In The Spotlight
articles on various aspects of the history of Hash House Harriers.
10 First Hash House Harriers Club
In the Spotlight - The First 10 Hash House Harriers Clubs
1 Sep 2014
See the map and all the details.
Ball Breaker Trail
In the Spotlight - The Ball Breaker Trail
2 Aug 2014
Also known by names such as Ball Buster, Nut Cruncher, Crippler, etc . . . I would be interested to know when the first BB Trail occurred, but my guess would be it was the simple description used to identify the longest trail at one of the early Interhash events. The first one I experienced was in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. Yes, that was the one where about a dozen hashers spent the night in the jungle due to a number of reasons (the primary one was the late departure of the buses as more and more hashers turned up wanting to participate - we started nearly two hours later than planned).
All the major events now feature a BB Trail as the ultimate challenge for trail lovers with strong legs and energetic lungs. Since there are usually many trails to choose from, there are always options to avoid this one. Over the years I have heard many takes on the BB Trail, some hashers say it is over the top or too extreme, some say it is great fun, but I have never heard anyone say ayyyyy, that was too easy. There are also specific events that have spawned from this ultimate test to the hasher's will, and one of the most difficult is the International Hash Challenge, an annual event that usually covers between 40-50 Kms through the jungle and rubber plantations in Malaysia, and hosted by the Petaling H3.
An example of a BB Trail goes back to Brussels in the summer of 2014, were I teamed up with Loping Scrotum, Biggles, EZ Over, and Automatic Balls to hare the BB trail. It was 27 Kms of hashing bliss out in the Belgian countryside in and around the city of Dinant, which is towered over by an amazing 11th Century Citadel. Now for the music lovers, Dinant is best known for being the birthplace of Adolphe Sax who invented the Saxophone. The BB Trail ran down through the town and over the main bridge that was adorned with over a dozen 10 foot tall saxophones. Much of the trail was single file dirt tracks through grassy fields and forest, but there were also sections of dusty country roads lined with fields of straw, oats, and other grains. There was also varying types of animals such as the usual cows and sheep, but this trail also included trotting by an Ostrich farm where hundreds of birds could be seen staring inquisitively. Nearly 130 hashers completed the 3.5 hour trail. See the actual track and a bit of the circle.
In the Spot Light - Bangkok, Thailand
23 Feb 2014
Rumor has it that the first attempt to start a hash club in Bangkok actually took place in the early 1970s, but failed in the effort. It was not until 1977, when William "Tumblin Bill" Panton, of the World Bank, was transferred from Washington, DC to Bangkok and established the Bangkok Men's HHH, setting the first trail on 11 June 1977. The Bangkok Hash has run continuously ever since, and will be running their 2000th hash trail in the fall of 2015. Read the full account of the founding as recorded by Tumblin Bill.
Once hashing was established in Bangkok, the hash soon spread to Chiang Mai in May and Songkhla in Oct, both in 1981. Hashing then multiplied in Bangkok with the founding of the Bangkok Monday H3 and the Bangkok Harriettes, both founded in March 1982. Next hashing spread to Pattaya in 1984 and Phuket in 1986, and there are now as many as 40 hash clubs running trails throughout Thailand. Thailand has hosted world Interhash three times, first in Pattaya in 1986, then Phuket in 1992, and the last time in Chiang Mai in 2006.
In the Spot Light - Brunei
28 Sep 2013
Brunei is a small independent country (less than 6000 square kilometers) situated on the island of Borneo, surrounded by Malaysia on three sides, and the South China Sea to the north. Although it is small, Brunei hosts several hash clubs, and is home to the fourth oldest Hash Club: Hash House Harriers Brunei.
The founder, Colin Berwick, was only present at the first three trails in 1963 before being reassigned to a new military posting. He did not return for a visit until 1999, but he did write a letter in Dec 1987, nearly 25 years after founding of the Brunei hash, that provides interesting details of how things got started. I have added a few updates and provided some supporting details within the text. It ties nicely into the accounts of the founding of both the Singapore Hash and Kuching Hash clubs. Included in this letter is an interesting and very plausible spin on where the name Hash House Harriers comes from, since Cecil Lee made it clear that the food was generally quite good at the Royal Selangor Club, not the mundane gruel that has been attributed to the name. The boys actually ate HASH after their runs. Colin also appears to have coined the term H3.
In the Spot Light - Brussels, Belgium
4 Jun 2014
Brussels is about to be the host city for the largest beer party in the history of the Hash House Harriers (25-27 July). Nestled in the near center of the country of Belgium, the capital city of Brussels is the home of the European Union, as well as, and maybe more importantly, has been the home of many hash clubs over the past 35 years. The first recorded hash in Belgium was the GRAND BRU H3 founded by Jan "Once-a-Year" Slaats on 21 June 1980. It was a yearly hash in the Belgian Ardennes set up by Dutch ex-pats. Soon after, the Brussels H3 was formed by Stephen Lunn in December of 1980.
