The merry month of May has been a very busy one for NYC members. We finally got some warm weather. A relief when you’ve got behind in painting the bottom, and you get into a frenzy of wondering when on earth you’re going to find the time to wax the top sides before launch. This is prime “messing around in boats” time for many NYC members.
The weather gods smiled kindly on us for launch. My congratulations go out to Vice Commodore, Marine Operations Don Weston and his dedicated Launch Committee. Volunteers who managed the complex process of launching large boats with evident experience and well-tuned collaboration. It was a hand-off year for Launch Committee Chairs with Kevin Marks and Tim Sweet stepping down to make way for Co-Chairs Paul Chandler and Mike Brown. They were strongly supported this year by Volunteer Coordinators Gregor Stuart and Ian Pooles as well as Yard Masters – East, Chris Chapman, and West, Trina Boivin. Thanks to all who helped out. The way NYC manages launch is a great example of volunteerism at work.
I was invited to attend the annual luncheon and meeting of the National Old Timers Sailing Association – NOTSA – and did so with pleasure. Twenty-one long time current and former members of NYC gathered in the Chart Room for a delicious meal and an interesting talk by NYC’s Archivist (ex-officio) Past Commodore Wayne Mullins. His stories and pictures really bring to life the earliest days of our club. Wayne convinced many of us that NYC can arguably be said to have been established in 1890, albeit by another name – the National Sailing Skiff Club. Perhaps we can persuade Wayne to tell his fascinating story at some future club event. By the way, during the NOTSA luncheon participants were asked to report on the number of years they had been “messing around in boats”. When the math was done, the audience averaged 54 years… a total of 1134 years of nautical experience.
Earlier in May I had an opportunity to meet with two key players in the Island Airport saga. Robert Deluce, CEO of Porter Airlines and Geoff Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto joined me for a lively discussion over lunch. You may recall the old biblical story of Daniel in the lion’s den. I felt a little bit like Daniel as it was very clear that my lunch mates were enthusiastic about the topic of airport expansion. Mr. Deluce remained adamant about his earlier stated position that any movement of the Marine Exclusion Zone buoys would be “a deal breaker”. He assured me that the MEZ would not move and supported his position with information on glide paths of jets versus turboprops and other technical data.
Mr. Wilson appeared neutral on the topic of jets at Billy Bishop, However his organization’s investment in the pedestrian tunnel under the Western Gap makes one wonder about the true direction of this federal government agency. For the record, let me repeat the NYC position on the expansion of the island airport. We have made public our ongoing support of the Tri-Partite Agreement, currently existing at all levels of government, that states that the airport will not support jet aircraft of any type. Stay tuned and stay informed on this important issue.
Finally, it’s always nice to hear about acts of cooperation, kindness and support among club members. Over the last week I’ve heard two great stories of club members rallying around to manage adversity. One story had to do with Grand National, an errant line and a propshaft. Never a good combination. I’ll let Vice Commodore Sandy Steffen tell the story elsewhere in this newsletter. The other story had to do with a member managing a rigging issue requiring a de-masting. Big job, no one around, what to do? Then, suddenly, helpful, skilled members appear and the job gets done.
So we made it through the month of May. The boats are in the water. Let’s get out there.
Neill MacMillan, Commodore