From the Archives
Articles researched and written by Chris Holloway for the GRYC Newsletters in 2011:
- GRYC 36 Years Ago - October 29, 2011
- Uneven Waters in 1974 - September 8, 2011
- The Canteen, the Boat Show and Trophies in 1973 - September 1, 2011
- The Planning Commission - August 9, 2011
- The Log Problem - July 26, 2011
- Reciprocal Rights - July 20, 2011
- Where did the Club Nights come from? - June 28, 2011
- The Y-Flyer Provincials - June 22, 2011
- The Telephone Number - July 13, 2011
- The Sealed Envelop - June 2, 2011
GRYC 36 Years Ago
By the year 1975, operations at the Gatineau River Yacht Club had gradually grown especially in the matter of finances, where the Club had finally moved from a "shoe string" exercise to one involving the receipt and expenditure of several thousands of dollars. Events in the summer of 1975 reflected the growth in planning and activities that emerged as a consequence of the additional dollars received and spent. In August of the year, the Club had a great "Caribbean Caper" theme party organized by Annette Brand and her social committee under the Directorship of Eileen Stranks. It was one of the great theme parties that have emerged at the Club over the years.
In racing terms, the Club in 1975 set a gold standard. The club participated with the Canadian Yachting Association and the provincial association, the Quebec Sailing Federation, in hosting the Area 10 Albacore Championship Regatta. An unprecedented four of the eight C.Y.A. Gold Sail winners in all of Canada came from our Club. Some 18 candidates from all over Quebec presented themselves in Montreal for the CYA Gold Sail practical tests. And of the 18 tested, only the four passed and they were all from GRYC. They included David Strutt, Bill Andrews, Geoff Erskine and Peter Stranks. Not only that, but Bill Andrews achieved the highest mark for all-Canada in the written examination.
In 1975, the club had had huge damage to its existing main boom. The boom then was in poor shape. Many of the boom logs were waterlogged and were kept afloat only through the increasing use of Styrofoam blocks. Eventually, the boom and the catwalk used for entry to the Island were replaced mostly through the help of the then existing Gatineau Boom Company. The replacement was in part guided by the ongoing work of the GRYC Planning Commission, which in 1975 was chaired by Geoff Erskine. Other members of the Commission included Esther Waring, Diana Becket, Chris Place, Pierre Bernier, John Sealy and Jon Hutton and their work was seminal to the Club's future.
The main boom was replaced, a new mortgage was obtained to cover reconstruction of the Clubhouse, new dry-sailing, docking and recreational facilities were built in as required, and a new Project Committee was appointed to oversee the reconstruction program.
With an increasing size in membership and increasing budget dollars available for repairs, interestingly some major work emerged at the centre of attention in the Clubhouse. The season began when Rene Gachnang reconnected the water pump, while repairing piping damaged in the previous winter, then re-insulating the hot water tank and covering it with a protective aluminum sheet.
New curtain rods were installed to enable the Club seamstresses to hang new drapes. They also provided new cushions and couch covers.
Two areas of the sun deck were repaired along with the north steps, and to reduce the water draining from the roof to the deck, eaves troughing was installed at the roof perimeter.
An emergency pipe line repair at the water pump was affected by Rene on the eve of the GRYC Invitational Regatta... and the picnic tables were reinforced with bolts and screws in time for the Area 10 Albacore Championships.
The main project involved a repair of the Club House foundation, replacing rotted posts with new ones to bear on concrete blocks after jacking the floor to level. At the time, the screen porch in the Club was also raised while the foundation posts were replaced.
Finally, new growth in the community was reflected in an expanding Laser fleet... and new docking arrangements introduced at the time, removed some of the hazards and traffic jams experienced in the fleet.
From these physical appearances in 1975, planning for the future was introduced by Geoff Erskine and his colleagues through the efforts of the Planning Commission and it is through these efforts that we have been witness to some of the modern improvements in both physical aspects and events which are present at the Club today.
Uneven Waters in 1974
In 1974, the Club suffered major damages from two things - logs on the river careened into the walkway boom from the mainland to the island. And in June, water levels plunged to significantly lower levels.