Other hash clubs followed in Mons (SHAPE H3) in 1982 and Antwerp in 1999. The Shape H3 faded out in 2006, but has recently been revived by some Norwegian hashers, Mata Hari and Dog Handler and is now called the Shape-Mons H3. Undeniably, the two most renowned (or scorned) hash clubs currently running in and around Brussels are the Brussels Manneke Piss H3 which has been on trail since 16 April 1990 and the Going Nowhere Always Drunk (GoNAD) H3. The BMPH3 was founded by Dick "One Way" Bryant who started hashing with the Dhaka H3, and runs trails regularly on Sunday afternoon at 1500 and Monday evening in the summer months at 1930. Their big annual event is the Belgian Nash Hash, hosted in a different Belgian City or village every year.
The GoNAD H3, an equally notorious hash club, was Founded on the 25th of September 1993 by Phil “P.EnNIS” Ennis as the Oostende Hash House Harriers. GoNAD H3 initially ran in Oostende on the Belgian coast, but has since migrated to Brussels. This hash sponsors some very interesting events throughout Europe, such as the Trust Us hash, where you sign up by putting your money on the table, and you are told later where the event will take place. The GoNADs also conduct events such as the Beer University, where you work towards a degree by sampling numerous types of beer. They also host trails in conjunction with other major hash events throughout Europe and partner with crazy hash clubs like the DIVA H3.
For the running enthusiasts, there is the Brussels Blue Moon, who normally run weekly, at least when they feel like it. This club is founded by Barry “Hash Hole” Rasberry and Eric “Nut Bitch” Borremans. The big annual event is the Blue Medoc. One year, the Medoc Marathon became very commercial and tried to make the Belgian hashers buy an expensive package deal, so instead they decided to hold the Medoc Marathon in Brussels. They run 30-42 km between hasher’s homes where there is a wine stop. Only wine form the region of Medic is allowed. It has caught on and is now an annual event. One must not forget the BELLY Hash held on every 29 February (Brussels European Legless Leap Year) founded by Michael ”Mick Mac” McAlinden on Thursday 29 February 1996. If you have never hashed in Brussels, you are missing out!
In the Spotlight - Harriettes
7 Mar 2015
The Hash House Harriers (a.k.a. HHH or H3) were founded in 1938, as a variant of the old English Harrier clubs that date back to the early 19th century. The history of the HHH has been fairly well documented, with the first 10 clubs being formed between 1938 and 1965 in Malaya (now Malaysia) and the near region to include Singapore and Borneo, as MEN ONLY organizations. What we have not heard is a discussion on the origins of the Harriettes.
There are references of women running with harrier clubs in the 1800s, but early clubs are rumored to not have allowed women to be the hares, only running and not allowing them to set the trail. I have no specific details, but during my research on hashing, I recall a reference to a regular harrier club in Kuala Lumpur being active for a short time in the early 1930s, as a mixed club for both men and women.
The first recorded women's version of HHH is the Brunei Hens which were founded on 21 Nov 1966, by Robert Tiepel (no mention whether he ran with them or not). The Ipoh Harriettes were next and were founded on 29 Aug 1968, by Loke Kai Heng. Nearly 50 years later, there are numerous variations of mixed and Harriette only HHH clubs all over the world. Examples (from my own experience) include the Mission Harriettes in California, USA where men were required to remain behind two women at all times on trail. Another example is the Tokyo Ladies HHH, where only women were allowed to hold committee positions. The Harriettes of Oahu (HO Hash) do not normally allow men, but when they do, they must wear pink. Without a doubt, the rainbow (red, blue, green, white, black, etc) of dress runs give plenty of opportunity for the closet cross dressers to don their favorite ball gown or miniskirts and take to the streets for the fun of hash.
The first 10 recorded Women's Hash clubs are:
Brunei Hens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Nov 1966
Ipoh Harriettes . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Aug 1968
Kota Kinabalu Harriettes . . . . . 10 May 1970
Ladies of Hong Kong H3 . . . . . 15 Jun 1971
Kuching Harriettes . . . . . . . . . 20 Jun 1972
Penang Harriettes . . . . . . . . . . 21 Nov 1972
Singapore Harriettes . . . . . . . . 17 Oct 1973
Kuala Lumpur Harriettes . . . . . 18 Jun 1974
Port Moresby Harriettes . . . . . 30 Sep 1974
Medan Harriettes . . . . . . . . . . 13 Nov 1975
There were potentially some mixed clubs that formed during the 60s and 70s, but the records are unclear as to when they transitioned from Men Only to Mixed. There are also isolated incidents of some women being allowed to run with Men Only clubs during this period, to include one Judy Prosser (an Aussie consulate member) that was a regular on the Jakarta Men's Hash in the early 70s.
Hash Founder's Hash
In the Spotlight - Hash Founder's Hash (a.k.a Global Emeritus Hash)
5 Oct 2014
The Founders Hash (a.k.a. the Global Emeritus Hash), consists of people who were responsible for founding a hash club. The object is to keep the spirit of the Hash Founders in one International Hash. There are over 150 founders from all over the world, check out the founders already in the circle. To qualify as a Founder, your hash must run at least monthly, and have lasted for at least 12 months. Where two or more people claim to be the Founder, it is the person who first said "why don't we start a hash" and who laid the first run who is defined as the Hash Founder. If you would like to see how to join, see the website.
