Hash House Harriers Trivia

  1. Hashing involves a Hare who lays a trail of flour, chalk, sawdust or paper which is followed by a pack of Harriers (runners). The Hare may lay the trail to any length (45min – 1hr is typical), across any terrain and include numerous false trails to divert or slowdown the pack. The Hare may pre-set the trail or start shortly before the pack set off in pursuit. The Latter is known as a live Hare. Once the pack has reached the finish point and are suitably rested it is usual to form a Circle. In the Circle Hashers are punished for misdemeanours on the run by being given a DownDown which involves drinking a beer in one. Where was Hashing believed to have begun in its current form?
    •  Malaysia. Modern Hashing was begun in Kuala Lumpur in 1938. Different Hashes throughout the World have different formats but that described is fairly typical. Certainly the social side of Hashing is as important as the running and most Hashes share the motto, ‘A drinking club with a running problem.’
  2.  Hashing is similar to a game called ‘Paper Chase’ originally played by Thames oarsmen in 1867. However, what earlier British public school game is generally thought to have given rise to Hashing?
    •  Hare and hounds & hare and hound. The idea of Hashing is generally believed to have developed from ‘Hare and Hounds’, a game begun at Rugby School in England in 1837. Rugby of course is also credited with developing the sport of Rugby Football in 1823.
  3.  Which British Chartered Accountant, who worked for a predecessor of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, is credited with starting the pastime of Hashing?
    •  Albert Gispert. The Hash House Harriers was founded by a British expat named Albert Stephen Ignatius Gispert who worked for Evatt & Co (later a founder member of Price Waterhouse, now Pricewaterhouse Coopers) in Malaysia. He was known as ‘G’ to his friends but was actually born Alberto Esteban Ignacio Gispert in Greenwich, London, the son of Catalonian immigrants. In 1934, Gispert was sent to Malacca where he joined the Springgit Harriers. Later Gispert was transferred to Kuala Lumpur where he used the format of the Springgit Harriers to form the Hash House Harriers along with other founding members including Ronald ‘Torch’ Bennett, Frederick ‘Horse’ Thompson and Cecil Lee. In fact Lee is credited with wanting to revive the aborted Kuala Lumpur Harriers and convincing Gispert to set the first run.
  4.  Original Hash trails were laid by two hares using 4 inch square paper cuttings from the local newspaper. ‘Checks’ were where a trail ran cold (the paper would run out). “Check!” would be called and runners would then go in all directions in search of more paper trail referred to as ‘hash’. Is it true that the name ‘Hash House Harriers’ derived from the term for these pieces of cut up newspaper used to make the trail?
    •  False. The name was chosen from the Selangor Club Chambers nickname, ‘Hash House’, where much of the discussion concerning creating the Hash developed. The club earned this nickname due to the lacklustre food it served. The paper used to set the original Hash was from the Malay Mail supplied by Eric Gavin.
  5.  The term ‘Harrier’ has come to mean a cross country runner. However, in the context of Hashing, to what does the name Harrier actually refer?
    •  A breed of rabbit hunting dog. A Harrier is related to the foxhound and bred specifically for chasing rabbits or hares. Hence the Hare sets the trail and the pack of Harriers follows it. Harrier is also a type of hawk and a vertical take of and landing military aircraft. As far as I know a mounted messenger during the Napoleonic Wars, a military scout during the Boer Wars and a stick for cutting a trail through thick undergrowth are respectively called a messenger, a scout and a stick.
  6.  The original Hash House Harriers club was formed in 1938 but it wasn’t until 1962 that the second regular Hash club was formed. In which country was this second Hash based?
    •  Singapore. Hashing died out during World War II due to the Japanese occupation of South East Asia but picked up in the post-war years. Ian Cumming founded the second Hash in Singapore in 1962.
  7.  Before the second formal Hash club was formed there was an intermediate post-war Hash in Italy?
    •  True. The Royal Italian Bordighera Hash was begun in 1947 but died out by the late ’50s. It was later resurrected by members of the Milan Hash and became popular in the mid ’70s.
  8.  How did the founder of Hashing die?
    •  In battle. Gispert, who had been a Captain in the reserves, was field promoted to the active rank of Captain in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the war and died in 1942 in the Battle of Singapore. A quote from the regimental history stated, “About 0400 hrs a considerable force of Japanese from track junction 751150 moved up the track for 200 yards to within ten yards of Battalion H.Q. and halted. They surprised and silently caught Captain Gispert, the mortar officer, and three men and killed them.”
  9.  The World’s oldest Hash, known as ‘The Mother Hash’, has been running continuously since it was founded.
    • False. The ‘Hash House Harriers’ later the ‘Kuala Lumpur Hash’ formed in 1938 was suspended during the Japanese occupation of World War II. Torch Bennett re-established the Hash after the war and successfully sought war reparations for 24 enamel mugs and an old galvanised tin bath (presumably to chill the beer in ice). The first post-war run in 1946 was round the race course.
  10.  There were 1700 Hashes running Worldwide in 1999 and presumably more today. However, is it true that there is a regular Hash on every continent of the World including Antarctica?
    •  True. Both the ‘Deep Freeze Hash House Harriers’ and the ‘Brass Monkey Hash House Harriers’ run in the Antarctic. The latter runs from the British Antarctic Survey and the following is from their entry in the UK Hash website, http://www.cix.co.uk/~bicesterh3/uk/restworld/antarctica.htm Frequency: midwinter run and a summer solstice run Summer/Winter: Can anyone tell the difference! Temperature: -40°C Visitors: Free Dress: Boots and gloves only I hope you enjoyed this quiz and if you are not already a Hasher that it encourages you to try. More information on the history of Hashing can be found at http://harrier.net/primer/history.html Please feel free to contact me with any corrections to this history of Hashing which has been put together from various websites which are not necessarily completely accurate.