History of the LaHave River Yacht Club (LRYC)
The LaHave River Yacht Club is located on the West side of the LaHave River, 12 kilometers south of the town of Bridgewater. Founded with 50 members who held their early get-togethers at the old Drill Hall in Bridgewater, as many of the original members were also in the reserves. The first slate of officers were:
Commodore - Ed Goudey, Vice Commodore - Fred Surbeck, Rear Commodore - Captain Malcolm Wilkie, Treasurer - Macgregor Miller, Secretary - Victor Killam
The first boats in use at the club were mostly fishing boats which were converted to pleasure crafts - quite a fleet of non-descript crafts. The site for the clubhouse was chosen because it possessed an excellent wharf where Captain Wilkie kept his three-masted schooner and it had access by a public road. The land was leased for $10.00 a year from Mr. Josiah Pernette. Bonds were sold in order to raise money to build a clubhouse, and in many cases, the interest earned on those bonds was returned to the club. These bonds each had a value of $10.00 and $660.00 was realized in this manner. A bank loan for $550.00 was also taken out in January, 1950. Construction began in the spring of 1949 - about the same time the yacht club was incorporated in the legislature by Chapter 102 of the Acts of Nova Scotia.
Built of split-log siding supplied by the Caledonia Hard Wood Company and 2,000 square feet of red pine given at half price by Macgregor Miller from his family lumber yard, the clubhouse was designed by the members and the master builder was Angus Ernst, assisted by Stanford Baker, Melvin Schnare and Thomas Haughn. Mr. Charles Wentzell represented the Club in overseeing the project as he was quite "mechanically minded". Mr. Ernst received a salary of 90 cents an hour, Mr. Baker - 65 cents an hour, with Mr. Schnare and Mr. Haughn each receiving 55 cents an hour. A canteen was started almost immediately after completion, although a well was not drilled until July of 1952. This work was done by the Bluenose Well Drilling Company Limited, of Bridgewater.
Lavatories were installed in 1953. The yearly dues were $5.00 for senior members and $2.00 for junior members; and by 1952 dances were being held in the clubhouse every Saturday night, with the first dance on June 14th.
Members held annual cruises with destinations such as Deep Cove and Chester, and they were soon hosts to annual cruises from the Armdale Yacht Club. A racing schedule was begun with Predicted Log Cruises with each skipper predicting how long it would take him to travel the course. Watches were not allowed except on compass courses, while charts could be used except on the compass course. Each cruise was divided into two legs with the second leg orders being sealed and only opened after the first was completed, with each boat carrying a scrutinizer. The earliest trophy was the Bulletin Trophy.
A burgee was designed - a royal blue pennant with a white stripe running through the center and a red cairn surmounted on the white field. The cairn represented the cairn located at Fort Point. The Nova Scotia flag was chosen as the Club ensign. The first flagpole and staff was donated by Mr. Teddy Snyder and Captain A. S. Publicover. The marine railway was constructed in 1955 and the rock wall was enlarged.
By 1958 all remaining bonds were redeemed and the Bond Redemption Account was closed. An outboard motor division of the Club was established with the Club open for gas sales on Wednesdays from 1 to 3pm, and Saturday and Sundays from 7 to 9pm. If members required gasoline at other times, they contacted the Commodore or the Treasurer. A slipway for small boats was erected at the lower edge of the clubhouse with a barrier placed to mark off deep water. By 1960 many improvements were made to the house and grounds. A space heater was acquired, as well as picnic tables and garden chairs. There were now two slips and finally, a floating wharf with crib and cat walk. Unfortunately this resulted in a mishap on one dance evening when several enthusiastic members decided to do the 'bunny-hop' down the floating wharf, overloading it and depositing the ladies in long dresses and gentlemen in suits into the water!
In 1956 the first LaHave River Yacht Club Sailing Trophy ever won in competition was earned by Mr. Gerald Stevens of Chester, who at the time was sailing under the colors of the LaHave River Yacht Club at the Lunenburg Regatta.
Land for the present site was made available at a minimal cost by Mr. and Mrs. Chris Couthard and with the generous financial assistance of fifteen present and former club members. In 1972 Dr. Mike Delory arranged through Mr. Jim Kinley for a LIP grant to move the building across the cove on the ice, to its present location. The move was not without mishap as much damage occurred when pulling the building up the bank. Land not needed for the Club, boat yard and cradle yard was subdivided and lots sold to raise money for club enlargement and site development. The boat house and sheds were designed and engineered by Mr. Ralph Richards and Mr. Arthur Dechman. These were built privately with donated materials and contributed labour and an actual cash requirement of $13,142.53, but were always a source of controversy. The marine railway was constructed in 1972.
The main wharf was built in 1973 as well as an addition made to the clubhouse, with another bank loan for $17,500.00. The tree-farmer was purchased in 1979 for $5,600.00. Also the rock wall from the main wharf around the point to the dinghy wharf at the rear of the clubhouse was built. This was necessary because of the continual winter flooding around the club (as happened again in 1996 with the tidal surges from the fall hurricane. At this time the floating docks were higher than the land!). All the work was volunteer with Hugh Corkum from Mount Pleasant hired to place the rocks with his backhoe. The boatyard was enlarged and improved. The area behind the boatshed was widened to allow easier access with large spars.