In the Spotlight - Hash T-Shirts
2 May 2015
The oldest known hash T-Shirts were made to commemorate specific club milestone runs such as 250th, 500th, etc, which made them few and far between. They often had logos or advertisements on them, from a business that one of the local hashers worked for and sponsored the printing costs. Nowadays, it is quite easy to turn up at a hash and see 50-60 people wearing different hash T-shirts, for any number of things, there are so many.
It is believed that Mother Hash did not create their first actual club T-Shirt until their 1500th Run in 1973. But that is not the oldest hash shirt, as the boys down in Sydney currently have the first known hash shirts from their 250th Run in 1972. If you want to see both of those, and all of the top 10 oldest hash shirts. To get a glimpse of over 1400 event and generic hash shirts from around the world, see the whole collection. New photos always accepted, see the details on the website.
In the Spot Light - Hawaii, USA
30 Nov 2013
There were various unorganized hash runs in Hawaii back in mid the 1970s, but it was not until 1978 when the first organized hash club formed when Castel Myers moved to the islands from Bangkok, where he first experienced hashing with the newly founded Bangkok Men's H3 (The BH3 started in 1977). Looking around the lush green hills that were lined with plenty of trails, Castel thought Hawaii would be a great place to hash. So he put the word out and soon had his friends Russ Hoylman, Hutch Hutchinson, Dave Benson, and Dick Hoyer to join him.
On 16 March 1978, the Honolulu Hawaii Hash House Harriers (H5) conducted the first hash trail, running every other Tuesday evening in the early days. The packs were small and there were no circles conducted after the run, but there was a lot of horseplay with beer chugging being a common event, with winners collecting various prizes. On one occasion the prize was a live chicken, which ended up as a menu item at the Chop Suey shop they frequented after their runs.
During the 1980s, the popularity increased and the H5 began running every Tuesday evening. There were rumors of other hash clubs forming and folding on Oahu, which is the Capitol island and home of Pearl Harbor, but it was not until the 1990s when the next major hash was born. The Aloha H3 was founded on 22 Sep 1991, and was soon followed by the Hawaii Full Moon H3 in 1992. Now there are several other hash clubs on Oahu, as well as some of the other islands (Maui H3 and Kona H3), and a traveling Volcano H3 that makes annual trips to all the other islands. So hashing is alive and well in this remote island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
In the Spot Light - Heidelberg, Germany
24 Jul 2013
On Sunday, 21 July, the Heidelberg H3 gathered for the 3rd Annual Final Hash, and like the previous two it was a good time. You see, the pack has pretty much all moved away, but on occasion when several former H4 hashers happen to be around, it is cause for a reunion. The Heidelberg H3 has a long history dating back to 13 June 1979 when Godel Adler set the first trail near the historic and picturesque city of Heidelberg. The hash had its ups and downs over the years, stalling out but getting a restart on 4 April 1990.
As has happened in many locations around the world, the pack has thinned out significantly over the past couple years as the once large military population has been relocated to other areas (but that is a story for another time - I am working on it). Heidelberg is located on the south-western region of Germany near France, and is about equal distance between Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
Like many German cities, Heidelberg is dominated by an amazing castle, this one dates back to the 13th century. There is no telling how long it will be before another hash is run in Heidelberg, but it was pegged to host the projected world Interhash of 2013 (as some of you may know). In a related story, the sole organizer of world Interhash 2013 gave up after receiving no support from the non-existent local hashers.
In the Spot Light - Hong Kong
30 May 2015
Through various treaties and leases, Hong Kong was a Crown Colony of Great Britain from 1841-1997, with the exception of 1941-1945 when Japan occupied the peninsula. Although not technically correct, many refer to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 as the day the sun set on the British Empire. One thing left behind after the turnover is the Hash House Harriers.
Having moved to Hong Kong from Singapore, John Beavon contacted several other former hashers and expats and the records show they set the first trail of the Hong Kong H3 (H4) on 23 February 1970. Continuing with the traditions of Mother Hash in Kuala Lumpur, and Father Hash in Singapore, the H4 is a men's only club and runs on Monday evenings. One of the long standing traditions of the H4 is participating in the annual Sedan Chair Race for charity.
It did not take long for the second club to form, as one member's office moved from the island up to Mongkok. Grouping with a small core of other hashers, it was soon determined that transiting the Kowloon Bay in a timely fashion on Monday afternoons was difficult, so something had to be done. Led by founder Chris Rowe, the group gathered in a bar over beers, and thus agreed that the first running of the Kowloon H3 would be on 26 October 1970.
The fairer sex soon grew tired of the men having all the fun, and thus the fourth oldest recorded Harriettes Hash was founded by Hilary Prior on 15 June 1971. The Ladies of Hong Kong H3 attracted 27 members in that first year as a ladies only club, but a handful of men were additionally allowed as honorary male members (no pun intended).
Over the last 45 years the fun of hashing has spread throughout the territory, and Hong Kong currently boasts of 14 active hash clubs. Not to be forgotten, just a short ferry ride away rests the two island Taipa-Macau H3 that was founded by Rob "The Captain" Kirby on 2 June 1998. Without a doubt, the rich history of the Hash House Harriers lives in Hong Kong. If you have the good luck to visit, make sure to catch up with one of the Hong Kong hash clubs. Details can be found on this website.
