History of the Hash Disorganisation & What is a Hash.
The "Hash House"
"Hash House" was the mildly derogative nickname given
unimaginative, monotonous food) to the Royal Selangor Club Chambers in Kuala
Lumpur, by the British Civil Servants and businessmen who lived and dined there
between the two World Wars, when it had become something of a social center of
the times. Situated close to and behind the present Selangor Club, its function
changed after independence and it became an office for the Water Board.
Sadly, the "Hash House" was demolished around 1964, to make way for a new
highway, Jalan Kuching, although the buildings housing the original stables and
servants quarters are still in existence.
The Ancient Harriers
of harriers chasing paper was not new to Malaya in 1938, as there
been such clubs before in Kuala Lumpur and Johore Bahru, and there were clubs in existence in Malacca and Ipoh (the Kinta Harriers) at the time. "Horse" Thomson (one of the KLH3 founding fathers) recalled being invited on a run, shortly after his arrival in Johore Bahru in 1932, which chased a paper trail and
followed basic Hash rules every week but was so magically organized that it had
no name. The club flourished in the early 1930's but is believed to have died
out around 1935. The other branch of our ancestry comes from Malacca, where A.S.("G") Gispert was posted in 1937 and joined a club called the Springgit Harriers, who also operated weekly under Hash rules and are believed to have been formed in 1935. Some months later, "Torch" Bennett visited him and came as a guest on a few runs.
The Hash House Harriers
"G" Gispert, "Horse" Thompson,and
"Torch" Bennett had all moved to KL and, joined by
Cecil Lee, Eric Galvin and H.M. Doig, they founded their own
club, following the rules they had learnt elsewhere. Gispert is credited with
proposing the name "Hash House Harriers" when the Registrar of Societies
required the gathering to be legally registered. Other early members included
Frank Woodward, Philip Wickens, Lew Davidson, John Wyatt-Smith and M. C. Hay.
After 117 runs, KLH3 was forced into temporary hibernation by the arrival of the
Japanese. Sadly, Gispert did not live to see his extraordinary creation revive,
being killed in the fighting on Singapore island on February 11th, 1942.
nearly 12 months after the war for the survivors of the HHH to
reassemble. Bennett put in a claim for the lost hash mugs, a tin bath and two
old bags from Government funds, and run No.1 was a trot around the racecourse in August 1946.
The Hash Spreads Out
it took another 16 years for the second H3 chapter to be founded,
Singapore in 1962, followed by Kuching in 1963, Brunei, Kota Kinabalu and Ipoh
in 1964, Penang and Malacca in 1965.
Perth, Australia was the first "overseas" Chapter, formed in 1967. Even in 1974,
when KLH3 had run No.1500, the HHH was only 35 chapters worldwide. Now the Hash world has over 1200 active chapters, in some 160 countries, and this despite the total absence of any central organization.
We are unique !
This article was written in 1992 by Mike Lyons from research material prepared
by John Duncan.
InterHash & PanAsia Hash
first held in KL 1974, InterHash has brought Hashers together
around the globe every two years. The last InterHash was held in 1996 at
Limmasol in Cyprus and was the first in the Northern hemisphere. The next will
be held in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 by the (The Mother Hash).
Also every two years, but one year apart from InterHash is the PanAsia Hash, the
last in October 1995, attracting 1000 hashers to Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
On On to the next in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1997.
alternating year from InterHash, NashHash is held in Australia.
numbers of Australian and International hashers gather to wreak havoc on an
unsuspecting public and put a serious dent in the local beer supply.
What is Hash after all?
Basically a Hash consists of three main parts, none of which have anything to do with the herb that some people smoke :
A RUN. A trail is laid by one or two of the Hashers (the Hare/s). The trail is
marked with chalk arrows, flour marks or pieces of toilet paper hanging in the
bush depending on the terrain or the hare. The trail can be pre-laid the day
before or begun just a few minutes ahead of the pack setting out (this is called
a live hare run). At a given signal, the rest of the hash, (the Harriers,
Harriettes, hounds or pack) set off in pursuit of the trail. The idea is that
the pack stays somewhat together and this is achieved by setting false trails,
cunning checks and sneaky loops. The fitter front runners will often do twice as much running as the more slothfull members but will often finish the run at the
same time as the rest of the pack. The length and difficulty of the run depends
on the hare and the terrain but will typically be between 4 and 8 km or about 45
minutes to an hours running with checks, false trails and shortcutting.
A CIRCLE. When the run is over the Harriers gather together to drink beer and
observe their religious ceremonies which consist of drinking more beer, this
time ritualistically. Down downs are awarded for misdemeanours real, imagined or blatantly made up and the recipients will most likely have been dobbed in by
their fellow Hashers. Visitors are always given a Visitors Down-Down as are
"Virgins" (first time Hash runners) and anyone else who comes to the attention
of the committee. The ceremonies can last a couple of minutes or half the night
depending on the level of religious fervor of the hash. With the changing times,
drinking has lost some of its importance and clubs cater for non drinkers and
those stupid enough to think that Hashing can improve their health.
THE ON ON. Most Hashes suspend the religious activities for while to consume the food that the hare has provided. This is called "makan", "hash mash" or "nosh" and the quality varies from five star to something you wouldn't feed to you dog. This consumption of nourishing vittles, often resembling pigs at a trough, may occur in the bush, someone's home, a restaurant or in a local pub. Religious activities may then continue. An important part of the On On is the telling of jokes and all members, visitors and virgins should come armed with at least one lest they be called upon.
stole this graphic, (and "doctor'd" it a bit) from
'Who are the HHH' page.
Visit it, its good value.
Back to Hunter Hash House Harriers