HASH HOUSE HARRIERS is a social club of runners that have been described
as "a drinking club with a running problem." Ex-pat Pommy businessmen,
accountants, lawyers, civil servants, etc., started the HASH in 1938 in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is a club based on the old Pommy game of hares
and hounds (or Paper Chase) where one or two members would be given several
minutes head start and would drop shredded paper as the "scent".
The hounds would then follow, after the prescribed time, and attempt to
catch the hares. The hares would lay the trail in a straight or obvious
line, but then would stop laying trail and run off in another direction
and begin laying the trail after 100 meters or so. When the hounds discovered
that they were no longer on trail, they would fan out in all directions
in search of the "scent" and would call to the others when the
trail was once again discovered.
The founder of the HASH, A. S. "G" Gispert, in 1937 discovered the Springgit Harriers, one of the paper chase clubs, in Malacca. He introduced Ronald "Torch" Bennett to the concept and the stage was set. When "G" returned to Kuala Lumpur in 1938, he became a member of the Federated Malay States Volunteer Reserves, which trained on Mondays. "G" and many of the other ex-pat Pommy Bastards were housed in barracks in the Royal Selangor Club where he and "Torch" would often discuss starting a harrier club in KL (Kuala Lumpur). Finally in about December of 1938, "G" convinced about a dozen others to follow his inaugural paper trail. Gispert then suggested the name of HASH HOUSE HARRIERS in mock allusion to the mess at the Selangor Club, where many of them dined.
The runs were held Monday evenings after reserve training and were followed by refreshment of Tiger beer. A. S. "G" Gispert was killed in battle defending Singapore from the Japs at 0400 hours 11 February 1942. The HASH has grown from those humble beginnings to include thousands of chapters and tens of thousands of hashers worldwide.
While Warrnambool Hash House Harriers is only a relative young club in comparison it is still nearing it's 800th run. Started on 16th of June 1985 by Andrew "Porka Madona" Worthington, Ian "Slock" Slockwitch (Later to be renamed "Tip Toes"!), Ron "Bandi" Coutts and Winsome "Losesome".
Most of the information presented above comes from the book "On On! Run #2 Hash House Harriers 1938-1992" by Harrier International and the late Tim "Magic" Hughes, Phhh.D.