In the Spot Light - Jakarta, Indonesia
4 July 2015
Jakarta is the capital city of an island nation made up of over 17,000 separate land masses, with about 6000 being inhabited with the wonderful culture of Indonesia. Jakarta is the largest city and is located on the main island of Java, where, as you would expect, lives a thriving hash house harriers culture. The first hash club in Indonesia was the Jakarta H3 founded by Jeremy “Burong” Pidgeon and Gordon "Bent One" Benton on 22 Mar 1971. I had the opportunity to chat with Gordon a couple years ago, and he was happy to reveal the amazing history of the Jakarta H3.
According to Gordon, in those early days, hashing was very austere with only paper used to mark the trail, and there were no arrows, checks, or falsies; the trail just ended and the pack had to look around to find which new direction it went. The terms Front Running Bastard (FRB) and Dead F*cking Last (DFL) were not used at that point, but the last one to complete the trail did receive special attention. They did in fact use the sometimes derogatory term of Short Cutting Bastard (SCB), an art that can be as rewarding as it can be detrimental to the timely finishing of a trail.
When the Jakarta hash first started running, the hash was not viewed well by the local people, as they initially thought that the Dutch had returned. After that was dispelled, there was concern about the pack running through the crops, damaging mud walls and rice paddies. Fortunately, after a period of time and reparations, and teaching the hashers to tread lightly, the local people became familiar with the calls of on-on and the sight of paper. Gordon said that the local farmers eventually got used to seeing hashers, so much so that sometimes the kids would move the paper to change the trail. There was a hash horn used at the Jakarta H3, and you could hear the terms ‘On-On’ and ‘Are You’ between fellow hashers to help navigate through the jungle.
In the humble fashion that many hash clubs begin, there were only 7 or 8 on that first trail in 1971. It did not take long for the pack to grow to over 100 through word of mouth, and advertising through hash T-shirts sponsored by ICI, Shell, and eventually as part of the special relationship that soon developed with the local distributor of Anchor Beer. The distributor would dispatch a truck to the run site each week that would bring beer and soft drinks, as well as lights for the circle. Speaking of lights and circles, it is believed the circle originated in Jakarta, but not necessarily for fellowship among hashers and the issuance of down-downs, but merely to create a type of barrier between the hashers and the local people that would become very curious of what was taking place.
As time went on, the circle slowly became more entrenched in the weekly activity and could often last up to two hours, with regular down-downs and the singing of songs. It was a requirement for the hare to write his own song each week and to entertain the pack with it. As in many parts of the world where hash trails go, many of the jungle routes were single file foot paths, so various rules came into existence. One such rule created to avoid knocking each other down, was to never pass a hasher who appears to be, or at least 'thinks he is running' the trail.
This next piece of history is open for dispute, but it is quite possible that hash names were also originated in Jakarta. In order to get the word out, some hashes would mail out the weekly hash trash to members, but the mail system in Jakarta was not timely enough to deliver them on time for the next weeks run, so the trash was printed and placed in a handful of local establishments so the members could pick them up (Note: this method was still in use in Seoul when I arrived there in 1997). As this allowed anyone who passed by the opportunity to read what was going on within the hash, the use of real names was soon abandoned to avoid any conflict with employers or the general public at large.
By the time Gordon left Jakarta in 1980, Jakarta was believed to be one of the largest hash clubs in the world. So, having completed his mission to bring the hash to Indonesia, Gordon next headed off to Singapore to begin a decade of running with Father Hash. Having been firmly established, and becoming one of the most popular hash clubs in the world, building on the success of Hong Kong in 1978 and Mother Hash in 1980, the Jakarta H3 with Hash Master Ron "The Penguin" Strachan, stepped up to host the third biennial Interhash in 1982.
In the Spot Light - Kuching, Malaysia
25 Aug 2013
Kuching is located along with Brunei and Indonesia on the Island of Borneo. There are currently 6 hash clubs listed as running in and around Kuching, and is the home of the 4th oldest hash club after Mother Hash (1938), Singapore H3 (1962), and the Brunei H3 (1963). The Kuching H3 recently reached 50 years old, and was founded by Harry “God Knows” Howell on 21 May 1963 in Kuching, Malaysia. God Knows, coincidently, was a founding member of the Singapore H3. While he is not the oldest active hasher, he has been hashing longer than any other hasher alive, having run his first trail with Mother Hash in 1958 (only a few weeks before another long time hasher "Tumblin' Bill" Panton. Read the whole story about the founding of the 4th HHH club.
In the Spotlight - Okinawa
4 Jul 2014
This month’s excursion into Hash House Harriers history is one that I have thought and wondered about for decades. If you have been around even for a short while, you have certainly seen or heard about the Okinawa HHH, with those colorful orange and blue happi coats standing out in any crowd of brightly colored hasher frivolity. I started my hash life in 1984 with the Okinawa HHH, which has directly spawned nearly 30 new hash clubs all over the world. See the whole story.
