In 1978, Matthew Henley discovered an aged wooden boat in the forest one afternoon with his brother. He brought it to the Kitsilano Yacht Club where he worked to restore the boat.
Henley now in the middle of his seventh year as the club’s commodore, got much assistance from the club’s members, and it is that essence of support he and other members are celebrating on the club’s 75th anniversary next month.
“People were constantly trying to give me a hand”, - Henley said.
The club, which was founded in 1934, is throwing an afternoon tea on September 12th, which is the anniversary of the Point Grey Road club’s founding. Many hundreds of people are anticipated to attend.
A chance to dry dock boats at a club for members at a reasonable means is what makes Kitsilano one of a kind said Henley, who races Lightning one-design sailboats brought to the club in 1945.
“They are better off being stored on land, - he said about the club’s sailboats. - You will not need to scrub the bottom.”
The club hosts Thursday night races and meals during the summer, a bridge club, a lifeguard society that offers swimming lessons as well as outrigger canoeing.
Memberships begin at $405 a year, however non-members are welcome to drop by on Thursdays.
“On Thursdays a person will at times just arrive at the dock, - Henley said. - They will come up, and have a meal.”
Henley’s wife Johanne Berube, is the one who is arranging the anniversary celebration, said along with the tea there will be a slide show with the honoring of the club’s athletes, as well as a few that were involved in the Canada Games. There will be photographs of old and new members as well as equipment demonstrations, and a march of the prior commodores. “There will be much catching up and socializing”, - she said.
Barbara and Fred Dill are putting together a special book about the Kits club for the event.
Dill, who has also assisted with Kitsilano 100th anniversary parties, has been a member since 1969.
Barbara and her husband Fred are both longtime members of the club and go once a week to enjoy the Thursday night races in the summer.
The boats have evolved, with the new styles coming out, nevertheless the camaraderie of the club has not changed, she added. “It has been a volunteering aspiration during the years”, - Dill said.
Dill expressed, the yacht club has really pulled through in times of trouble.
“There were several storms that have beat-up the dock or a portion of the dock [as well as a significant one in 1947], - Dill said. - It was required to have work crews over the years to fix the damages and keep up the clubhouse.”
Female athletes have flourished at the club from the start, she added. “Female sailors have been frequently active in the club as well.”
The book is comprised of mostly photographs from prior and present fleets, the building of the club, and the past and present members. Photographs from the anniversary tea will added after the celebration. There is a bit of history as well as the photos, Dill said.
Those curious can order the book at the anniversary tea. Open to everybody, the celebration will happen at 2401 Point Grey Road from 2 pm to 5pm.
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Kitsilano Yacht Club’s official website
Foto: Kitsilano Yacht Club