HISTORY OF THE HASH HOUSE HARRIERS
The Hash House Harriers originated in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with a simple idea—let’s find an enjoyable way to work off the weekend hang over then socialize over a few cold beers. These early halfminds included: A.S. “G” Gispert, Cecil Lee, “Horse” Thomson, “Torch” Bennett, Eric Galvin, and H.M. Doig. The group was a collective of British expats and military. These innovative men thought back to their childhoods in England and recalled a schoolyard game which had been popular—the paper chase, also known as Hares and Hounds.
The premise of the game was simple—a hare would set out on an unknown trail leaving shreds of paper to mark their way then the hounds would chase in pursuit following the marked trail in an attempt to catch the hare before they completed their trail. Some of these men, G, Horse and Torch, had partaken in similar Harrier groups in Malacca and Johore Bahru, Malaysia. The group of early hashers would set out on trails, sweating off the weekend hangover as they ran through the dense jungles, then wind up their evening with cold beers at the Selanger Club. The men fondly referred to the Selanger Club as The Hash House in reference to the food—hash being a term military use regarding sub-par food. When the group went to the Register of Societies to register their running group, G came up with the idea of calling themselves The Hash House Harriers out of fondness of the Selanger Club. The group was off to a great start and even celebrated their 100th run on August 15, 1941.
A.S. “G” Gispert The Selangor Club, known as The Hash House
After those first few years the hash came to a screeching halt when the outbreak of World War II brought the Japanese invasion of Malaysia. At this time, A.S. “G” Gispert was made a 2nd Lieutenant of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. G was killed on February 11, 1942 during a Japanese attack on his battalion on the Bukit Timah battlefield in Singapore— The Battle of Singapore. Cecil Lee later memorialized G with the words, “So perished a gallant, kindly, happy soul whose memory the years do not efface. He would be pleased, and I think amused, to know how the HHH have persisted and spread.”
Nearly twelve months after WWII ended, some of the original members of the HHH gathered back in Kuala Lumpur. Torch, who had originally brought some order to the hash with a bank account and system, put in a claim for war reparations for “an old galvanized tin bath, 24 enamel mugs, and two old bags”—there is no evidence of what the “two old bags” were. Those next few years of The Mother Hash, 1948-1951, were a precarious existence because of communist insurgents in the Malaysian peninsula. The activities of hash were for the most part illegal—against the imposed curfew. During this time, in September 1951, occurred the infamous “Incident at Cheras”. During one of their trails, the early hashers stumbled around in the dusk and rain when they happened upon an area with a group of men sleeping on the ground. The hashers fled and one ran to the Cheras police to report the men. The police surrounded the area and apprehended the men—some of which had a great bounty price on their head. The nonmilitary members of the HHH accepted the offered award and in true hash spirit threw a party for all the hashers to enjoy.
Despite these beginnings however, the HHH spread slowly at first. The second hash group was officially formed in Bordighera, Italy in 1947 by Captain Gus Mackie who had run in the Mother Hash with his brother Rupert. This hash was popular through the 1950’s, but died out in the early 1960’s—later being resurrected in 1984 as the Royal Milan or Bordighera H3. During their interlude, the third hash group had it’s foundings. On February 19, 1962 Ian Cumming founded the Singapore H3. The Hash continued to spread slowly around the world through the 1970’s—by The Mother Hash’s 1500th (postwar) run in 1973, there thirty-five known hash kennels in the world. In the 1980’s and 1990’s the Hash boomed across the world, in large part due to the constant transferring of military personal, and there were hundreds of hash kennels throughout the world. The numbers continued to climb and at this point it is realistic to say that there are nearly 2,000 known hash kennels world wide. Nearly everywhere you go in the world, there is a hash kennel nearby—and yet new ones are still consistently being created. Even Antartica boasts two hash kennels! There have since also been found Interhash events—large gatherings of hashers from around the world or a specific region like Europe or America. These Interhashes first begain with Kuala Lumpur gathering 300 hashers in 1973 to celebrate their 1500th run and have continued as World Interhashes every two years with the most recent being held in Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia in July 2010 and having seen several thousand hashers at the event.
From it’s humble beginnings with a handful of British expatriates, to the thousands of hash kennels around the world today, the overall philosophy of the hash remains constant.The original objectives founded for the hash were:
1. To promote physical fitness among our members
2. To get rid of weekend hangovers
3. To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
4. To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
These objectives hold throughout every hash to this day and comprise what is known as the Hashing Spirit. One of the most popular mottos of the hash is “If you’ve half a mind to join the hash, that’s all you need!” In the hash there are no prerequisites, age boundaries, job stigma or any other—all you need is an open mind and a sense of humor. In a 1958 interview, Cecil Lee described G as, “a man of great wit and charm… he was a splendid fellow, and would be happy to know the Harriers are still going strong, and are as merry and bright as ever—or more so. Gispert was not an athlete, and stress was laid as much on the subsequent refreshment as on the pure and austere running.”