In the Spot Light - Paris, France
3 Feb 2014
This account requires more detail, you can read the story of Hashing in Paris.
In the Spotlight - Perth, Australia
28 Mar 2015
Perth is the capitol of Western Australia (WA), and is home to roughly 2 million people. Located on the southern part of the west coast, Perth is second only to Honolulu Hawaii for its isolated remoteness from other major population areas. As for lifestyle and entertainment, Perth is a sprawling metropolis and has a generally laid back and relaxing atmosphere, beautiful beaches, scenic vistas, and numerous outdoor activities to make it a must see location. Yes, one of those activities is hashing.
The Perth Men's H3 (a.k.a. The Original Gentleman's Hash) was the first hash club to form in Perth, which is now home to about a dozen active hash clubs. The Perth H3 is also one of the oldest hash clubs in all of Australia, founded by Geoff 'Pop' Edwards on 16 February 1970, it is fourth on the list behind the Hobart H3 and Sydney H3 founded in 1967, and the Canberra H3 in 1969. Although there are many, some of the other assorted, but notable hash clubs from Perth are the South of Perth H3 founded 4 Dec 1981, by Tom 'Snappy Tom' Davis, the Perth Harriettes founded 16 July 1978, by Wes 'Old Wares' Carter, and the crazy boys of the Hamersley H3 founded 12 Nov 1978, by Ron 'Duffy' Duffield.
Although isolated, Perth has been host to several large events such as Aussie Nash Hash 1993, the out of region PAN ASIA 1999, and most recently World Interhash 2008 (affectionately known as the "Two Hands - Two Beers" event). And if all that is not enough to put Perth on the hashing map, there are dozens more hash clubs going south from Perth in Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton, and all the way down to the Convicts Hash in Albany. And while you are in the region, don't forget to take some time between hash runs for fishing, and relaxing on the beautiful beaches.
If you want to get out of the car for awhile, you can always spend a few days hiking a few sections of the nearly 1000Km long Bibbulmun Track, a footpath through the bush between Perth and Albany. The only drawback is, that Australia is home to a considerable number of the most deadly snakes and spiders on the planet (so plan accordingly - but 2 million people can't be wrong). So, if you are looking for a special getaway, make sure to consider the many awesome activities and sights to be seen in Perth.
For more details on hashing in Perth, see the website.
In the Spotlight - Portland, Oregon
30 Aug 2015
The capital city of Oregon is in Salem, but Portland is the largest city. So it is fitting that the legend of hash first arrived in Portland, when Mark "Wrong Way Corrigan" Cook arrived. Having found the hash in Guam, Corrigan brought the aura of the Tyrant, and the Agana style of hashing to the shores of Oregon. Corrigan set the first trail in Oregon on 17 May 1987 through the scrub brush and countryside along Interstate 5.
Coincidentally, I first met Corrigan on the start of one of many cross continent hash trips in the summer of 1993, while at the now defunct Olympic H3 in the state of Washington. After an excellent trail, and chatting with a few friends, Corrigan mentioned there will be a hash in Portland the next day. Back in those day, when we had to use old paper listings of hash clubs, before the easy access to information on the internet, getting the scoop on another trail was gold, and not to be missed.
With very sketchy directions, and an old atlas map, I made the trip down to Portland. Stopping at a gas station to ask for directions to the National Guard armory, I drove and was unable to find the pack . . . but did find marks. Thinking I was late, I did a quick change and grabbed my whistle and started running. While searching for trial at the first check, the pack caught up to me and . . . feigning ignorance (which many hashers to this day say I do well) and off we all went.
After about a 2 hour trail, through small clusters of buildings, open wasteland, dumps, and fully grown cornfields, we all found our way down to the riverside with a couple topless babes pointing us in the direction of the on-in. It was a great trail with a great bunch of hashers, but that was the one and only time I have hashed in Oregon, so very much looking forward to a long overdue return next weekend.
OK, back to Portland . . . the hash genealogy is littered with listings of now defunct hashes such as the Salem H3 also founded in 1987, after the trails in Portland, and the Portland Full Moon H3 in 1993. Ashland was next to host a hash of its own, and still active today, first running trail in September of 1988, and founded by Paul "Sherpa" Rostykus who came to Oregon from the Morgantown H3 in West "By God" Virginia. Next was the Eugene H3 founded by Joe "The Boil" (a.k.a. "Questionable Gender") Moyle on 9 Apr 1991. Numerous other hash clubs have been founded over the decades since, and now there are as many as ten active hash clubs around the state of Oregon. Next week they will host 17th Biennial InterAmericas Hash (InterAm).
In the Spot Light - Seoul, South Korea
26 Oct 2013
Seoul is located roughly 30 miles south of the DMZ, and 125 miles south-east of Pyongyang, the capitol of North Korea. As far as anyone knows, there has never been a hash in North Korea, but there certainly has been hashing all over the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. There are currently 3 weekly, 3 monthly, and a couple grab-ass occasional hash clubs running in the greater Seoul area, but the hash first arrived in Seoul in 1972, when Ian Young arrived from Hong Kong. Hashing had only been around Hong Kong since 1970, so it was just beginning to spread out beyond the immediate boarders of Malaysia, and out into the World at that time.