In the spring of the year, countless logs pressed into the walkway boom and curved it downstream into the shape of a large "U". The Gatineau Boom Company, at the time operating out of Point Gatineau, sent their boats and willing workers to free up the logs from the boom. And they saved the day in repairing the boom just at the moment when it was physically possible to do so… and thus put the club back into business. Also in June, water levels on the river dropped about seven feet below its normal level. But despite what could have been the worst sailing season ever, the club in 1974 had more races, more active racers, more general participation and more sailors active in outside regattas than ever before. GRYC at the time had an extraordinary successful junior training year, the biggest ever inter-club class regatta, a very successful swimming program and a rapid increase in the ratio of boats to club members. None of the successes could have taken place without the erstwhile efforts of Club Manager, Graeme Parkinson and his trusty Maintenance Man, Brian Jeffrey. On the teaching side, the club had David Strutt, the able Chief Sailing Instructor, assisted at the time by Warren Place, and during the month of August, Bob Lafleur, the Swimming Instructor. Geoff Erskine was then doing a wonderful job combining sailing and the canteen operations. The canteen was to become the launching point for some highly successful career moves for Geoff in the restaurant business many years later.
In 1974, the Club was chartered into the Canadian Laser Association and as a result the first Laser Regatta was born. Anne and Connla Wood donated a new trophy then, the "Wood Laser Trophy" to be awarded to the most successful Laser sailor over the Regular series and in the Frostbites. Another innovation in 1974 was the Novice Series, run on Thursday evenings. The condition for being eligible for a prize in the series was that the winner should not have won or placed in another club race.
The year 1974 was significant for another reason. This was the first time in several years that there were enough Y-Flyers at the club to compete for the Young Tray - a solid silver tray inscribed with the silhouette of a Y-Flyer Sailing Boat and dotted around the edge with the names of famous club Y-Flyer sailors who had won many races at the club on the renowned Y's - including Eddy Quipp (1965), Bill Fell (1966), Bruce MacDonald (1967), Hans Rainer (1969), John Young (1970), Ron Brand (1974) and later Jack des Brisay in 1992. Other winners included Malcolm McHattie and Michael Vasseur (1995), Jack des Brisay and Annette Brand (1996), and Michael Vasseur and Muriel How in 2001. The cup lay on the shelf for a few years and then Jack and I took it in 2006. Marc and Louis Ranger won the cup in 2008, and then in 2009, the cup was awarded to Jack des Brisay to later be on permanent display on his fire place mantel.
The Young Tray is a classic award and Jack has said that he would pass on the cup if the Y's were to start racing again regularly. There's nothing like laying down the gauntlet. Of course Y-1002 was only built for show, not for go, so it will probably end up as a museum piece somewhere... but not before another launch next season!
The Canteen, the Boat Show and Trophies in 1973
The year 1973 was a year of firsts. Our own Commodore, Geoff Erskine, then ran the canteen. And the Commodore at the time, Connla Wood, especially recommended Geoff's Wednesday night suppers, adding to the renowned club nights that have occurred since at the GRYC.
For the first time, membership at the Gatineau River Yacht Club soared over 310 and this was the highest seasonal mark the club had seen since its inception.
Also in 1973, the GRYC took a stand at Ottawa's first boat show and got what it went after… more members. The club obtained a list of 39 people seriously interested in club offerings and activities. At the time, the willing cooperation and friendliness of members made the work of the Boat Show Committee worthwhile. Committee co-chairs Doreen Ramplee-Smith and Esther Waring were grateful to a good neighbour and friend for the professional design of the boat show booth. Jim Strutt and his students in spite of a hectic schedule executed the design and John Tutton was ingenious in putting the whole thing together at the Coliseum. Others helping at the show included many people who have become notable since, such as Ann Chudleigh, Blair and Lynn Erskine, Pat Evans, Chris Place, Don Wilson, Al Wilson, Graeme Parkinson, Colin Ramplee-Smith, Jenny Waring, Alex Hope, Andrew Hurley, Roberta Butler, Dean Smith, David Strutt, Gerry Waring and Connla T. Wood.
