History of Hashing

Hashing originated in December 1938 in Selayang Quarry, Selangor, then in the Federated Malay States (now Malaysia), when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British paper chase or "hare and hounds", to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend.

The original members included Albert Stephen (A.S.) Ignatius "G" Gispert, Cecil Lee, Frederick "Horse" Thomson, Ronald "Torch" Bennett, Eric Galvin, H.M. Doig, and John Woodrow.[2] A. S. Gispert suggested the name "Hash House Harriers" after the Selangor Club Annex, where several of the original hashers lived and dined, known as the "Hash House".

Hashing died out during World War II shortly after the Invasion of Malaya, but was restarted in 1946 after the war by several of the original group, minus A. S. Gispert, who was killed on 11 February 1942 in the Japanese invasion of Singapore, an event commemorated by many chapters by an annual Gispert Memorial Run.

After World War II, in an attempt to reorganize in the city of Kuala Lumpur, they were informed by the Registrar of Societies that as a "group," they would require a constitution. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the trail, harriers reaching the end of the trail would partake of beer, ginger beer and cigarettes.

The objectives of the Hash House Harriers as recorded on the club registration card dated 1950:

  • To promote physical fitness among our members

  • To get rid of weekend hangovers

  • To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer

  • To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

In 1962, Ian Cumming founded the second chapter in Singapore. The idea spread through the Far East and the South Pacific, Europe, and North America, expanding rapidly during the mid-1970s. Cumming was widely credited with bringing hashing to the United States; he lived outside of New York City, where he continued to hash until his death on August 21, 2015.

At present, there are almost two thousand chapters in all parts of the world, with members distributing newsletters, directories, and magazines and organizing regional and world hashing events. As of 2003, there are even two organized chapters operating in Antarctica.


History of Wageningen Hash House Harriers

Founded in 2005 in the University city of Wageningen by Cock of the North WH3's goal has always been running, camaraderie and beer.

We once ran in Wageningen but have since branched out.

Today we run anywhere from Arnhem to Amersfoort, from Utrecht to the Veluwe. We have even been known to run in Hilversum and even Eindhoven!

We run on the 2nd Sunday of every month. Sometimes it is a live hare and we try to catch them but generally we follow a 'dead' pre-laid trail.

After the run we have some fun with entertaining songs and a beer or two.

If you have a sense of humour, a willingness to meet new people, have a sense of fun and are open minded to the stupidity of others then come and join us.

You may also find yourself wondering about all the crazy names.

If you’ve been hashing long enough, the group will bestow upon you the honor of your very own hash name. This is the name you will forever be known by to hashers worldwide.

It is usually based on something particularly memorable that you’ve done or said. Obviously, hash names tend to be puns, double entendres, or just plain dirty.

Image from Harper's Weekly, 23-5-1874 and believed to be public domain.