So, on 11 Jun 1972, aided by Robbie Douglas and Tony Parry, a new hash was born that now has a long and steeped history accumulated through over 2200 weekly trails over the past 40 plus years. When I ran with the Seoul Men's Hash (1997-2000), we ran on Wednesday evenings in the summer and Saturday afternoons in the winter. Due to shifting interests over the past couple of years, and many of the long time hashers retiring and moving away, the numbers have dwindled and they run on Saturday afternoons year round now, but hashing is still vibrant and strong in Seoul.
I don't think I am betraying any secrets here, so let me give you a rare glimpse inside the Seoul Men's Hash from my own experience. We would meet at many different locations throughout the city, but my favorites were those remote areas north of the city. Due to the heavy traffic, it could often take us over an hour to drive just 15-20 miles, but it was well worth it. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seoul was a blessing, if only for a few hours every week. Normally only one hare was required to set the trail, occasionally two, but never more than that.
Most trails were prelaid, but a few of us still strapped on the old flour bag and with a 12-15 minute head start would take off into the rice patties or up the side of a mountain to lead the pack on a 8-12 Km trail. In the Seoul Hash, the HonSec is the heavy, the man with the say-so. He keeps the roster and signs up the hares, collects the money, writes the hash trash, and most importantly . . . names all hashers. The GM and JM are figure heads that lead the circle, which were always conducted around a fire, both in the summer and winter. The mismanagement also include the position of Hash Horn, that carried the bugle out on trail to call to the pack once checks had been broken and trail has been found. There were no whistles allowed, and no marking of checks, it was each man for himself outside of the horn or the call of On-On. Completing well over 100 runs with the SH3 during my time there, I enjoyed some of the best trails and hash camaraderie you can imagine.
Much ado has been made about male only hashes in recent years, but not having the unmentionables around can be a much more relaxing and entertaining circle. Speaking of the circle, after eating whatever the hare brought for us in the hash tin, we gathered 'round the fire with one of a wide selection of imported beers in hand, and awaited the pronouncement of the GM (or the JM only in the his absence). Around the circle, only the GM may speak freely, if a hasher wanted to speak he must first raise his mug over his head and be acknowledged by the GM. Depending on the number of hashers present, each one would be brought up one at a time for a splash (down-down) from the honored bed pan, inscribed with the names of all former GMs.
Each hasher would be required to entertain the assembled pack with a song or a joke. The first would be the hare, to record comments about the trail and also to identify who the "Wingee" (FRB) was for the day's trail. Next would be the Wingee, and then the rest of the circle would be called on based on the GM's discretion. I learned many a new song, and also introduced many a new song in those circles. After an hour or so, or whatever length of time it took to satisfy the GM that all had been heard, he would call on a hasher to ask what direction they would like to go, which led into the final song of the night . . . and it was NOT swing low. After the hash, many of us would often reassemble at the Mug Club in Itaewon for another beer or two before heading home. That's all you’re going to get folks, if you want more, you will have to buy me a beer and get the details in person. On-On. Read more information on hashing in Seoul and throughout South Korea.
In the Spotlight - Stuttgart, Germany
1 Nov 2014
Hashing first found its way to Germany in 1971, when British forces were posted in the central region area of Lübbecke and formed the Lübbecke H3. Although that hash had a short lifespan, it did not take long for the spirit of hashing to consume Germany. The spread of hashing continued during the 70s and 80s through Kaiserlautern (1977); Ulm, Rheindalen (1980); Herford (1981); Holzwickede, West Rhine, Berlin (1982); Bonn, Hanover (1984); Dulmen/Haltern (1986); Frankfurt, Freudenberg, Worms-Mannheim (1987); Heidelberg, Hunsreuck, Krefeld, Mannheim (1988); Bergen-Hohne (1989) and eventually found its way to Stuttgart.
Stuttgart is located about 2 hours south of Frankfurt and 2 hours west of Munich in the Baden-Württemberg, the heart of Swabia. It is known for its vineyards, as well as the home of both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Stuttgart hosts the second largest Oktoberfest, second only to Munich, and is only a short drive from the Black Forest. The Stuttgart Wurst H3 was founded on 28 Apr 1993 by Doug 'The Slug' Steward who had moved there from Angeles City H3 in the Philippines. There was a short lived Leinfelden / Echterdingen H3 also in the 1990s, founded by Pink Fritz. The SWH3 eventually became just the Stuttgart H3 and now runs every other Sunday afternoon, and will set its 550th hash trail later this month.
The next hash, originally named the Daylight Savings Time (DST) H3 was founded by Ed "Hazukashii" Howell on 7 April 2009 and was only going to run during the summer months, but after taking off just one winter season, decided to run year round on Tuesday evenings. This prompted a renaming to the Dienstag Schnitzeljagd Trupp H3, which roughly translates to the Tuesday Paperchase Party. The DST H3 will set its 275th hash trail later this month.
The Stuttgart Full Moon H3 was founded on 27 May 2010 by Bryan "Puking Cougar" Rhodes, and has just recently run their 55th hash trail. The Stuttgart Leap Year (SLY) H3 was founded on 29 Feb 2012 by Melissa "Shamcock" Pros, and only runs for special occasions such as fests and party events. For the hard core hashers, put Stuttgart on your bucket list, you will not be disappointed.