The shoreline from the railway up river was enlarged about 40 feet into the river - reclaiming what nature had washed away! The yard closest to the clubhouse was improved with 100 loads of fill, after which Class A gravel was spread over the whole yard. This was then compacted by Acadia Construction for free.
New wheels were made for the railway dolly somewhere around New Glasgow. Previous to this the wheels were cast iron and could not be greased. The new wheels were steel and had grease fittings. The railway at the time was of an odd gauge found between New Germany and the Valley. As these tracks were removed, the Club collected all they could. This railway was always in need of maintenance. During this period one of Nauss Brothers' large trucks carrying a dozer demolished Cook's Bridge.
After this, a large amount of steel from this bridge was given to the club. This steel along with some new was used to construct a new dolly.
In 1977, thanks to Dr. and Mrs Mike Delory, the Smeltarama was held at the Club - now replaced by the Conquerall Bank Fire Department Smelt Tournament - an early trophy is present at the club.
Beginning in 1977 the Club held several overnight sailing races. These started at the Club and ended at Himmelman's wharf in LaHave. Also by 1979, the club assets were valued at approximately $100,000.00. In 1981 a Boston Whaler and 25 H.P. motor were acquired and Junior Sailing was a going concern. By 1986, membership dues had risen to $130.00 for boat owners, and $35.00 for outboard members and $55.00 for Social members. There were approximately 125 members and over 60 boats at the Club - a major growth from 21 boats in 1973. A sound system was acquired for the clubhouse and a playground area for the children was being planned. Also in 1986, our present Commodore, Monty Mosher acquired his schooner Harmona and a christening took place during the cocktail hour prior to the Commodore's Ball.
By 1987, the Junior Sailing Program totaled 26 sailors and by 1988, an Adult Sailing Program was started. However, that year the river was closed to swimming due to contamination, which greatly affected the Learn to Sail Program for a couple of years. 1988 also saw the introduction to the Labour Day Regatta which has proved very popular.
In 1989 the clubhouse was further improved by the addition of a lighted trophy cabinet and more comfortable seating. Research continued into acquiring a travel lift for the boatyard. A motion to purchase a lift was made in November, 1989, and acquired in 1990. To accommodate this addition to the clubhouse, dues were increased to $180.00 a year. By 1990, the river pollution was greatly improved, and the junior sailing boats on loan to the Lunenburg Yacht Club were returned - needing many repairs. A new Boston Whaler and motor was purchased in 1995, and 1996 saw the addition of a new gin pole on the main wharf.
1997 - LRYC is looking at a membership of 128 families of which 61 are active members, 61 - social and 3 out port members. Our life members are Macgregor Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Chris Coulthard and Mrs. Ruth Fralic.
The Club has new marina floats and 17 or 18 are available for members' rental on a seasonal basis, and we offer 6 guest moorings. Racing this year will be under the direction of Mr. Sherman Creaser and Mr. Bruce Wentzell is the man to contact for membership. The clubhouse is open weekends in May and June. as well as week night evenings once racing starts. In July and August the Club is open daily.
I wish to thank all who helped me compile this history - with stories, minutes, photos and receipts. However there are still many gaps in the history, and if any member has more information to share, I hope they will contact me!
2009 - Flag Officers:
Commodore – Ken Morrison, Past Commodore – Dr.Ewart Morse, Rear Commodore -Captain Orville Banfield, Vice- Commodore - Greg Smith, Treasurer- Bob Richards- July 15th – Fred Daugherty appointed Treasurer and Secretary – Christina Shunahan.
The first Executive meeting was held on Jan. 20, 2009. Noted that the North Wharf, christened in 2007, is now fully paid for and the Boat yard is now enlarged to provide for more boat storage. May10th the boat yard is full with very few boats at the dock or on moorings. By June 7th, the boat yard was half empty. The Club House Expansion was discussed at the June7th Executive meeting. Numerous meetings continued throughout the year on this important topic. A full description of the recommendations can be found in the “New Yacht Club Committee” report. The final Draft of a revised Constitution and By-laws was distributed on Aug 7, 2009. Approximately 30 yachts from Maine and other US East coast ports arrived at the club on Aug 21, 2009. Due to “Hurricane Bill” warnings, many yachts moved up river to the Railway Wharf or other safe areas. In spite of the storm, LRYC sponsored a dinner for the guests at the club. The “Cruiser Fest” was inaugurated July 24, 2009 and involved LRYC members as participants unlike the Poker Run which was dropped due to diminished interest. The annual LaHave / Chester/Return race was held in September.
The ”Learn to Sail” program under the direction of Ken Houldsworth was very successful with trophies presented at the closing ceremonies on August 28th. Former Commodore, Bruce Addison passed away this year. The revenue/expense history shall be inserted following the Annual meeting details. Membership statistics to be verified at the Annual meeting and inserted at a later date. This is the first attempt to file an annual “History” report that may be condensed at a later date in book form. It is hoped that members will contribute items of interest and importance which shall be incorporated in this report.
