, great sense of fun, and humour, but underneath noble instincts ... he epitomises great fun , good fellowship, with solid qualities" - Cecil Lee

    HASHING - A HISTORY

    The hunting of deer, hares & foxes using hounds or beagles goes far back into British history. As does the game of hare & hounds or cross-country racing, when two runners (the 'hares') layed a paper trail which was followed by their fellow runners (the 'hounds'). It was known as "hare & hounds", "paper hunting", "paper-chaseing", "coursing", "fox-hunting", "beagling", "cross-country running" or "harriers".

    • 1867 - Thames Hares & Hounds, Roehampton, west of London, first run.
    • 1898 - There was a cross-country race between England & France in Paris.
    • 1903 - The first cross-country championship was held in Glasgow. The participants were from the many amateur athletic clubs called "harriers", which had grown up throughout the United Kingdom.

      With the arrival of other sports as cricket and rugby, the game became less popular. It was revitalized in Malaya in the 1920's. The British in Malaya had developed an extensive government organization to administer the colonies or protectorates. These civil servants along with the British citizens in other occupations and businesses, produced large local expatriate communities where organized forms of ' hashing' slowly grew in popularity.

    • 1913 - The Ipoh tin fields in Malaya started; here 'harrier' clubs were formed.
    • 1923 - In Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, there took place a 'harrier' paper chase on horseback .
    • 1927 - A Harriers was formed in Kuala Lumpur with men and women runners. It ended in 1932.
    • 1932 - A Hash was started in Jahore Bahru.
    • 1934/35 - A Hash was started in Malacca
      "G" Gispert ran in the Malacca Hash, and Horse Thompson, one of the founding joint masters of the first HHH in Kuala Lumpur in 1938, ran with the Jahore Bahru Hash.
    • 1938 (December) The Kuala Lumpur Hash House Harriers was started by "G" Gispert, and unlike other clubs, continued, even surviving World War II. Gispert, with many of his expatriate friends, was a member of the Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur . This club had a Selangor Club Chambers which was the living quarters of single members (including married men without their wives) with a dining room or mess . This mess although it had quite good food, was referred to jokingly or mockingly as the "Hash House". With this in mind "G" named the new running club the "Hash House Harriers" or "HHH". A phrase which might have contributed to its continuing popularity.

      Some founding runners were: "G" Gispert, organizer ; Frederick "Horse" Thomson & Cecil Lee, as Joint Masters; some other runners were Eric Gavin, Morris Edgar, and John Barrett. Ronald "Torch" Bennett, on leave at the time of the first run, joined shortly afterward as On Sec.

      These first runs of the Hash House Harriers:

      • had all male runners
      • ran on Friday
      • had an average turnout of 12
      • set a paper trail
      • drank shandies of beer & ginger beer
      • ran circular & straightish trails
      • had stencilled weekly circulars
    • 1941 (August) - 100th run of the HHH
    • 1941 (December) - run number 117 of the HHH was the last till 1946; this was two weeks after the Japanese invasion
    • 1946 (August) - Torch Bennett re-started HHH on a Monday, with many of the earlier runners.
      "G" Gispert was the only one of the founding runners killed in World War II.
    • 1947 (April) - Bordighera HHH, Italy, formed; second in world & first in Europe. Founder Gus Mackie had run with the KL HHH; closed in 1960's ,& revived in 1984.
    • 1948 (September) - 100th post-war run of HHH with Horse Thompson as co-hare.
    • 1962 (February) - Singapore became the third Hash House Harriers in the world
    • 1963 (February) - Brunei HHH formed
    • 1963 (May) - Kuching HHH formed
    • 1964 (June) - Jesselton HHH formed (1967 renamed Kota Kinabalu HHH or K2H3)
    • 1965 (January) - Ipoh HHH formed
    • 1965 (June) - Penang HHH formed
    • 1966 (March) - 1000th run for the KL HHH; this resulted in the first interclub event (by which time there were 9 other HHH clubs)
    • 1966 (November) - Brunei Hen House Harriers formed, the first women's Hash, but in 1968, the Ipoh Hash House Harriettes introduced the word "Harriettes" into the English language
    • 1967 (August) - Sydney HHH formed - Australia's first HHH
    • 1967 (August) - Hobart HHH formed - Australia's second HHH
    • 1971 - first HHH in United States, the Fort Eustis HHH
    • 1973 - 1500th KL HHH run (by which time there were 35 other HHH clubs )
    • 1977 - there were about 90 HHH clubs in 35 countries
    • 1977 (February) - New Zealand Nash Hash, organized by Wellington HHH at Lake Taupo. The first national event and first non- Malaysian based HHH event.
    • 1978 (April) - First InterHash held in Hong Kong (over 800 attended)
    • 1980 (April) - InterHash in Kuala Lumpur (1,200 attended)
    • 1982 (October) - InterHash held in Jakarta (1,190 attended)
    • 1982 (November) - 2000th run of the KL HHH
    • 1984 (April) - InterHash held in Sydney . (1,654 attended). Horse Thomson was present.
      There were about 380 clubs in 76 countries.
    • 1986 (March) - InterHash held in Pattaya Beach, Thailand . Horse Thomson was present (2,090 attended)
    • 1988 (June) - 50 years of Hashing, Kuala Lumpur. Horse Thompson was present; he was 82.
    • 1988 (July) - InterHash held in Bali. ( 2,450 attended)
    • 1990 - InterHash held in Manila (1,400)
    • 1992 - InterHash held at Phuket, Thailand (2,500 attended)
    • 1994 - InterHash held at Rotorua, New Zealand (3,650 attended)
      - about 1,100 clubs in 157 countries
    • 1996 - InterHash held at Limassol, Cyprus (3,261 attended)
    • 1997 - about 1,450 clubs in 184 countries
    • 1998 - InterHash held in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate 60 years of Hashing.
    • 2000 - InterHash held in Hobart, Australia (2,800-3000 attended)

    OBJECTS OF THE HASH HOUSE HARRIERS

    1. promote physical fitness among its members
    2. to get rid of week-end hangovers
    3. to acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it with beer
    4. to persudad the older members that they are not as old as they feel

    A HASH HOUSE HARRIER / HARRIETTE

    • IS: - a bit crazy
    • HAS: - half a mind
      - a sense of humour
    • APPRECIATES: - life's little absurdities
      - single-minded togetherness
    • ENJOYS: - lunatic paper-chases
      - alcoholic binges

    HASH COMMANDMENTS

    1. The first rule is: there are no rules.
    2. The Religious Advisor is always right.
    3. When the R.A. is wrong, Rule 2 applies.
    4. The rules are not comprehensive and therefore Rule 5 applies .
    5. The R.A. can add, delete, or change any rule at anytime. etc,etc

    References:

    • "On On !" Hash House Harriers 1938-1988, a golden jubilee - Edited by Tim "Magic" Hughes, 1988
    • "Half a mind" - by Alice A Johnson, 1990
    • "ASTERIX" - Trinity Hash House Harriers, Cairns -Hashing since Sept 1967

    by Gil Jennex, Cairns, 2000

  • randomness