Updated on 17 Oct 2013.

It started somewhere during the winter of 2010-2011 after an article I had posted about hashing in Germany.  My friend Likk'mm asked the question of when and where was the first hash in Germany, so I started doing some research and tracked down Richard "Mountain Rescue" McAllister to get his story.  As far as we know, he was the first to start a hash in Germany.

That project got me re-interested in an article I read back in 1998 in the Interhash 98 Infomag, on the second oldest hash club.  So once again I started poking around to see what I could find and eventually tracking down information that led me to write the article below on Hash Club #2: Hash House Harriers Bordighera.  For over 20 years, the genealogy of the Hash House Harriers has included a record of the second oldest hash club having occurred in the Italian Riviera, and it was called the Bordighera H3 which was also featured in this Interhash 92 article.  Well, not long after publishing the article below, I was contacted by Iain "Amnesia" Belton questioning the existence of the Bordighera H3, back in 1947 as claimed.  Thus began a 2 year conversation among several friends, which has just recently resulted in this report, which is a fine piece of research and has changed my opinion on the matter.

So the Bordighera H3 is a hoax after all.  The Royal Milan & Bordighera H3 does still exist, which came after Bwana founded the Milan H3 as explained below, but all the details of the Bordighera H3 have been fabricated into a hoax that has lasted for nearly 25 years.  Well done to Amnesia for the fine research on this topic.


Hash Club #2:  Hash House Harriers Bordighera

By Ed "Hazukashii" Howell.  Sources include the Interhash 1998 InfoMag and an interview with Robert "Bwana" Walker.

The Bordighera H3 was founded by Captain "Gus" Mackey on 2 April 1947 in Bordighera, Italy. 



Gus was an officer in a Gurka regiment of the British Military, had run with the Hash House Harriers in Kuala Lumpur before the war as a guest of his brother Rupert Mackey.  During World War II while fighting in the battle for Anzio, Capt Mackey was captured and imprisoned in Milan, Italy.  After his release, he stayed on in Milan, and eventually settled down with his new wife Anna-Marie in Bordighera on the Italian Riviera and formed the Bordighera H3, with the first run taking place on 2 April 1947.  The BH3 was popular with other British veterans that had also settled in the area and enjoyed over a decade of trails, unfortunately and has happened many time the pack drifted away, sometime in 1961. 


On 12 December 1984, The Bordighera H3 was revived during the construction of the Bordighera Arena for Science, Technology, Arts, Research and Development Center, sponsored by Giovanni Paradiso, the grandson of deposed King Emmanuel Vittorio III and also fellow prisoner during the war with Gus, and would now be known as the Royal Bordighera H3.  Anna-Marie Mackey, at nearly 70, was still on hand and was made Honorary GM-Hash Mistress.  The RBH3 lasted only a short period of time, and  conducted occasional runs with the Riviera H3 (France).

On 23 June 1990, Robert "Bwana" Walker, previously from the Mombasa H3 in Kenya, founded the Milan H3 in Milan, Italy.  In September of 1991, Bwana visited the Singapore H3 and then went on to Bangkok, where he met the late Hash Historian Tim "Magic" Hughes.  Magic explained what he knew of the history of the Bordighera H3, and asked Bwana to see if he could turn up any old information on the BH3 upon his return to Italy.  In coordination with Fabio "Fabulous" D'Ambrosio, the Milan H3 "Hash Italian" (an actual committee position), they were able to find some Riviera Hashers with recollection of the temporary rebirth of the RBH3, and eventually tracked down Anna-Marie Mackey, the widow of founder "Gus" Mackey.  In a wild turn of events, it was discovered that Fabulous was actually a relative of Anna-Marie.  Although she was on in years, it was reported that she could still chug a down-down with the best of them.  With the approval of Anna-Marie, the Milan H3 merged with the remnants of the RBH3 forming the Royal Milan & Bordighera H3 in November 1991.  Once again Anna-Marie was named Honorable Grand Mistress, and it was agreed that they would hash in Finale Ligure, near Bordighera, every year to keep the tradition going.  According to Bwana, "The reason for 'near' and not 'at' is a long story, which involves and entire hash being stuck on a hilltop in a thorn thicket late at night, local rescue teams and some pretty gory bleeding legs.  The terrain there is incredibly rough and thorny, which prompted the then Milan RA "Wild Bill" Ridout to make his personal motto 'Bugger Bordighera!', and avoid setting any trails nearer than 50 Km from it.  The 'near Bordighera' became focused just up the coast in Finale Ligure, where Fabulous had a house on a spectacular Riviera hillside.  We hashed there every year, and without fail, the ghost of Gus Mackey, haunted us every time, with apparitions on hillsides, all in white, including a white pith helmet and kilt, and playing a white bagpipe.  He was also spotted prowling the balconies of the hotel we used, late at night, and once was seen getting out of a smoking grave!  The hash became known as the "Ghost on the Coast" and was well attended by hashers from all over the world."

The motto of the Royal Milan & Bordighera H3 is "In Gus We Trust"

Other RMBH3 T-shirts: Ghost on the Coast and 50 Years of Hashing - First Milan H3 T-shirt.

Return to HHH History