2010 - Flag Officers: Commodore – Captain Orval Banfield, Vice- Commodore – Warren Webber, Rear Commodore – Alan Levy, Treasurer – Fred Daugherty, Secretary –Andrea Lohnes. The 2010 boat season got underway on April 25th with some activity by members working on their boats; but no boat launchings at this time. The trees west (back) of the shed have been cut to prepare for excavation and grading of a yard addition for boat storage. By April 30th, some excavation had started and completed by mid September. The addition will alleviate the boat storage problem. About 100 boats were in the yard this year. The full capacity of the yard extension could not be used due to overhead power lines restricting yachts with masts. These wires are to be buried in 2011. The floating docks were launched on May 15th and installed in 2 1⁄2 hours. By May 24th, there were a few boats at the docks and the season started to open. The water lot lease has been extended but the extension date is uncertain. The clubhouse expansion was discussed and some ballpark estimates were submitted but nothing definite was released - see “New Yacht Club Committee” report. Some other improvements to the kitchen and wash rooms were completed. The club membership reached 188 by the end of the year. The new membership category of “Outport Member” was formally approved at the AGM on Jan. 16, 2010. The club was very active during the season, however, yacht racing was not well attended. A fleet of about 10 boats from RNSYS visited the club in August. We treated the visitors to a dinner and dance on the Sat. night of their visit.
The Learn to Sail program was well attended and successful under the direction of Ken Houldsworth. Trophies were presented to the budding sailors on August 27th and all enjoyed the celebrations and a barbecue for all. The complete club history has not been written due to a lack of information over approximately 7 years.
2011 - Historian Report saw the following members serve on the Executive: Commodore – Warren Webber, Vice Commodore - Alan Levy, Rear Commodore - Tony Smith, Treasurer - Fred Daugherty, Secretary - Andrea Lohnes, Learn To Sail - Doug Philip, Membership - Sharon Edison, Entertainment - Wendy Rockwell, House & Grounds - Gilles Belliveau, Yard Captain - Len Slaunewhite, Scuttlebut - Andrea Lohnes, Race Committee - Capt. Orville Banfield, Web Site - Frank Edison and Historian - Arthur Dechman.
The club had a late start this year due to cold, rainy and windy weather along with fog. No boats were launched as of May 6th; but by May 14th the marina floats were launched in record time by a large group of members who also cleaned up the lawns and gardens. A pot luck lunch was enjoyed by all the volunteers. The late start resulted in only 2 boats being launched as of May 24th. The big project for the club in 2011 was the design and construction of the complete electrical system. The project included new transformers and an underground distribution system at a cost of $135,000. The amount was financed from cash surplus funds and a line of credit. The new design has provided much more storage space for existing yachts and extended room for new member yachts. The new system also corrected low voltage problem to marina floats; yard work and shed. The new space will result in additional income from the yard. The system was installed and completed in the late autumn by Dayspring Electric. The other most interesting event of 2011 was an extremely high tide on Nov. 2nd which flooded the docks and yard at the rear of the club house. The tide was created by a storm at sea, a strong south wind. I have been around the river for 70 years and have never seen a tide that high before. The clubhouse replacement is still on the agenda, but had to be postponed due to the electrical project which was rated a priority by all members. There were 109 yachts stored in the year 2011. Arthur M. Dechman, LRYC Historian
2012 - The summer was highlighted by it's excellent weather and it's very active sailing season. A full program of racing and cruising occurred. Ashore the club got a major upgrade of it's electrical system with all underground wiring and an increase in capacity to meet present needs as well as future growth. Also new in 2012 was the addition of a third wharf north of the existing two wharves. This new wharf has six finger floats (12 docking spaces) and room on the face for visiting boats. The marine railway got a major overhaul in 2012 with new cross ties, anchor plates and stone grading. The bearing in the dolly were also replaced. A Recreational Facility Improvement Grant from the NS. Government in the amount of $40,000.00 was received to help defray the costs of these improvements.
A new electronic cash register was purchased for the B & G to help keep track of the sales there. Also, two used freezers were acquired to hold ice for sale at by the B & G. Six "new to us" tables were purchased along with a supply of chairs. The club continues to grow and with new members and more boats as is evident by the daily boating activity as seen on the river.
Arthur M. Dechman, LRYC Historian
2013 - Our longtime member and historian Art Dechman passed away July 30 ’13. His annual reports were those of an engineer – precise and to do with LRYC’s infrastructure and equity. We all miss Art and his nautical wisdom. We have established the Art Dechman race in his honour.
This report is made up of a pot-pourri of club events and achievements by members in 2013. I hope it also allows us to recall our exciting history.
Your executive’s 2013 season started at their first meeting Feb 12. At the behest of the Canada Revenue Agency we now deposit 10% of our dues and fees into the Capital Projects/Acquisitions Reserve Fund each June. A dissolution plan for LRYC, should the need ever arise, dictates that residual assets be donated to the South Shore Regional Hospital. Parents are given social membership in LRYC during the Learn to Sail program (LTS) their children attend. Our club constitution was updated and is to be ratified at our annual meeting in Jan ’14. Our thanks are given to the review committee.
Marina floats were launched May 4 by a seasoned team of volunteers. Chains, mooring blocks and float repairs were tended to this year. LTS grant money did not materialize this year, but a fine “Opti” boat was donated but member Erik LaFleche. A past commodores’ luncheon reunited the group and should be an annual event. We have a new aluminum flag pole, and capped wall for the upper boat yard with flatter access to it. The newsletter “Scuttlebutt” was the “victim” of our LRYC Face book site, our web site and improved communication via timely emails.