In the Spotlight - Taipei, Taiwan
4 Nov 2015
Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan (Republic of China), and sits at the northern tip just below the amazing Yangmingshan National Park. With a population of 2.5 to 3 Million people, Taipei makes up about 10% of the population of Taiwan. The high mountains of the Yangmingshan National Park offer splendid views and scenic vistas of Northern Taiwan . . . and amazing trails begging to be marked with hash trails.
The Hash House Harriers first arrived on Taiwan in February of 1973 when Don 'Organ' Hammond established the Taiwan (Men's) HHH, having been transplanted from Singapore. Setting trails on Saturday afternoon, the Taiwan HHH is roughly the 30th oldest hash in the world, and has spawned dozens of new hash clubs all over the world to include the Okinawa HHH (1980), the Agana HHH (1981) on Guam, and the Silicon Valley HHH (1982) in the USA.
Quickly establishing itself as a mainstay in the hashing world, it did not take long for the Taipei hash to spread out on Taiwan when in September of the same year (1973), Mike McFarland gathered up a bunch of his mates and founded the Kaohsiung HHH in the southern most city of the island some 350KMs south of Taipei.
Not satisfied with just a men's hash, Don 'Organ' Hammond also founded the first mixed hash club in Taipei when he organized the China HHH in November of 1975. Other hash clubs currently running in and around Taipei are the Taiwan Bear HHH (2001) on Saturday afternoons, and the Metro HHH (2002) on Wednesday evenings.
If Taipei is not enough, there are also four other hash clubs currently active on Taiwan, and details can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/hashchina/Home/taiwan
In the Spot Light - Tampa, Florida, USA
31 Mar 2014
Tampa is the third largest city in Florida (USA) behind Jacksonville and Miami, and is located on the west coast of the state on the Gulf of Mexico. The Tampa Bay H3 was founded on 12 Mar 1988 by Ron "Paladin" Rook formerly of the Okinawa H3. Paladin got his name in 1985, along with his two sidekicks Sheriff Lobo and Enos (are you sensing a theme here?). After moving to Tampa, and several months of driving an hour or more to Sarasota and Orlando to get his hashing fix, Paladin finally decided to just start a new hash club in Tampa. The Tampa Bay H3 still runs every other Saturday and on Full Moons, and is host to the annual Tampa Nekkid - There's No Place Like Foam weekend.
The next oldest hash in Tampa is the Jolly Roger H3 founded on 29 January 2003 by Rick "Dabadoo" Geers formally of the St. Louis area where he also founded the Big Hump H3 in 1999. The JRH3 runs twice a week on Wednesday, and Friday or Saturday alternating with the TBH3. Dabadoo is the grand old Hash Daddy in Tampa, driving his grey hash beer wagon to provide liquid refreshment to the masses, and keeping the pack entertained. The biggest highlight of the year is the annual JRH3 hash cruise in the Caribbean, called the Jolly Roger Pirate Invasion and is normally sails at the end of January each year. The hashers in Tampa are some of the friendliest hashers anywhere, and will gladly organize a ride for any visitor. So if you are ever have the opportunity to visit the Tampa area, make sure to check out the hash.
In the Spotlight - Tokyo, Japan
3 Jan 2015
The World Atlas lists Tokyo as the largest city in the world at over 37 million people. In a city of this size, it is not hard to imagine a robust hashing community, with an amazing countryside with extensive trails to make any hasher happy. There are currently 5 weekly hash clubs (Monday = Tokyo Men's Hash; Wednesday = Tokyo Ladies H3; Friday = Finally Friday Fukov H3; Saturday = Samurai H3; Sunday = Sumo H3) running in and around Tokyo. The Tokyo H3 is the oldest hash in Japan, and was founded on 14 June 1976 by Patrick 'Dunafew' Donoghue, who brought the sport over from Hong Kong. While still bearing the name, the Tokyo Men's H3 is now a mixed club and runs on Monday evenings, and is due to complete their 2000th Hash in March of 2015.
Not satisfied with just a Men's Hash in Tokyo, Marion Gosshalk founded the Tokyo Ladies Hash in November 1983. Also now a mixed club, the TLH3 runs on Wednesday evenings in the central Tokyo area and has completed well over 1600 hash trails.
The largest hash in the greater Tokyo area is the Samurai H3, founded by Milt 'Uncle Milty' Halloran on 5 May 1984. Due to an amazingly efficient train system, the Samurai H3 can boast what is probably the largest area that a weekly hash can reasonably be expected to occur. Realistically, within 90 minutes you can find the Samurai H3 at any one of the 2000 plus train stations throughout a 5000 square kilometer area in and around the Kanto Plain. Running weekly on Saturday, a once a month family trail and various other events, the Samurai H3 will be celebrating their 2000th trail towards the end of 2015.
