Spring 2006
Contents 7Mar2006

Commodore’s Report
Achieve Inner Peace
AGM, Prize Giving, Party
Annual Dinner
Boat Show 2006
Christmas and New Year
Ferry Meadows
Ice-Box Sunday
Last Working Party
Lunch & Frostbite Cruise
Mascheranda Menu
Masheranda Ball
Open Weekend
Place for Books
Start of Season Party
Thoughts for Today



Commodore's Report  - Nigel Knowles
    Welcome to this, the first newsletter of 2006 and the first under the governance of your new man-agement committee! Actually its not really "new" - most of the team who have served the Club so well for the last few years continue - albeit in slightly different roles. That said I would like to record the Club's thanks to Ron Munden who steps down from the Management and Bar Committees and wel-come Dave Jennings and Stuart Schaffer who bring some new blood to the Management Committee.
    Most of all however I want say a "big thank"-you to Mike Baker who stepped down from his second term as Commodore at the end of November: Aquarius has been blest with some excellent Commo-dores but Mike's tenure has been outstanding.

     He has been an inspirational leader who has very much led from the front - whether this means drawing up the Club's Health & Safety Policy, rebuilding the Bar or making sure that the ladies loo is spic and span before a social function.
I guess we all have our own list of highlights of his tenure-winning the mid-Thames trophy? -then hosting it and losing it to Hampton?, Bodgit & Co's escapades? battling the bureaucracy associated with the new licensing act?........Most of all Mike has ensured that we are a happy Club and we are all indebted to him. He is also a thoroughly nice guy and I for one have very much enjoyed working with him- Thanks Mike!
    Mike steps down with the Club in generally sound shape, but one of the issues that the Committee will be addressing is the need to attract some new members - particularly younger ones who want to sail.
    Our total membership has been fairly constant over the years, but the numbers who actually take to the water on Sundays has declined and those who do sail are getting quite "mature".  It’s great that we have the potential for a "golden oldies" sailing program for retired members on Wednesday after-noons but we do need to ensure that younger members are attracted to the water also.
    This problem is common to many sailing clubs and the RYA will be chairing a discussion about it at the Commodores Conference (held in conjunction with the Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace - of which more in a later newsletter).
    I believe we need to raise the Club's profile so that potential sailors are more aware of us and in particular we all really must get behind our Open Days this year (May 6th & 7th ) with both advertising and by encouraging our friends and colleagues to come down and try sailing.   
    On the social side the social committee, ably led by Diana Carpenter, have planned an active pro-gram, comprising the usual favourites and a couple of new ideas. As an experiment we have provided a 3-course Sunday lunch at the Club on two occasions over the winter. Twenty two members sat down to roast beef and trimmings on Dec 11 - my thanks to the Courtney family and Liz Archer who organised it - and 28 enjoyed roast chicken on Jan 22 followed by a cruise cum treasure hunt up to Sunbury lock.
    This was then followed by our traditional (if traditions can be established in a mere 4 years!) "ladies" night. By common consent this was the best yet - 45 members and their ladies enjoyed a su-perb evening of Venetian style Masquerade and a lot of gondolieri had a lot of fun preparing for it!
    Well done Rodger! and our thanks to the resident orchestra (Pat Halling and Mike Leigh) and to two mystery cabaret artistes masquerading under the name of Bodgit Ballet. The only problem is how to follow this up next year!
    These social occasions highlight the inadequacies of the Clubhouse for the larger gatherings. We can’t realistically do much about the size of our premises but we can improve the facilities. Accord-ingly the Club's maintenance contractors of Bodgit & Co. have a number of improvements planned.
    Top of the list is an upgraded galley. In addition the window frames on the river frontage need re-placing, the back door is to be replaced, the Bosun's store restored and the upstream ramp repaired.
The list seems endless! - but I believe very strongly that we have to refurbish the Club if we are to provide members with the facilities they rightly expect  and are to attract new members.
The constraint is not so much financial but rather a human one - our inability to find sufficient peo-ple willing and able to organise and undertake the work. If you would like to get involved please speak to Bodgit & Co (aka me or Mike Baker)
    The Sailing Programme starts again on 26 March and is preceded by the start of season party on 18 March (7.30 for 8.00pm). I look forward to welcoming you all there!