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Here’s to You, Brother Hasher

Ian Comyn, better known to us as Ian Cumming, has gone to hash with G. I met Ian in Rotorua at InterHash 1994 and learned a song or two at his feet. He was a hash mentor to many. He will be sorely missed and always well remembered.

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Click to read the 2008 Half-Mind Weblog interview of Ian Cumming

© 2015, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.


About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


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1 comment to Here’s to You, Brother Hasher

  • Shortly after I posted notice of Ian’s passing, I received this email from Chicago hasher & friend of the Half-Mind Weblog Horn-E:

    This is a tribute posting.

    I lost a very good friend in hashing a little while ago. A hasher named Ian Cumming. He was the founder of the New York Hash and resided on Long Island. But he was a lot more then that. If anyone could be called an Icon in hashing, Ian was it. One of the great hashers that helped make us what we were and are now.

    He started hashing in Kaula Lumpur when that was the only hash. About 1959. Moved with his wife, a priest, to Singapore in 1962. I got this story personally from him and heard it repeated many times. While in Singapore, he had nothing to do on Monday nights because that is when his wife wrote her sermons for the next Sunday. In Kuala Lumpur he would hash. Now he was frustrated so she suggested he form a group in Singapore. Imagine, the suggestion to move hashing from Kuala Lumpur came from a priest. I love that part. Anyhow he contacted Kuala Lumpur and they essentially said, go for it. We don’t care what you do. So he contacted some other former hashers and the Singapore Hash was founded in 1962, the second oldest hash, still continuously running.

    After several years he moved on to New York and started that hash, one of the oldest in America.

    Ian was a great singer of hash songs and actually got his start singing in the choir at his church. When Zippy started the original Hash Song Book that we can find on line, all of the songs were run past Ian for corrections and historical reference. He was that good and knowledgeable.

    I first ran into him at the Atlanta InterAm in 1985. He was at the hospitality suite, singing in a room to the side. I had just been hashing two months and Chicago Hash didn’t sing or circle back then. So, seeing this I jumped right in. I knew a lot of songs from records and my military days in the Navy between 1961 to 1965. We became immediate friends and I spent a lot of time singing with him that weekend.

    I ran into him a lot at camp out weekends, InterAms and Interhashes. He came to Chicago one weekend and contacted me. I put him up on an inflatable mattress and we swapped stories, sang songs, drank beer and hashed over the 60 hours he was here. I remember one story of the old Kuala Lumpur days. Pre laid trails. The hares would bring out warm beer in 25 oz bottles and a few blocks of ice. Off went the run. Upon return they would brake up the ice in smaller chunks in the piss pot, a tub they would drink out of. And then they would pour the beer over the ice. Add a couple of bottles of Quinine for the carbonation and everyone would just dip there own cups into the piss pot and they would drink and talk about the trail. Back then, most smoked and the hares also had to supply a tin full of smokes. When the piss pot was drained they would head out of the jungle. Some went home to wives and some would head off to a road side Chinese restaurant. Had to be Chinese because Muslims couldn’t serve beer. Or back to the Selangor Club. While I’ve never heard for sure, I have to believe some of these sessions had to end up with some singing of hash songs. I don’t imagine they had many juke boxes in the jungles back then.

    I remember a camp out in Pittsburgh with a toga contest. Elaborate efforts. Ian walked out with just a sheet wrapped around himself and he looked like Caesar in some old movie. We were all chanting Caesar, Caesar, Caesar. I used to call him Caesar after that. He would say that they don’t do Hash names. I told him it wasn’t a name but a title and he deserved it.

    He was a big man and carried around a solid 220 and eventually the hashing took its toll and he had to get a hip replacement. Sort of stopped his hashing, but he would still turn up at hash weekend events and sit in the hot tub with a couple of beautiful naked Harrietts while we went off running. Lucky bastard.

    One last good memory. At the Cardiff Interhash we met in London. There was a train from London to Cardiff and there would be a singing car. I was lucky enough to sit next to him the whole way and many great singers stopped by and we sang the whole way. What a great trip.

    Right now, as a hasher, you have to hope he got together with the founder, Gispert, and they are having a cold one and reminiscing about the great days of hashing.
    On On, Ian. It was great knowing you. And I hope you will all raise your next beer in toast to one of the best hashers of all time.

    Here’s to Ian, he’s a blue.
    He’s a hasher through and through.
    He’s a piss pot so they say,
    And he finally got to heaven,
    It was a long, long way.

    On On
    Horn-E

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