The most extensive array of trophies emerged in 1973 and by this particular year, a number of them had been presented at the club for competition. Any person or organization could present a trophy for any purpose. And often trophies presented would come with a deed of gift. In 1973, these included:
The Snave Trophy
The club's premier trophy. Awarded annually to the club junior who has shown the greatest all-round improvement in junior activities, coupled with a sense of sportsmanship, good behavior and esprit-de-corps.
Awarded annually to the member of the club who, in the season's racing, attains the best score on corrected time. The club champion.
Wakefield Inn Trophy
Awarded annually to the member of the club who is the runner-up to the club champion. (Revised in 1967 with the permission of the Donor.)
Awarded annually to the member of the club who wins, on corrected time, a mid-season series of sailing races conducted over one weekend, in club members' boats.
Awarded annually to the winner on corrected time, of a series of sailing races conducted by the club over one weekend.
Awarded annually to a member of the club who, not having qualified for another trophy in the current season, is declared the winner on corrected time, of the last sailing race of the regular series, conducted in Club member's boats. In this case, the winner could not be declared until after the last race of the last series, or the last single race of the season.
Awarded annually to a lady of the club who wins a special race or series of races, conducted for ladies only. This permitted either a single-handed race or an all-female crew to race, at the discretion of the race committee.
Evans & Kert Trophy
Awarded annually to the club whose Junior Squadron wins a series of sailing races conducted on an inter-club basis, alternately in each club's home waters. It was the intent of the donor that the clubs be situated in the National Capital Region.
Ainley & Ted Jackson Trophy
Awarded annually to the Club Junior, 12 years and under, who wins a series of sailing races, sailed in the club's prams.
Junior Sailing Shield
Awarded annually to the Club Junior, 13 years and over, who wins a series of sailing races.
Awarded annually for Junior Competition.
Awarded annually to the sailor who normally crews, but acting as a skipper, wins a race or series of races on corrected time.
Awarded annually to a member of the club who wins, on corrected time, a Spring Frostbite series of sailing races conducted in club members' boats.
Awarded annually to the member of the club who wins, on corrected time, a Fall Frostbite series of sailing races, conducted in club members' boats.
Awarded annually to a member of the club who wins an event, (not necessarily sailing) which would be the choice of the current Fleet Captains.
Awarded annually to the skipper of the fastest Y-Flyer sailing class boat. This was to be re-deeded and the Sterling Silver Young Tray was last seen in Jack des Brisay's living room.
Awarded annually to the skipper of an Albacore class sailing boat who winds a series of races conducted for Albacore owners in the National Capital Region.
The club trophies are poignant reminders of famous GRYC legends including some of their donors like Pat Evans and Frank MacIntyre. They were all on the island in 1973.
The Planning Commission
Over the years in its evolution, the Gatineau River Yacht Club has had a Planning Commission, which was born in 1966 under the chair of Richard D. Medland, who later became Commodore. The Commission was set up at the request of the members to study the management of the club in terms of future development, and to make recommendations on how best to ensure and steady and regular growth of activities and services. Some recommendations of the original Planning Commission were implemented in 1967. For example, the dock of the mainland end of the access boom at the time had collapsed and provision was made for construction of a new one. In addition, both the water and sewage systems in the original clubhouse gave up the ghost in 1966.
The year 1966 seemed to be a watershed year. At the Planning Commission, it was then proposed and agreed that the acreage of the islands could support a membership up to 200 family and senior members and up to 50 intermediate members. In addition, the Chairman forecast that the rate of growth of the club would largely depend on the facilities that the club could offer prospective members, rather than on the possible growth of the surrounding community. It was widely recognized at the time that the facilities were not adequate for the membership even if there was only to be a modest increase in membership numbers. The solution was to build a new club house which would incorporate all the facilities required.
A club loan of $100 for each member was converted into a straight initiation fee. And there was some forward thinking in those days. Mr. Medland recommended that the financial structure of the club be revitalized so that the future of the islands would be in the hands of the members. As has since proved to be the case, Dick Medland forecast that if steps were then to be taken, the club revenue would show a marked increase and operating expenses, while they would increase, could also be easily manageable. Moreover, the facilities as evidenced by construction of the new clubhouse, would improve so that membership would reach its constitutional limits within the next six years. Membership figures from 1972 show that Dick Medland's predictions came true.