Racing began June 1 for the Rofihe trophy. By June 26 seventy boats had their hulls wet and forty were waiting their turn. In the end 26 stayed ashore this year. Club fresh water was upgraded with more filters. Pat started weekly updates of club activities July 2 – a quote: “Come out and enjoy cheering on you favourite and listen to the great stories about why they didn’t win and the fact that it wasn’t their fault.”
Irv Besen threw a 90th birthday party July 5 for himself that will be fondly remembered, as will his smooth dance moves. Irv died Nov 14, so we have lost another close friend. Eadie Murphy left us July 16 after medical setbacks this year. Her husband Noel and friends at the club she helped make beautiful gathered to remember her Sept 8. The flagpole horseshoe garden was placed in her memory by Noel.
Our executive had fuel dock open/closed signs erected. An up to date membership list was posted in the club for our perusal. Secure storage for club documents was encouraged by the Revenue Canada auditors. Scott Young led a boating outing to Mosher’s Island July 28 attended by 6 sailing vessels and 4 boats of the “other” persuasion. The Liverpool Race boats tipped their caps to them as they passed while racing home. The N.S. Schooner association regatta graced LRYC Aug 4- 10:”Great weather, great people, great entertainment and beautiful boats.” Five Solings both local and as far away as Halifax returned for 2 days of terrific sailing and the annual “Soling Bowl” Aug 17-18.
Our club roof had shingle repairs done, paint applied to the walls and road work. A yard clean up Sept 7 had our site looking fresh.
Our last race Sept 21 was for that demon rum bottle. Awards night was Sept 28 with Orval Banfield taking the club champion license plate home again on his bumper. Marina floats were craned out Oct 12 for the season and the bar and grill closed. The big boat shed appears to have been uninsured awhile in spite of the repairs done and then inspected (being looked into as of Oct 23). The last hauling day was Oct 31. A 120 ton crane lifted “Martha Seabury”, a 48 ft 25 ton Lunenburg built schooner onto the hard of our yard in November. Water was shut off Nov 10 and power Dec 10.
Two last sad notes: Dec 15 Len Slaunwhite succumbed to cancer. He was an avid yachtsman and a skilled LRYC equipment operator in our boat yard for years. Condolences are offered to his wife Fay and family. This week we lost another LRYC club member to cancer. John Knowles who lived in Montreal but his son lives in Riverport. John owned a Niagara 35. He had it in the water for about 2 weeks this summer. John and his wife Audrey were good supporters of the club and he will be missed.
2014 - Your Executive’s activities of note this year included: keeping the web site updated including the monthly activity calendars; reviewing current financials monthly; being persistent in extracting late payments from a few members amounting to over $10,000 on your behalf (they were acting unfairly toward most of us who pay on time); protecting our environment and our feelings by issuing a shed and yard etiquette and procedures document; and having guidelines instituted by our Safety Officer pertaining to hearing and foot protection for our employees, and getting their boat operator’s certificate to operate the club work boat.
Pat Mitchell’s weekly newsletter began May 7 with rave reviews and resulted in record participation in LRYC events throughout the season. Marina floats were put in May 10th and hauled Oct 11 on a rising tide - whoops Dave! A preventative maintenance program is in place with spot welding of the PVC pipes and any needed wooden superstructure repair. Two to three are done preseason and one or two during the summer. We have a new electric motor and hydraulic drive to power the marine railway thanks to our money and Frank Edison’s attention to the matter. In 1973 Ralph Richards constructed the winch house equipment with a gas engine and it has been in continuous use since then. The tree farmer is still in 2 wheel drive, but after a few repairs it now “should be good for years to come”. Gilles replaced most of the outdoor lights with LED efficient ones. Our first weekly social was May 16th. They all had sponsors each Friday guaranteeing a good time and turnout. Pat even squeezed in two sponsored Saturday evenings toward the end. Shannon Rafuse and Jackie got compliments on their cooking and service all summer. May 30th was the Commodore’s Opening Dance, but more important the first race was scheduled for May 31st.
Our inaugural Ladies’ Learn to Sail weekend was led by Val Doan. A keen group of 13 sailors practised their new skills in 4 member’s boats. They went on to win one Lady Skipper race and get a second in the other with an all girl crew. Likely there will be another in 2015.
We lost another member, Peter Kern, unexpectedly just days after he had launched his sailboat, Ananda III in June, and we offer our condolences to his wife and family.
Learn to Sail courses for youth began June 30th and went well with a BBQ and closing trophies awarded August 22. Ken Houldsworth guided the program for us while Tyler Garland and his instructors added the fun factor.
Pat and Dave did manage to win 1 race this summer and were not always last in others in their lovely cruising boat “Tide N’ Knots”.
Hurricane Arthur caused some distress for a few of us on July 5th. “Spring Fever” ended up across the river on her side for 36 hours. Dale Gray’s sailboat dragged her mooring and suffered some damage to her rigging. Reverend Dale led a beautiful remembrance service at LRYC July13 for Art Dechman, Irv Besen, Len Slauenwhite, John Knowles and Peter Kern.
A successful “Fun Run” was well orchestrated by our Adrian and Melisa Demone July 12th involving mostly motor craft.
LRYC was amply represented by Orval Banfield’s “Illusion” in the Halifax to St. Pierre race gaining a second in cruising class and 13th over all. Steve Williston’s “Moderation” flew our burgee at Chester Race Week this year. Commodore Frank Edison took our salutes July 19th at the sail past. It was well deserved for his hard work keeping the club and our railway dolly “on the rails”.
