THE AQUARIUS SAILING CLUB
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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
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)
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!