The Planning Commission became a permanent fixture of the GRYC in 1972. At the 1972 annual general meeting of the Corporation, known as the Gatineau River Yacht Club Inc., it was duly moved and carried that a body be formed, to be known as the Planning Commission, or "some such name." Herewith is the text of the minutes giving effect to the motion:
- "George Beers made the motion, seconded by Jim Strutt that a permanent Planning Commission be established, with terms of reference strong enough to convey the intent of its deliberations to the Board of Directors. There followed a wide-ranging discussion on the matter. The feeling of the meeting seemed to suggest that some such body was necessary to keep in a workable perspective, the visions and the aspirations of the Club membership, both present and future. This body, it was thought, should be advisory rather than authoritative. Its purpose would be to bring to the attention of each successive Board of Directors both in the short and long term, planning acceptable to and accepted by the membership, so that such plans become a part of the concern of each incumbent Board, in addition to its current business."
It was also then considered useful that the Planning Commission review reports of the former body of the same title, which incorporated the thoughts of Eddy Quipp, an early G.R.Y.C. planner. Early club planning came through a rather nebulous plan known as "The Quipp Plan." It was then thought nebulous since many of the early concrete diagrams and charts for the Club had disappeared by 1972, from the Club's files. Nevertheless, various members of long standing recalled the soundness of Eddy Quipp's ideas and from time to time, successive Board of Directors effected changes and additions to the clubhouse and its environs along the lines suggested by Mr. Quipp. He also graciously spent large amounts of time with the permanent Planning Commission elaborating on his plan.
Pat Evans who for many years was the club secretary, wrote that in order to preserve the perpetuity of the Planning Commission as a body from year to year and to ensure the continuity of its contribution to the well-being of the Club, perhaps one of the easiest methods would be that of "self-appointment." He thought that the Commission's Terms of Reference should embody this as a principle. In subsequent years, the Commission, meeting as a whole, would prepare for presentation at each annual meeting of the Club, a slate of appointed members each of whom would have agreed to serve on the Commission for the next subsequent term. By 1974, it was then thought permissible for any member on the Commission to be re-appointed for as many terms as one would wish to serve.
The Planning Commission was charged through the years 1966 to 1975, with the annual production and revision of a plan for approval by the membership. It would chart the future of the Club and would include ongoing modification or adoption of such plan as is, from time to time considered expedient by reason of changing conditions or by reason of the wishes of the Club's membership.
By 1974, it was agreed that the first and major priority of the Club should be the preservation and enhancement of the Club facilities including the islands, the Clubhouse, the boom (now to be the Boardwalk) and related real property. In addition, some forward thinking emerged such that new standards would be introduced in the period from 1975 to 1978 that would regulate any new construction, introduce a requirement that the width of private docks not exceed six feet, and that all docks would meet new standards of construction material, width and capacity by the end of the 1978 sailing season.
To pay for the improvement programs, significant expenditures were clearly a necessary item. As such, future planning and budgeting required that the Board would be asked to approve an Annual Capital Expenditure Plan that would identify specific projects to be implemented in any year along with funds allocated for their completion. Moreover, the objective of future budgets would cover all regular, on-going operations and maintenance expenditures out of Annual Dues, and that all Initiation Fees would be devoted to planned capital expenditure programs. Finally, new procedures would be adopted that would allocate funds to "responsibility centres" and would hold each responsible officer accountable for expenditures and results against budget.
Commission member Blair Erskine recommended that the Planning Commission should reconsider the maximum membership strength as being the basic determinant in all facilities planning. And this was when it was agreed that the figure of 200 family memberships suggested by the Commission in 1966 still looked valid.
The Log Problem
At one time and particularly in the years between 1962 and 1992, the Gatineau River had a log problem. There were thousands upon thousands of logs, which covered the entire river from shore to shore. From its headwaters of the Baskatong Reservoir downstream to the Ottawa River, the Gatineau River for many years was used as a means of transporting logs to the Canadian International Pulp and Paper Company in Gatineau Mills. And while this method of transportation was advantageous to CIP, the mere presence of the logs on the river, seriously and effectively negated any multiple use of the river by the growing communities and businesses which were in proximity to its shores. Navigation was restricted and water quality was poor. Bark from the logs rubbed off as they churned together and fell to the bottom of the river eventually to become silt. With an increased and environmentally conscious population, a growing need developed for new recreational areas. Hence there came calls for an environmental assessment so that the current and future needs of both CIP and the local population would be found to make a compatible system designed to take in the interests of all parties concerned.