This year’s club picnic at Mosher’s Island July 27th was geared for the kids with pirate treasure and tall tales - a great success.
The NS Schooner Assoc. races were back in Riverport this year August 3rd -9th and we sent an invitation to them for a return engagement each year at our club, if they wish.
”Peace and Quiet” (Greg and Debbie) and “Salvation” (Rick and Heather) set off August 16th for the dream winter in the South Seas. They join several like minded members who already have their boats in Florida.
Later that day our first weekend race began to Lunenburg for the Webber Family Trophy. It was a great time and fabulous weather both ways. The second weekender, for the Rusty Ansell Trophy, started August 23 and was to Chester. Wind was a bit light going but spruced up eventually returning. Our Labour Day regatta August 30th – 31st was blessed with wild winds the second day when we left the river for Dublin Bay. “Illusion” established a record passage around the 14 mile course in 2 hours and 19 minutes. Awards night and the closing banquet and dance were held September 26th.
The sap dripping/needle dropping pines on our property were cut this fall and those of us who tried to clean it off our boats rejoice.
One last pot luck supper social was staged Oct 24th. The boat yard equipment shut down for the year Oct 31 again. Water and power shut down occurred Nov. 11 and Dec 7 respectively.
The constitution meeting to debate changes was held Nov. 22. Thanks to the committee and especially Gilles and Sandra for hanging in until the end.
2015 - Your Executive’s year started officially at the AGM Dec 13, 2014 and the first executive meeting was Jan 26.
Socially speaking: Friday May 22nd was our LRYC Meet and Greet for 2015. May 29th Duscam sponsored our first Friday social for the season. June 5th was our opening dinner and dance. It was another hopping good time at LRYC all summer.
The Club House: Thanks Shannon and Jackie for amazing meals and friendly service. Staff had bright orange T-shirts this year as you likely noticed. Thanks to Vice Commodore Al for the new shelf in the Bar and Grill, the girls love it and the members like that they can easily see what is available. We now have a book shelf in the Port Hole Lounge for a book exchange. There’s no more getting rained on while sitting outside on the deck since Billy and the keeners replaced the roofing. We replaced one unserviceable fuel pump with a refurbished one with a cost of approximately $3000.00 + installation. The back side of the club house was cleaned up and the steps repaired. The club’s water system was cleaned and backwashed. The Commodore and the H&G Chair, Billy, installed a new water treatment system, which will drastically improve the quality of the water to the club house. Cost of this improvement was approximately $2,700.
Learn to Sail for the youth (age 8 and up) started July 6th, and Aug. 28th was their last day to enjoy a really well run program.
Racing: An inner mark for race starts just beyond the mooring field was deployed before May 30th, our first official race, and the Rofihe trophy. Trophies were updated and new sponsors were found for many. We agreed to provide a non member race sponsor with one Shore Membership (no Bar Card) for use during the year they sponsor. Thanks to Val Doan for her review on sailing for the Lady Skippers before their races. It has been so much fun to be able to have all these Ladies Skippers Races this summer, and with such a good turnout we will
definitely be doing this again next year. A quote from Pat’s weekly update: “While racing we tried to wash the winches beside the windows but it was an awesome day and race. I surprised myself and didn’t even get scared when we tipped more than 45 degrees, and just took everybody's word that the boat would right itself and it did.”
Visitors: We welcomed 10 boat from RNSYS who enjoyed our Yacht Club July 20 – 21. Many other gorgeous boats from all over dropped in to try our little bit of heaven. Our Rear Commodore, George, installed 4 photo- electrically lighted markers to clearly identify a channel coming into the docks through the mooring field. Water Lot Lease - finally got an email from DNR. She said the report was back in her office for review. Buoys were installed to mark the club’s soon to be approved mooring field. The mooring field has been surveyed with a record of depths captured. 2 additional club moorings were added. George created a computer database to better track membership information and it went “live” Oct. 5. He is in the process of creating a Visiting Boats Instruction Guide. The guide will provide information pertaining to club procedures, facilities, local events and contact information. WIFI access on the docks: As this issue is not shared by the majority of the membership and the cost associated with expanding the access could be great, it will only be offered in the clubhouse for now. Previously procured surveillance cameras were installed by George. Commodore Dave conducted a review of previously submitted documents pertaining to construction of a new club house. He briefed the executive that he was going to craft a report,
using these previously submitted documents in order to come up with a revised/affordable way ahead. This report will be presented as a multi-year project at the Dec.5th AGM. A LRYC Brochure was developed by our Commodore with executive input. The title of Honorary Dock Master was given to Charlie Mosher, as a result of his efforts to maintain our docks and club house. Launch day was delayed until 16 May due to a late spring to allow maintenance of marina sections. Oct 17th was haul out day for the marina docks.
Frank’s Yard: The winch house roof re-shingling and removal of the old gas engine were done. Landscaping is complete and the neighbors seem content in that we did not encroach on their property lines. This area will be used to store boats that have not been launched in the past few years. This will reduce the travel and manoeuvring of the tree farmer. We will avoid storing boats with masts as the wind in the rigging would no doubt be aggravating.