Though every hash kennel adheres in some format to these original foundings, differences are abundant in mismanagement positions, style of trails (dead or live hare, markings, type of terrain, distance, etc), and religion, also known as circle. As Stray Dog of Global Trash HHH magazine & website says, “the important thing is that we are all Hash brothers and sisters sharing an experience like no other.” In 1994 Stray Dog summed it all up well, “Hashing is a state of mind—a friendship of kindred spirits joined together for the sole purpose of reliving their childhood or fraternity days, releasing the tensions of everyday life, & generally acting a fool amongst others who will not judge you or measure you by anything more than your sense of humor.”
OKINAWA STYLE HASHING
The Okinawa Hash was founded in Okinawa, Japan by Dal “Jock” Trader in the spring of 1980. Our very own hash kennel founder, Sex Cadet, first began hashing in 1989 with the Okinawa H3. Being then that Okinawa is our Mother Hash, many of its traditions and styles of hashing subsequently thrive in the Humpin’ Hash, such as: live hare trails, headbands, whistle check, and open season.
As reported by Stray Dog after his stint as On Sec with Okinawa, “Developed in some isolation and nurtured by the fever of its membership, the Okinawa style of hashing is a vibrant bastard child of the sport… It was the beginning of a style of hashing that would later spread around the world with its members becoming the Johnny Appleseeds of hashing—Okinawa Style. As one Okinawa hasher stated in the 1990’s when promoting an Okinawa reunion Interhash as a prelewd to InterAmericas Hash: ‘Most of you (American hashes) can probably trace your roots back to us (Okinawa).’ Growing to sometimes 150 runners each hash, and having members who went literally around the world due to their occupations, taking that tradition with them and starting new hashes, Okinawa has been a significant hash expansion factor indeed…. I myself, in my hashing on three continents, have seen evidence of the Okinawa hashers, recognizable in the traditions of trail, down down, and mismanagement styles…”
HUMPIN HASHTORY By Founder Sex Cadet
“In the beginning there was chaos and the Great Grand Master of All, said unto the meek and mild-mannered “Preparedst thou, for they are cumming! Be afraid, be very afraid!” The first to arrive was Commode Hugger and he hashed with all who would have him and searched mightily for the shiggy that should be. Instead, he found that dead hares were more than abundant and had mulitplied many-fold. He also found pavement, acres and acres of pavement and he cried “Say it ain’t so!“. He duly reported his findings back to the Great Grand Master and called forth for assistance! None other than the GrandMaster and Founder of the Over-the-Hump HHH himself, Sex Cadet, heeded the call and hurried West to see what all the commotion was about. Upon arrival, Sex Cadet and Commode Hugger descended upon the other Hashes like a case of the Asian Flu. They short-cut San Diego, North County, Larrikans, Full Moon, Pick-up, and the Harrietes, but alas they were not satisfied. Sex was doubtful as to the ability to bring order to such chaos, but Commode Hugger was a believer! After many, many pitchers of Holy Water had passed between them, thru bleary eyes and half a brain, Sex Cadet said “we will find our own shiggy, and all will be welcome – shortcutters, longcutters, fast running bastards, walkers, and smokers, but no poofters!” So, the journey was begun on 4 September 1994, that the first trail of the HUMPIN Hash House Harriers was live hared by Sex Cadet, Commode Hugger, and OTIS at Lake O’Neil aboard Camp Pendleton.
A few seasoned Hashers were not intimidated by the thought of shiggy and hurried forth to join the Humpers as they made history, and these Hashers were Walking Small, Mooner, Mr Roarke, & Fairy Manilow.
The rest is hashtory!!”
The founder of the Humpin’ Hash, Sex Cadet, first started hashing in 1989 with the Okinawa H3. In 1991 Sex Cadet founded the Over The Hump H3 in Quantico, VA. Shortly later, on September 4, 1994, Sex Cadet founded THE GREATEST FUCKING HASH IN THE UNIVERSE… HUMPIN’ HASH!
HUMPIN’ FAMILY TREE
1938 Kuala Lumpur H3 founded by Albert “G” Gispert (along with Torch & Horse)
1962 Singapore H3 founded by Ian Cumming who began hashing with Kuala Lumpur in 1960
1973 Taipei H3 founded by Organ who began hashing in Singapore H3
1980 Okinawa H3 founded by Jock who began hashing in Taipei H3 in 1978
1994 Humpin’ H3 founded by Sex Cadet who began hashing