At one point, log drives on the river from spring break-up until late fall, seriously curtailed any navigation related to recreational use by surface water craft. Indeed, in vast stretches of the river from shore to shore, tightly packed logs made it too dangerous or physically impossible for any craft save the CIP tugs, to even attempt navigation. Moreover, the "dead heads" or water saturated logs which floated partially or totally just below the surface of the water, were treacherous navigational threats. Recreational boat operators in many cases suffered great loss when their craft would suddenly collide with any of the underwater hazards. Furthermore, shoreline residents often could not use their beaches until they had removed accumulations of logs that were lost from countless log drives.
As Jack des Brisay recalls, "The sailors actually liked the logs because it was always the power boaters who smashed themselves up on them." He chuckled.
Pollution Probe at the time called for an "inventory" to study the surface, subsurface and shoreline aspects of the Gatineau River. The surface study would include a complete listing of the then current quantity of logs, deadheads and booms. As to subsurface, at strategic locations, an underwater analysis would be conducted in respect to the depth of bark and its effect on the flora and fauna of the river. At the level of the shoreline, an intensive study would be conducted on the basis of such things as beaches, cottages, scenic areas, conservation areas, portages, and most importantly, potential sights for jack ladders where logs could be removed from the water. The logs were eventually trucked to CIP for transport. They disappeared from the Gatineau River in 1991 and since have only become a memory.
Last week, Tom Ryan came over for dinner. Tom was the Vice Commodore at GRYC in 1971 and he made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the yacht club over the years, especially in infrastructure. We chatted about many things and one of them was the interesting relationship that GRYC had with the Club de Voile Poisson-Blanc. CVPB was owned and operated at the time by the University of Ottawa. It was very well kept... pristine in fact.
Tom explained that after being approached by Jacques Thibeault from the Club de Voile de Poisson Blanc with a request for temporary affiliation, and much discussion among the Directors, the following agreement was entered into: -
For a period of approximately eight weeks from July 1st, 1971 to August 23rd, 1971, the GRYC would provide:
- Mooring rights for a maximum of 15 boats from the CVPB with however, priority for more favourable mooring positions given to the boats of regular GRYC members.
- A lock-up space for removable equipment from their boats.
- Security of their boats and equipment through the presence of the GRYC Staff Officer daily, and of the duty officers and members.
- Use of all GRYC club facilities and participation in all sailing events, for a maximum at any one time of two members of the visiting club for each of their boats moored at the Gatineau River Yacht Club.
In return, the Club de Voile de Poisson Blanc would provide:
- Necessary mooring tackle for their boats including lines, anchors and buoys.
- A lock for storage space.
- An initiation fee of $100 for the Club, plus a single senior fee of $55.00 for each boat.
- A list of names of club members and membership cards from the affiliated club would be provided.
It was also agreed that members of the affiliated Club be entitled to compete for trophies, and the question of retaining them would be discussed by Club Directors.
The agreement was ratified and carried out on July 12th, 1971. It was to be the first reciprocal rights agreement ever reached at the Gatineau River Yacht Club.