The Boat Shed: We did not have insurance for the collapsed roof over 2 bays in the boat shed. We also did not realize the collapse was not due to snow load but due to poor maintenance that would be beyond volunteer capabilities. Sept. 27 special general meeting results: 22 Votes for
Option 1 - Repair the damaged shed bays to a cost of approximately $50k and increase shed rental to 2k, an amount more in line with local rates. 50% of all future shed rental revenue to be spent on shed repairs. 36 Votes for Option 2 - Completely demolish the boat shed to a cost of approximately for currently housed electrical components. We had the owners sign a waiver by Oct. 31 stating
they are aware of the shed condition and that the club would be indemnified against any loss or damage to their stored boats there. Awards Night, Closing Dinner and Dance was held Sept. 25th
We will have our first booth at the Feb. 18 – 21, 2016 Boat Show with posters, brochures and members there to promote the Best Little Yacht Club in the Province.
2016 - This year we completed more projects than I can remember since I joined in 1974. It is amazing what skill, knowledge, experience and imagination can achieve with a great membership backing it all. Kudos to our executive and volunteers!
Socially we have had another successful year, with every Friday social having a sponsor. We picked up three new sponsors. Our new DJ is with Sound Choice Entertainment and everybody seemed to enjoy him. We had five dances. Our own multitalented Peter Kielburger and his son serenaded us with guitars one evening. The closing party was Sept. 30th.
The club house and grounds carried out work on the fueling system and installed used pumps. Signage was attached to the colour-coded fuel nozzles. A valving system was designed and installed at the rear of the club to separate club water from the marina’s. A new swing/activity unit was constructed by Gilles for kids. Security cameras were installed by George Matthews with the assistance of Gilles and Bill Nickerson. Bill generously donated the three dock cameras. The cameras were moved to survey the Yard and Dock rebuilds after the docks were hauled. A new to us dishwasher was installed. The club’s well was pumped dry near the end of a very dry season. Strict measures were put in place to limit water use. The levels recovered after a few days. The road and parking lot potholes were patched and sloped to prevent puddles.
The boat yard: The number of boats being stored in the yard has not changed much in the past 10 years. Booking haul/launch by email has proven to work very well. The electrical panel was housed by volunteers. Then the unsafe boatshed was demolished for $33,000, which was $17,000 under budget. The railway replacement design team of Frank, Dave, George and Peter gathered to discuss our options and after many hours of each playing the devil’s advocate, they all agreed that Dave’s plan of construction on shore and launching over the existing rail was the best plan. The donation of the track and parts by David Himmelman should not go unrecognized. Without this donation the project would not have proceeded at any cost because the material was just not available in NS. It was completed for $2k under budget and cost $15,000. The winch house required structural repairs and has been resided. We have started accumulating funds for the future replacement of the tree farmer.
The Vice advises the Bar and Grill turned a small profit this year. The cash register gave up the ghost so a replacement will be a capital purchase for 2017. A change in the fuel pricing formula ended up doubling our profit on fuel sales. The majority of the profit will be moved to a capital fund for fuel tanks and pumps replacement. We have started to modernize our club with the new washrooms and showers. It was decided to go with a standalone building to avoid expensive renovations to the clubhouse foundation. The washroom has been built to a roof tight state for the winter. George Matthews designed, and again, with volunteers, constructed a very sturdy mast storage rack. The Club Steward’s Award was a tough decision for LRYC staff, so there were double winners this year: Gilles Belliveau; and soft spoken Charlie Mosher. Mary Davidson deserves special mention for her attention to the flowers.
Our rear was covered by Greg Gromack. New members were instructed on mooring locations and how to construct a mooring by using our online calculator and received any advice they needed. The wood components of the floating docks have about a 15 year life. Charlie and the boys reconstructed 3 new docks this spring and in the fall dismantled 4 docks and partially framed them. Weather conditions and existing borderline conditions of some of the docks lead to damage of a few main docks on the center and south locations.
The Race Committee is pleased to note that “racing is in our genes... written into our constitution.” There were 51 planned races, and only 1 was not sailed, due to rain. We were privileged to have 21 active trophies. The Past Commodore’s Trophy was Frank Edison’s idea and recognizes racers who continue to take part regardless of outcome. They endeavor to improve their skills while participating often and are seldom discouraged. They race for the fun of it, for the camaraderie and for the possibility that this time they just might win. This applies to most of us, but the poster persons for 2016 were undoubtedly Dave and Pat Mitchell and their faithful crew, Colin Binnington on “Tide n’ Knots”. The 2016 Club Champion was Illusion owned and captained by our Honourary Member, Orval Banfield. The Soling fleet are planning a regatta in August 2017 at LRYC after a hiatus from 2014 – 2016.
The Membership Committee has been busy conducting an audit of the entire database. Only about 10% of the data needed some updating. George found another online database which had far more capability and it was free! We had 30 new members: 10 were Shore and 11 Senior. There were 40 Members who did not renew. We ended up with 168 Active members. A planned welcome document for new members will include links to new online registration forms and a member fee calculator. Our thanks go to Nancy Bastedo for her past 2 years handling the position.
Youth sailing had a down turn in the number of students due to adverse publicity regarding the years of “acceptable “pollution levels in the river, we believe. Nobody likes straight pipes for sewage. Having tried other methods, it seemed word of mouth is the best way of generating interest in our program. The program is great because of the quality of instructors. Many parents of kids in the program have joined as members when they have seen what the club has to offer. If the students don’t end up at our home club, they may end at another where they live. We bought 2 boats for our Learn to Sail program: one was a chase boat; and the other was an adult Learn to Sail boat. The latter we hope to use to implement a program for adults. Ken Houldsworth deserves our gratitude for his eight years of dedicated service.
