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The Eighties

It was gratifying to see a lot of old timers show up to honour Al Brandt at the party for his 25th year membership said, Commodore Beetles in the fall edition of Ripples. Brandt had joined the club in its infancy back in 1955. Vice Commodore Tom Taylor reported in the same issue "following our break in and theft I met the investigating officer's and they feel the culprits will be caught (we don't know if they ever were). "Damage to the bar has been repaired with a new door installed with slight modifications to facilitate our tall boys who were daft enough to keep bashing their crania on it. Hopefully the self-inflicted injuries will not affect the eyesight of one of our dart players because if he leans any further forward when playing he's going to fall over" Taylor concluded.
Member Bill Carr announced that the following year, monthly dinners to accommodate some 30 members, would be prepared by a new committee calling itself "Gourmets Anonymous Society" (GAS for short). The club introduced Friday happy hours from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM which began early the following year.

Monte Carlo night in May raised $1600 and was hosted by Greg "Don" Deluca, Bill "Silver Tongue" Croft, "Bingo" Ray Guy, Don "The Chef" Michie, John "Burner" Modesto and their committee. Ladies they kicked off in June with the want to cheese cruise on the largest boat in the club, hand served hip of beef dinner with the trimmings all for $9.50. River cleanup day was held coincidentally the following day. The Mayor of Oakville had declared that weekend as community pitch-in days and the club decided to make an event out of it. Following the cleanup there was a junior boaters barbecue. A week later members travelled to the Humber for that clubs sail past and one week later OPBC held it's own.

Ken McIntosh served his first term as Commodore in 1982. The rest of the executive consisted of Bill Croft -Vice, John Modesto - Rear, Cliff Hayes - Fleet, Al Romand- Treasure, Debbie Di Croce -Secretary with Keith Beetles as Past Commodore. Sue Bernie headed the First Mates as President, with Josie Roland the VP, Sandy Ward treasure and Diana Bishop as secretary.
Club activities covered nearly every month on the calendar with a gourmet dinner and a Robbie Burns night in January, another dinner and Valentines dance in February yet another dinner in March along with the St. Patrick's Day dinner and dance and New Members night hosted by the First Mates. May featured Launch Day and a Hawaiian luau hosted by Bill and Sue Bernie.
With the boats safely on shore in October the club became busy with Oktoberfest, kids and adults Halloween parties and the annual election night. Heading the clubs committees in 1982 were Ray Guy docking and grounds, Bill Croft house and entertainment, Cliff Hayes -safety officer and Tom Taylor in charge of membership.

Still under Commodore Macintosh, the 1983 flag officers included Cliff Hayes Vice, Al Dicroce-Rear, Ralph French-Fleet, Jim Maddison- Treasurer, Bill Carr secretary and Keith Beetles again as past Commodore. Fred Lewis had at the house and entertainment committee with Frank Stone in charge of docking. Neil McCallister was on grounds and Ralph French again the safety officer. Anne Fensel, Betsy Madison and Dawn Spencer led the First Mates. It was an exciting year for events with different events every month.

Jim Madison took over their clubs reins as Commodore 1984 with Jim Watson as Vice, Bill Fensel as rear, Don Michie as Fleet, John Phipps -Treasure, Colin Roland a secretary and Co Past Commodores Ken McIntosh and Keith Beetles. Again another full year of events. The Big Brothers and Sisters day which was held in September along with Commodores ball were both great successes.

The club entered 1987 under Commodore with Brian Ward at Vice, Tony Mash -Rear, Guy Peddie -Fleet Captain, John Phipps -Treasurer, Joy Holbrook -secretary and Tom Taylor -Past Commodore. Ward had been appointed to replace Ken Pells and Peddie replaced Rick Marshall following resignations of the elected officers.
At the club's first general meeting that year it was decide to set up an annual fund of $5,000 towards replacing the aging gas tank. The high cost of replacing the clubhouse roof was also discussed and the metal roof with proposed and the project was placed into the years budget. Other include improvements include the building of steps from the upper parking lot to the river docks below, the purchase of a new glass washer for the bar, Sound system purchased by the First Mates and a new supplier for club regalia. The new dining room furniture and a stove grill for the kitchen has been added the previous year. Sail Past was another success in 1987 and the dinner that followed was sold out at 103 persons. As the club prepared for Haul Out in October, First Mates president Mary Phipps was given $60 to cover the cost of lunch coffee and donuts at one dollar per person. Tony Mash announced the new slings for the haul out crane had been purchased and were good for 36,000 pounds. At the annual general meeting in November president Mary Phipps announce there would be no First Mates the following year due to lack of interest. She suggested the wives of the executive to take over the duties. She then gave new Vice Commodore Ron Bosna a kitchen inventory and $200 operating base. By December a new First Mates executive had been set up.
In an effort to increase associate membership and thus improve the take at the club bar the annual fee was reduced to $75 per year for single members and $100 for families. The year drew to a close with a Grey Cup party, the annual turkey roll run by Keith Beetles and Al Brant, the children's Christmas party with Bill Fensel as Santa, the Christmas Eve open house and a potluck New Year's Eve party.

Bill Fensel was Commodore in 1988 with Ron Bosada as Vice. Ray Guy was Rear Commodore, Neil McCallister Fleet Captain, Horst Klaus was Treasure, Nancy Church was secretary and Tom Taylor the Past Commodore. Members Josie and Ray Tacky and Bill Goddard joined the club that year. The usual dinners and dances were held early in the year along with boating education courses in February. An announcement was also made that the negotiations with the town regarding a 25 year lease renewal were going well. A rough weather Sail Past in June prompted the Fleet Captain Neil McAllister to suggest an annual salute be held at the club if similar conditions occur in the future.
The club became involved in sailing that year. Jerry Cook was a member of the organizing committee for the Snipe Class International Racing Association Championship held here through August and Labor Day weekend. The competition drew entrants from around the world.
The problem of smoke pollution in the clubhouse was dealt with that year as the club began looking into a ventilation system. The club also purchased the now familiar storage shed next to the parking lot that year. The entrance to the parking lot was paved and potholes repair throughout the lot.
Bill Fensel was returned as Commodore for the 1989 season with Bob Riviere as Vice, Ray Guy the rear, Horst Klaus as Treasurer, Bill Garvey the Fleet and Nancy Church as secretary.
A proposal to renovate the bar area that year was put off as plans were already underway to construct a new bar to connect the center room with the west room in an open concept. Bob Riviere, well known now as the clubs budget balancer and public relations officer was thrust into the latter job when Past Commodore Tom Taylor became ill. He would later negotiate the clubs second 25 year lease with the town.

Boat Club in Oakville - Image 1