This letter was addressed to the Kuala Lumpur HHH by Cecyl Lee, Co-Founder of the Hash House Harriers. His association with the Hash lasted the longest, mainly because he was in K.L. with only two breaks, for the war and only a short period in Borneo, prior to his retirement in 1961. He was a regular Harrier 1938/41, 1946/51 and 1954/57 after which he "at last found it a bit to much", but still apparently turned up occasionaly.
"The Hash House Harriers were founded in a moment of post-prandial inspiration at the Selangor Club Chambers, about 1937/38, by the inmates, who included myself, E.J. Galvin, Malay Mail, H.M. Doig ( H & C - killed in an air crash just before the Japanese War) and A.S. Gispert of Evatt & Co. Gispert was the real founder - a man of great charm, who was killed on Singapore Island in February 1942 whilst serving with the Argylls, having only just returned from leave in Australia to rejoin the Volunteers. I am glad of this opportunity to salute his memory. He was a spendid fellow, and would be happy to know the Harriers are still going strong, and are as merry and bright as ever - or more so. Gispert was not an athlete, and stress was laid as much on the subsequent refreshment etc. as on the pure and austere running. It was non - competitive, and abounded in slow - packs. Live was then conservative rather than competitive.
The name was a mock allusion to the institution that housed and fed us. Later, Torch Bennet returned from leave, and produced order out of chaos - a bank account, balance sheet, and some system. But we prided ourselves on being rather disorganised - or the minimum organisation sufficed. The original joint masters were myself and "Horse" Thompson, still running somwhere - a past - master at shortcuts and the conservation of energy.
Celebrations were held in various places, and the first was in what is now the Legislative Council, then the Volunteer Mess. The oratory, I rcall, was much the same as now.
Lew Davidson is an old member. Morris Edgar was one, but apart from Lew and John Wyatt - Smith I do not think there are any more antediluvians still running. Philip Wickens was also one who kept us going post - war.
We started up again after the War due to Torch Bennet who discovered a Bank Balance and put in a claim for War Damage on one tin bath, and two dozen mugs, and possibly two old bags ( not members ). We started by a small run in reduced circumstances round the race course - then the horses were not much better.
The Emergency cramped our style but did not diminish our activities, and we were called in for information on various by - ways in Selangor, but our period of usefulness to MI 5 was brief, and our information probably otiose. But the hares ran into two Bandits at Cheras, who were later copped.
An Irish Accountant, Kennedy, drew up the Rules when we had to register as a Club, and he seems to have preserved the old traditions just as you do now.
Selamat tinggal HHH."
24th October 1958
( C. H. Lee )
The Hashing Spirit
Regardless of the style of the hash,
all is in good fun and this "drinking club with a running problem"
welcomes all with a sense of humor. Hashing has created a fraternity that knows
no geographical bounds of hospitality. You're as welcome at one group as another,
although there are still a few traditional "all male", fewer "harriette"
and even more rare "by membership" or
"social status" only groups left out there. The only prerequisite to hashing is a sense of humor, as running and athletic ability usually take a back seat to the social aspects of the sport. As reportedly coined by Hong Kong hasher Phil Kirkland and stated in hash flyers frequently:
"If you've half a mind to join the hash, that's all you need!"
Hashing also knows no age boundaries, with family hashes and horrors or children's hashes, as well as members from all ages in the regular hashes. There are hashers who have actively
hashed in their seventies or even older.
The only main difference between groups is their emphasis on the sporting versus social aspects of hashing. Some choose to maintain the tradition of a live hare hash, chasing runners while they lay trail after a few minutes head start. They thrill in the hunt, the occasional catch and the notion that there is a real pursuit in progress during the event.
Other hashes have shunned the competitive nature of the live hare hashes, pre-laying the trail with a number of marks designed to keep the pack together. These gathering checks and other delaying marks allow the hashers of the dead hare hashes to sing and make merry from point to point, emphasizing the social aspects of the sport.
All of the hashes end with a bit of fraternity business at the On-In or finish point. The Down-Down celebrates new runners, various landmarks in the careers of hashers, and assorted other reasons to drink beer or their favorite beverage. Most hashes also add bawdy song to the festivities and there are special event runs that may end in a feast and a party as well. Interhashes,or gatherings of several hashes for a special event, occur at frequent intervals worldwide. There are national and regional interhashes, as well as a world event simply labeled Interhash.
Regardless of the tradition that a hasher originally adopted, the spirit of hashing is alive and well at interhashes. Of course, there's the usual bitching and moaning from the virgin, or relatively virgi interhashers, who find it difficult to accept the traditions of others. But those who have attended a few interhashes relish the endless variety of trails and traditions found throughout the hash world. You begin to look forward to the challenge of learning and remembering each new chalk talk as you experience new trails and scenery. The important thing is that we are all Hash brothers and sisters sharing an experience like no other, and in the sharing, we are all enriched with...
...the Hashing Spirit. ON ON...
Wherever you go, the Hash is there. If not, you can start one
It was some time before
the international phenomena we are familiar with today began spreading around
the world. A hash was formed in 1947 in Bordighera, Italy (near Milan) by some
former members of the original Hash House Harriers. It ceased operations for
many years, but was reborn in 1984 and is now quite alive and well as the Royal
Milan and Bordighera HHH.
It wasn't until 1962 that the next group was formed in Singapore (that we know of anyway). The Singapore HHH was slowly followed by others until by the Mother Hash's 1500th postwar run in 1973 ( when also Medan Hash was born), there were thirty-five known hashes around the world. This figure climbed into the hundreds by the eighties and there are now well over 1300 active hashes.
A now defunct publication,
Harrier International, claimed over 1700 hashes in their listing. However,
closer scrutiny found hundreds of outdated contacts or dead hashes, so it is still difficult to make an informed guess. With less accuracy, it could be said that there are indeed about 1500 to 2000 hashes out there, as many were started by hashers who do not have contacts with hash publications or simply don't care to register.
This site is best viewed with Internet Explorer 5.0. Copyright @2001 Pink Frits. All rights reserved.
to the top
of the site ...