Aug 12th. 2012
As many of you now know, after 18 years of guiding the NYC through all the challenges and opportunities that occur daily, our General Manager Walter Kowalchuk is now moving on to a new position as Executive Director for the Canadian Power Squadron.
Walter joined us in 1994 not long after we moved to our present location and the workload was daunting to be sure. The clubhouse in those days was newly built on poorly documented landfill, the yard area was unpaved and un-landscaped and there were no paving stones yet laid along the north wall. On his watch we have acquired the polecat, undergone several phases of new dock construction and restoration, renovated the dining room and chartroom, built the new workshop, established our high performance youth racing program, our highly successful adult education programs, and extended our services to include private member events. Walter is well known to sailors around the lake who often ask fellow members to extend a fond hello.
On a personal note, I have very much enjoyed working with Walter these past three years as Commodore. He is a good listener, has provided much useful counsel, and has been always available to take action on a request and provide assistance.
Launch and Haulout
Many of us have little knowledge of what it takes to oversee and co-ordinate this gargantuan twice yearly task. Walter has always been on site to ensure that the operation has gone smoothly year after year. The various committees carry an enormous burden but he was the epoxy that glued it all together.
On several occasions throughout the last eighteen years he has spearheaded the challenge to deal with the City and Province as our tax assessments have increased. His careful documentation paves the way for inevitable future negotiations.
Western Gap Wall rebuilding
In my opinion, his greatest legacy is that the wall is being fixed during his time with us. Walter spent countless hours dealing with various departments of government to research, gather and furnish the mountains of materials required to push this project along. His effort, which is very much appreciated by the professional counsel engaged by the NYC, was invaluable to seeing construction finally begin after a very protracted negotiation.
Secretary to the Board of Directors
Walter’s long tenure and intimate knowledge of our by-laws and house rules has been integral to providing ongoing consistency and the historical perspective that has often provided invaluable colour to issues requiring delicate decision making.
Last but certainly not least, Walter has cultivated strong relationships with our neighbours and partner associations. It has been due to his community spirit that we have developed programs with Broad Reach, Harbourfront Community Centre and built a strong bond with HMCS York and the Toronto Port Authority as well as other yacht clubs in the GTA and around Lake Ontario.
Please join me in thanking him.