Our Treasurer says money borrowing for our club is not a good option. Our capital projects are not
just for this year, but some of them will range over the next 5-7 years. We are trying to be proactive as opposed to reactive. Our goal is to have the money at hand when things are no longer usable and not have to borrow again.
-------- Comments from LRYC's Closing Dinner 2016 Race presentations
I ‘m your Vice Commodore George Matthews, filling in for the Commodore, Al Wilwand who had a scheduling conflict tonight. I will be posting this presentation to the membership via email as well.
This evening we will have five items on the agenda:
Race presentations, Volunteer recognition, Club Steward award, Dinner and then a Dance.
Racing is in our genes... written into our constitution. What makes LRYC racing unique is that we place more emphasis on having fun! Ewart Morse our Race Committee chair, has done a great job this year. He will now handle the first items on the agenda; Race results and Trophy Presentations.
Summary of LRYC Race Results for 2016
Please join us out on the race course next year. Here’s why you should:
This year 22 boats raced at our club; 2 of them also raced elsewhere, one winning his class in Chester; and 1 more member raced his boat only in the schooner races, winning them!
All but 1 boat had a top 5 finish in at least 1 race.
There were 51 planned races, and only 1 was not sailed, due to rain. A benefit of the dry summer.
There were as few as 3 and as many as 11 to turn out for each race.
First, second, and third finishes were recognized tonight for the 21 trophies we are pleased to have displayed. You will see over 30 colourful Rofihe’s shirts with LRYC and boat’s names on them around the club. They were received as “keepers” this year for many of our trophies. Sponsors will be thanked again and they receive a picture of the presentation from this evening. Thanks to Pat Mitchell for all her work on sponsorship.
The Line Honours Darlene Doling Trophy went to Illusion (this means they crossed the finish line first in the most races).
The 2016 Club Champion was Illusion owned and captained by our Honourary Member, Orval Banfield. Look for the front license plate on his white truck.
The Super Race Starters Award went to Art and Alice McGillivray. Much appreciated by all of us.
Ewart Morse of “Spring Fever”, chair of the Race Committee Volunteer recognition
Most older members in this room know what it takes to run a successful club. What many new members do not realize is that our club is non-profit, with funds for projects coming directly from member’s pockets, but without the dedication of a few volunteers, the club memberships fees would be far higher.
Tonight I will be highlighting some of those projects.
We completed many projects this year, some of which required a great deal of behind the scenes planning and work. I will present projects by team lead and summarize the benefits of each.
I’m going to start with the projects I led... Projects by team lead George Matthews:
Lighted Mooring buoys, Membership Database, Security cameras, Mast storage racks
I designed and built the six lighted and two unlighted mooring fields buoys in 2015. In 2016 I added additional floatation with the assistance of Greg Gromack. Cost per buoy less that $200. Prebuilt purchase price $570 each.
Total savings $4,160 for eight buoys.
I designed and coded our online membership database. With Frank Edison’s prior data and help with review. The entire Executive now has up to date details of all facts related to membership.
Cost, $6 per month vs $2,500 or more to setup a custom database.
I installed the Security cameras with the assistance of Gilles Belliveau and Bill Nickerson. Bill also generously donated the dock cameras. We saved several hundred dollars for installation and maintenance.
I designed and built the Mast Storage Racks with the assistance of Russell Barrier, Bill Fleming, Greg Gromack and Steve Wiliston. We saved about $1,200 in labour costs.
Total savings from these projects: $8,560
So if all those volunteers, who helped with these projects are here tonight, please stand so the membership can acknowledge your contributions.
Next, dock rebuilds...
Dock rebuilds by team lead Charles Mosher
The floating docks wood components have about a 15 year life.
We could simply replace the docks at $5k each, or as we do now, rebuild three or four every year at a cost of $2k each. This saving is directly related to the volunteer labour of 100 hours per float, close to $2,500 in savings.
Charlie and his crew have rebuilt nine floats over the last four years, with four rebuilds set for this year alone!
That represents a savings of over $10k to the club this year!
We have eight or nine years of rebuilds to go before starting the cycle over.
So if all those volunteers, who helped with this project are here tonight, please stand so the membership can acknowledge your contributions.
Charlie Mosher, Art McGillivray, Hans Boot, Dave Mitchell, George Matthews, Steve Williston, Bill Elliott, Richard Foy and others
Next, Gilles projects...
Projects by Gilles Belliveau
We should all agree that the rebuild of the Playground was long overdue.
Gilles worked diligently and single-handed by his own choice to completely rebuild the equipment. Dave Mitchell and the Yard Persons helped to dig a new pit, I and a few others helped with an occasional heavy lift.
Many of Gilles projects were small, but essential. He built shelves, bins and repaired many things in and around the clubhouse.
Please show your appreciation for Gilles. Next, Dave’s project...
Projects by Dave Mitchell
The rebuild of the clubhouse facilities has been on the agenda for many years. This last year Dave Mitchell took a serious crack at the expansion plan and presented a few options to the Executive. It became apparent that the kitchen expansion also meant that the washroom facilities would have to move. The best approach is a standalone building to avoid expensive renovations to the clubhouse foundation. Alan Wilwand solicited an engineered plan for the washroom structure from private contractors and a low bid was selected. Construction of a rooftight structure is scheduled for completion this Fall.