The Sealed Envelop
I opened the one and only sealed envelope within the file from 1968. Out came about a dozen pages, some with paper coloured in a burnt orange from their many years of storage inside a rusty filing cabinet. The letters revealed distant memories and treasures from the past. The 1968 Commodore, R.D. "Dick" Medland, in a letter to Guy Couture, a local notary at the time, made reference to the Deed of Sale of the original Bennett Islands to the Yacht Club corporate body. Mr. Couture was given the job of completing the transfer of sale for the islands. A related Agreement also in the file extended the existing mortgage for the islands from August 1st, 1969, to August 1st, 1973. The remainder in the mortgage amounted to $9,000 with a hefty interest rate of 10.25%. The trend for interest rates had been climbing steadily throughout the 1960s and the club executive was keen to introduce a 12 year debt retirement program starting in 1970 and ending in 1982. The program had minimal annual capital repayment instalments of $700. The mortgage extension was eventually signed in 1969 by Commodore Pat Evans, Frances Leeney, Secretary, and C.D.P. Bernier, the Treasurer. And the value of the islands then would be vastly outdistanced by any evaluation of them made today. The fact that club members got a mortgage at all was in large part thanks to Tony Wright, a GRYC member and top administrator at RBC. Tony Wright was formerly a Vice-Admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy. The original club house on the Island was an old cottage circa 1910 owned by Mr. Parker, who preceded Air Commodore Bennett. This cottage was designed for 10 or 12 people -- not 75! Eddie Quipp and others designed and reinforced the supports underneath the cottage to insure it would not collapse. The new clubhouse would come later.
A number of old insurances policies were added into the 1968 file. One was an old parched sheet from the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company. It had insured Air Commodore Bennett's single frame dwelling to the tune of $9,000 with an annual premium of $219.50 -- a small price to pay by today's standards. The policy was initially effective from May 1964 to May 1967 and later through the Royal Trust Company, the policy extended between May, 1967 and May, 1970. Under this policy, the lone building on the island was insured for $6,000 - down a little from previous years.
The business of the Deed of Sale and the related insurance policies continued on one front... but on another, the social life of the club brought on an elaborate evolution. The early years at GRYC were witness to some great theme parties at the club. The theme parties began in 1964 with a Hawaiian theme, followed in 1965 with a glorious Western party and in 1966 with a novel Roman Party. By 1968, we had had a Gypsy party and in 1969, the theme was "Flower Power." Many repetitions and variations on these have occurred since. And in every year since the theme party idea began, there have been more and more inventive costumes... a tribute to the creativity of members and guests.
From 1968 to 1969, Quebec Hydro drastically lowered the water level on the river, which took out the boom that had previously existed until spring of '69 with tons of ice attached to it. Learning of the resulting distress, members at the Ottawa-New Edinburgh Club offered their facilities in case of need. It was a magnificent gesture and fortunately GRYC prevailed and rebuilt led by such pioneers like Eddie Quipp, Malcolm McHattie and later, John Hennessey. The resulting walkway and finger docks on the river have since evolved through the ingenious engineering and construction by these people and others like them. It was Eddie Quipp who originally installed the caisson filled with crushed stone underneath the entrance gate to the walkway. How well it has lasted! Thanks to Allan Richens for his observations.
The Telephone Number
The telephone number at the club is (819) 827-7419. And when the service is temporarily suspended in the winter months, normally the number stays the same. But this spring, apparently someone at Bell Canada goofed and the number was taken up by someone else - hence the introduction of the new number - 827-7419. Normally with something as innocuous as a telephone number, this really wouldn't be an issue. But in 1970, it became one. The Commodore at the time was Pat Evans and in a letter to Bell Canada, he explained the issue. Here it was from 1970.
- "Some six years ago our Yacht Club purchased an island, complete with cottage, in the Gatineau River at Gleneagle. We converted the cottage into a comfortable clubhouse, and as a service to the members, we provided a public phone for their use."
- He continued, "As ours is a seasonal activity... for the first four years in existence, we had the phone 'disconnected' during the winter months, but of course our number remained listed in the directory. In the late fall of 1968 when the new Ottawa Directory appeared, our name and number had been deleted from it. On contacting the Business Office, I was informed that our number had been 'disconnected' at our request, and consequently our listing had been withdrawn."
Pat Evans was then advised that every effort would be made to see that the summer service for 1969 would be assigned the same number. But at the time, obviously nothing could be done with the listing in the directory. Bell advised Mr. Evans that the club should not ask for the phone to be disconnected, but rather service should be 'discontinued or suspended' for the winter months. But not only was the listing missing in the summer. When the new directory came out again in the autumn, the listing was once again not in print. When Mr. Evans contacted the Business Office this time, he was politely told that the only way to continue to have the club's name and number listed would have been to pay about 16 cents per day during the time the phone is suspended. The Commodore thought this was an exorbitant sum to pay for the privilege of letting friends and yachting acquaintances keep in touch. He calculated that if the service would be suspended for 210 days, at 16 cents per day, the fee from Bell would come to $33.60.
