A Sydney Uni Fencing Club was briefly formed in 1937, but interest lapsed by the end of the 1938, and the club was not re-formed until Lent Term 1945.

The Fencing Club's founder and inaugural President, John Eddis Linton, remembers the early post-War days of the club as follows:

Photograph of John Eddis Linton
John Eddis Linton

I returned to University in 1945 after four and a half years in the AIF, under the scheme to enable servicement who had completed two years of a degree to return full time to finish their courses.

Having learned to fence at the Sydney Amateur Fencing Cercle from the late Dr A. E. Finckh (a graduate of our University, and the founder of the first Fencing Club in Sydney in 1910), and having fenced throughout the war wherever I could including Aleppo in Syria, I was surprised to find that there was no fencing club at Sydney University. Having been an evening student before the war I had had no opportunity of participating in any extracurricular activities.

Among the undergraduates in 1945 I found two other fencers, Dario LoSchiavo completing his Dentistry Degree and Philip Amos, a pupil of Dr Finckh. We decided to do something about this lack so made application to the Sports Union. We all fronted up to a meeting of the Union Executive to put our case. Dario, who had won the Epee and Sabre titles at the first NSW Championship in 1937 and held them in 1938, put a strong case for a club, supported by us both. The result was that approval was given for a club to contain both men and women, the first time a club containing both sexes had been approved.

Advertisement in Honi Soit: <strong>Fencing:</strong> It has been decided to form a Fencing Club within The Sports Union. Those interested are invited to attend a meeting of the Club in the Union Committee Room on Friday, 23rd March at 5 p.m.
Advertisment appearing in Honi Soit, 22 March 1945, p. 4

We called a meeting via Honi Soit with a response of about 25 attending in the room in the Union used by the SRC for its meetings. At the meeting we formally formed the Club at which I was elected the first President.

Manning House offered us the use of their premises, but the first attempt was a disaster because the floors wer so highly polished to preclude a firm footing.

The Sports Union then marked out two pistes on a strip of lawn alongside the tennis courts and gave us use of the changing rooms. Our first meeting took place one Tuesday afternoon at which Dr Finckh, then aged 80, turned up to coach the beginners, assisted by Dario and myself.

Among our first members was Dario's brother, Virgil LoSchiavo, who left his mark on the Union by painting those murals that grace its walls [in the Holme Refectory]. "Vig" was then the NSW foil champion, but was then too ill to fence, a skill he had learned while studying painting in Rome. During the war he had contracted Rheumatic Fever in India and had barely the energy to complete his murals.

Shortly after, the Club moved its meetings to the area under the grandstand of No. 1 Oval, as we had need to escape a run of wet weather that had made the area we had been using a quagmire.

The following year we held our first Club Championships in the Union hall, but as there were no other University Clubs in other states there was no chance of representation. This came after both Dario and I had graduated, leaving Philip to gain this honour when Melbourne University formed a club.

John Eddis Linton (1920-2007)