50th Anniversary Celebration Event

50th anniversary weekend hailed as a huge success!

This year Presqu’ile Yacht club celebrated “50 years of messing about in boats.” The highlight of the 50th Anniversary celebrations took place over the weekend of July 16th & 17th.

Saturday started with a Bay Race at 1100 and while some of the club members participated in that, there were many others working on decorating the tent. In fact, the 50th committee received a very generous outpouring of assistance from numerous club members throughout the event, from setting up the tent, chairs and tables to cleanup and teardown.

At 1500 hours we held a dedication ceremony for the trees which had been planted in honour of Ursula Stierle and Jan Foltinsky. Presentations where made by Honouray Life Member George Wilkinson and 50th Committee Chair Rob Arbuckle. Ursula was a Honourary Life Member and had been club Treasurer for 15 years. Jan was a founding member and Honourary Life Member who had held many different posts in the Executive as well as the Board of Directors.

We next held a dedication ceremony for the Commodore’s wall located in the club house. Central to the wall was the Commodore’s plaque donated some years ago by the family of Founding Member Ken Petch. The 50th Committee had arranged to have framed pictures of all of the club’s Commodores, placed around the plaque. Commodore Tom Willison made the presentation, unveiled the wall and introduced the past commodore’s in attendance: Ted Renouf, Don Venn, Bob Hallworth, Jack Dingle and Rob Arbuckle. Tom also talked about the missing pictures of 2 commodores and encouraged anyone who might have a picture to let the committee know.

At 1600 hours Dinghy Races started at the end of the dinghy docks. Much merriment and excitement was had by all participants including one long haired young man (in 60’s garb) who remained unknown to all including his wife.  Prizes were later awarded at the dinner for different age groups.

At 1700 hours members were treated to a variety of appetizers prepared by the 50th committee then the Commodore called for a group picture to be taken around the “50 Years Messing About in Boats” sign. Rumours are that the picture has gone viral.

Following the group picture members and guests were asked to take their seats and the Commodore introduced Special guests Deputy Mayor Brian Ostrander and wife Tammy, Past Bay of Quinte Commodore Robert Owens and wife Ruth, HLMs, Barb Maxwell, Albert Stierle, Pat and George Wilkinson, founding members Nancy and Jack Shirer, past Commodores, Ted Renouf, Don Venn, Bob Hallworth, Jack Dingle and Rob Arbuckle.

A wonderful pot luck dinner was finished off with the cutting of a beautifully decorated anniversary cake that was baked and donated by Mandy Duffin. Following the meal, special guests Brian Ostrander presented the commodore with a letter of congratulations from the Municipality of Brighton and Robert Owen presented one from the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club.  Letters of congratulations also came from the Provincial and Federal governments and these were presented by David Craig.

50th Committee Chair gave a rendition of the club’s history beginning with its first inception at Presqu’ile point in the 1940s. Next up was Bob Hallworth and Breakaway Productions video of the First 50 years. By all accounts it was a wonderful tribute to the club and if members looked carefully they would see themselves. The committee chair again took the floor and talked about some of the efforts of the committee over the last many months and the Founders and Builders’s Gazebo which is hoped will be the legacy of the 50th celebration. Some long serving members were introduced as well as some past members who we have not seen for a while.

Committee members presented the winners of the silent auction, winner of the dinghy races, best dressed winner, 50/50 draw, and thanked Many Duffin for her cake, Judi Williamson for making the 50th pennants and made a special presentation to Bob Hallworth for his video. Finally members were asked to pick up their commemorative club glasses at the back of the tent and were offered the opportunity of buying more.

Commodore Tom again took over the podium made a few remarks and introduced the 50th Committee and thanked them for all of their efforts.

Ian Roy was introduced and entertained us for the next few hours with songs of the 60s. It was a wonderful show. As Ian was singing, the campfire was lit and members began sitting around waiting for the fireworks. A failed outboard found the two John Crowes drifting towards the inner harbour which caused a short delay. Once they reached the barge, the display they put on was truly magnificent and befitting the celebration of the club’s first 50 years.

With the more sensible folks heading for the comfort of their own beds or their boats, a core group of revellers cooked smores on the campfire and told sailing stories well into the night. It was reported that a few stalwarts, including our Commodore, were still at the campfire’s embers as dawn came up over the horizon.

The next morning the committee was up early and with the assistance of Caroll Hennessey, Phil Allison, and Patricia Skerlan, started cooking pancakes and bacon for the 50 some members who joined us for the pancake breakfast. It was a wonderful celebration enjoyed by all.

-50th Anniversary Committee