So if all those volunteers, who helped with this project are here tonight, please stand so the membership can acknowledge your contributions.
Projects by Frank Edison
Frank’s projects were once in our lifetime... both large in scale and difficult by any measure.
What many clubs members do not know is that a great deal of time and effort went into planning of the railroad rebuild.
Frank had a prior commitment tonight... this is his report... RAILWAY PROJECT
The rail project was completed on time and on budget but it was not without its challenges. The design team of Frank, Dave, George and Peter gathered to discuss our options and after many hours of each playing the devil’s advocate we all agreed that Dave’s plan of construction on shore and launching over the existing rail was the best plan. Over the winter we met, made a detailed plan, ordered material, parts and equipment and prepared for D-day. The construction phase was well supported by club volunteers; some came often and some came when they could. Some donated their expertise and some were happy to take direction and drive a spike. We had all the rail in the water and were back in operation on schedule, just like we had planned.
The donation of the track and parts by David Himmelman should not go unrecognized. Without this donation the project would not have proceeded at any cost because the material was just not available in NS.
Finally. without volunteers, this much needed project would have cost the club many, many thousands of dollars more. I would ask any of the volunteers here tonight to please stand so the membership can acknowledge your contributions.
Once the SGM results were read last Sept the work started on preparation for the demolition of the shed. And another detailed plan had to be written. A number of government offices were contacted about our environmental responsibilities and our legal responsibilities. We wanted to ensure that we were in total compliance with Federal, Provincial and Municipal regulations before any work began. Once cleared, a contractor was hired for the demolition and another for the construction of the new utility shed.
George Matthews designed, and again, with volunteers, constructed a very sturdy mast storage rack. It was decided that D-Day would be 1 Aug. As I would be off sailing, George and Ron took over the on site management of the project. Everything went smoothly and almost everyone agrees it looks a hell of a lot better!
Only a very few people would be quoting Joni Mitchell where she sang “they tore down paradise and put up a parking lot”.
This project came in well under budget at $33 k of an available $50k.
Again, without volunteers this project would not have happened. And again I would ask any of the volunteers here tonight to please stand so the membership can acknowledge your contributions.
Ewart will now present the Club Steward’s award... Ewart Morse...
The Club Steward’s Award
The Club Steward’s Award was a tough decision for LRYC staff, so there were double winners this year: Gilles Belliveau; and sweet Charlie Mosher. I think George should be recognized for his many innovations this year at LRYC too.
There are other aspects of the club that should also be recognized...
Greg Gromack, Rear Commodore, who managed all aspects of the docks and mooring fields.
Mike Hatt, club secretary, for managing the details.
Wendy Rockwell, finance, who diligently tracked the spending details.
Nancy Bastedo, membership chair who kept our records up to date.
Pat Mitchell, Entertainment, who again filled out Friday night socials with great sponsors. She also kept us informed with her weekly updates.
Bar and Grill, Managed by Shannon Rafuse, staffed by Jackie, Morgan and Brandon did a great job keeping us well fed and happy.
Shannon and Jackie.... Please come forward.... (flowers)
Overall it has been a great season at the club, great weather and lots of memories for the Winter to come.
I told you it was a record year!
LRYC Historian’s Report 2017
We moved into the modern age in January, and the executive member who was away attended meetings by computer based technology. The new accessible bathrooms and showers were christened this spring. The ramp to the biffies and adjacent clubhouse allowed our friend Steve to attend race nights and socials on multiple occasions. The club work boat’s new 20 HP outboard starts easily and the increased power saves time especially when far reaching race markers are tended to. Finding staff for the Bar and Grill, and for Grounds workers was a challenge due to high demand by the busy Nova Scotia tourism sector. Thanks to those who did serve us, including the many volunteers toward of the end of the season. Executive issues dealt with included: fallout from a 2016 gas instead of diesel fill up costing us $2500 in small claims court this year; asking for the RCMP’S help dealing with a member’s alleged misbehaviour; handling complaints from visitors and members about another member; having a flag officer resign; and three of your executive will not reoffer because of a tough year as volunteer, elected workers. On a positive note, Pat had Friday nights hopping at the LRYC, and racing was a pile of fun. We raced up river on Canada day, ending up at the Bridgewater celebration with the schooners, and got as far as Chester one weekend. We had increased participation in the learn to sail youth numbers and got compliments on the program and instructors. Even the adults had a good learn to sail weekend with the instructors. The missing $5000 was finally deposited in our account, albeit nine months late. To us, how this occurred is still an unknown. The town police looked after all the legal side, thankfully. Collection of past due fees from members was more successful than before with an agreed-upon system – no threats of harm were used on our members! That wasn’t much fun for your executive either. In April we had 162 members and 102 boats in the yard and remain in that ballpark. We have a new set of playground equipment thanks to Gilles. The south and central docks were rewired thanks to new member Gary Rawding and Gilles. Our treasurer has been a “treasure” leading to planned successful capital projects while using black ink for our books. A logical way to administer mooring placement in our field was drawn up by George. Better garbage containers and close attention by boaters should cause the rats to jump the LRYC ship. This year was, as the Chinese curse goes,” interesting”. May the next year be the opposite?
Ewart Morse, LRYC historian