During the 80s and 90s, various hash clubs came and went throughout Tokyo, and the next weekly hash club still running is the Sumo H3. Founded by Ed "Hazukashii" Howell on 6 Jan 2002, the Sumo H3 runs on Sunday afternoons and also takes advantage of the vast train system and can be found setting trail over a significant portion of the Kanto Plain, and will be enjoying their 500th hash later in 2015.
It is common for all the Tokyo based hash clubs to start at or near a train station, and host an on-on-on at a local restaurant. The Men's and Ladies hash clubs often actually hold the circle inside the restaurant, which surprisingly is well received by the other patrons. As you might expect, Tokyo has a fairly expensive cost of living, and normal hash can cost about US$10, with dinner/circle costing around US$30. For those of us that ran multiple hash trails a week, this could get expensive, and spawned the Finally Friday Fukov H3 founded by John "Old Sock" Antweiler on 9 July 2004 that skipped the formality of dinner, with a quick circle after the trail and the hashers heading off for further activities on their own.
Tokyo also hosts two significant monthly hash clubs, the Rising Moon H3 founded in 1992 by Francis "Dirty Dingus" Turner . . . and the Kanto Katch the Hare H3 founded by Toshiyuki "Bancock" Ichimura on 22 Jan 1995. There are also a few other hash clubs running at various intervals in the greater Tokyo area and throughout Japan.
In the Spotlight - Toronto, Canada
1 Feb 2015
Toronto is the largest city in Canada with about 2.5 million people, and is located on the southern border along Lake Ontario. Toronto is a lovely city, but has not been without its own controversy . . . if you have watched the news over the past couple years, you may have heard of the exploits of one of their recent mayors (nuff said). Toronto's first hash was a Men's Only club called the Hogans H3, founded by Duncan "Plunger" Plastow on 31 Jan 1987, having returned from Korea where he hashed with the Seoul H3.
Not surprisingly, it seems there were many a future Harriette wanting to join in with the hash craziness, so also in 1987, "Plunger" founded the Hogtown H3 as a mixed club, which is Toronto's second oldest hash with their first trail running on 1 Nov 1987.
Not happy with the men in charge, Jennifer 'Halfwit' Fannin made her way from the Singapore HH Harriettes and founded the Toronto Women's Alternative Thursday (TWAT) H3 on 18 Aug 2005. The TWAT H3 is also a mixed club, but only women are allowed to be in charge.
Toronto hosted a well attended and very successful InterAmerica's Hash in 2005 that cemented the city as a major hash capital in North America. Toronto is a must see attraction for avid hashers.
In the Spot Light - Washington, DC, USA
27 Dec 2013
The Hash House Harriers have a long standing history in the United States. For more than 40 years, Washington, DC has been the home to the second oldest hash in the USA. Based on the format of Mother Hash, the DC Men's Hash was founded on 23 May 1972, by none other than "Tumblin' Bill" Panton who had transferred there from Kuala Lumpur. He only missed starting the first hash in the USA by a few months, but Frank Arnold of the British Forces beat him to it when he was assigned to Fort Eustis, Virginia and founded the Fort Eustis H3 on 8 Nov 1971. Generally sprawling from Baltimore, Maryland to Fredericksburg, Virginia, the greater DC area is home to 9 weekly hash clubs, 7 more that run less often, and hosts one of the most popular Red Dress Runs in the world every year in October. Check up on the weekly run schedule.
In the Spot Light - Yangon, Myanmar
1 Jul 2013
Up until a couple years ago, Myanmar was exceeded only by North Korea in reclusiveness. After a shift in consciousness in 2011, Yangon is now a bevy of activity with businessmen and tourists now being commonly seen. I recently had the pleasure of journeying over to Myanmar, and a visit to the Yangon Hash for their 33rd Anniversary Weekend. Originally founded as the Rangoon H3 in the largest city (at that time it was the capitol) of Rangoon, Burma on 23 June 1980, the name was changed when the ruling junta changed the name of the city and the country to Yangon, Myanmar in 1989. While there were a couple gaps of 6 months and 18 months where there were no runs, the YH3 has run weekly since January 1992 and now totals well over 1300 hash runs in their 33 year history.
Andrew Engel is credited as the founder, but it is believed Geoff Percival may actually have been the spark to get the Rangoon H3 off on its way back in 1980. Despite the uncertainty of the founding details, there is one person who has really kept the Yangon H3 on schedule and consistently hashing since the mid 1990s. Bob "BoBo" Thomas is a hash icon in Myanmar and throughout SE Asia. He took the lead on hosting the regional Mekong Indochina Hash events in 2003 and 2009, and often turns up in Bangkok, as well as a wide array of hashing events throughout the region.
Among the many hash supporters in Yangon, Fenton "Don't Call Me Shirley" Holland has also been a regular on the YH3 for well over a decade. The recent weekend celebration consisted of a welcome dinner on Friday evening, a 14 Km Saturday main event trail, and a Sunday running of the Yangon Full Moon H3, which was founded by Michel “Ibo Ibo” Desloover in January 1998.
Aside from the hash, Yangon boasts one of the oldest structures in SE Asia. The Shwedagon Pagoda is believed to be over 2500 years old, and can be easily accessed from anywhere in the city. If you are looking for a weekend getaway in SE Asia, definitely consider Myanmar.
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