- "Further," he added, "the telephone number appears on several pieces of printed material which, as can be surmised, presents quite a problem with a possible change in number when service is restored each summer."
- He put the screws to the phone company. "Again, the telephone company is losing a small yearly sum as we previously had our number listed in the yellow pages at a modest charge."
The Directors at the Yacht Club were interested to hear the comments from Bell. On the same day that Mr. Evans wrote his letter, the local Bell Manager wrote back. The Manager explained that the Temporary Suspension of Service should not appear exorbitant if one considers that Bell provided for reconnecting the service without the normal service charge, which at the time was $15.00. This was in addition to reserving the line for exclusive club use each year while keeping records 'active'. The Manager pointed out that the service charge alone would wipe out half the saving that would result by not taking Temporary Suspension. Moreover, he wrote, a telephone number change each year would remain a possibility. He recommended that the Club request Temporary Suspension at the end of each season as there was no assurance otherwise that the same phone number could be reserved from year to year. And as by the fall of 1969, the service was considered "officially" to be discontinued, he asked the Commodore to kindly mention the phone number when requesting a reconnection the following spring.
In the days since of course, both technology and operating methods have changed. The club has a new number and access over the Internet to Canada411, means that we can easily find the number when we need it. It's a little hard to remember anyway... 7419 -- We haven't quite reached that year yet.
The Y-Flyer Provincials
There is a class of boat out there known as the "Y-Flyer." The first Canadian "Y" was designed and built by Alvin Youngquist in 1941 at Longueil, Québec, and since then, the Y has been a source of pleasure for countless hobbyists and sailors across the country. Throughout the 40s and 50s, many people bought their own plans and built their own Y-Flyers in their basements or garages. And now, the Y has grown into a large fleet across many urban centres in Canada, particularly in places like Sudbury, Winnipeg, London, Guelph and Quebec City.
The Y-Flyer normally takes a two-person crew to sail and it comes complete with a main, jib and spinnaker. It is centre-board rigged and there are countless types of finishes both in wood and fibreglass. My own is Y-1002 and it was originally made at Lac Saint Louis in 1962 from mahogany. Mark Ranger has Y-99, which was sailed for many years on Meech Lake. It is a classic boat built originally in the early years of the Y registry.
Coupled with the Y is an active sailing association comprised of many avid Y-Flyer skippers and crew across Canada. These include some of our own club members like Jack des Brisay, Annette Brand, Jos Woods and Mark Ranger. In past years, the GRYC has served as the ideal setting for the Quebec Provincials, which are held each year in numerous locations around the province. Many well known skippers in the Y-Flyer Fleet have taken home the silverware and notable among these are people like Bob Somek, Caroline Bilodeau, Jamie Alexander, Dan Brooks, Pierre Dignard, Jack des Brisay, Steve McCamus, Rob Oaks and Kelly Lyon. These names may be new to some of us at the Gatineau River Yacht Club. But they are common to the Y-Flyer Fleet and they will all be gracing the aquatic stage again this year at GRYC on July 9th and 10th.
It will be good to come out and see these notable crews as they paint a wonderful picture.
Where did the Club Nights come from?
The tradition of what we now have as "Club Night" every Wednesday in the summer actually began in 1971. In March of that year, it was suggested that Wednesday evenings could be combined with recreation and sailing and following this, a social evening at the clubhouse. The social get togethers were -
- To provide a warmer feeling of fellowship amongst members
- To welcome new members
- To provide good times and sailing activities
- And to present family occasions that all could afford
The Wednesday events in those summer days in 1971 were kept simple with cheese, crackers, homemade cakes and coffee, all with a charge of 50 cents. It was hoped that in this way, both local residents and cottagers and those who would come in from out of town for sailing, would also stay for the evening. As a sign of the times, it was suggested then that the cakes might be purchased from the several women members of the club.
How times have changed. Now we have barbeques, a strawberry social, a Commodore's Sailpast, and women are equal and important participants in the social and working worlds of our life.