This Month In History – April
1901 – Past Commodore (1895) Wm. Young brings a plan to the AGM to build a 150′ breakwater extending west from Queen’s Wharf. Once built the club house would be moved out onto the pier and thereby provide a secure anchorage area behind the Club. (The Club was located on the far west side of the original Western Gap at the foot of Bathurst St. There were no seawalls protecting the fleet. Many anchored in the open lake to the west of the Gap). Financially sound, the Club explored the proposal and received potential concessions from the Harbour Commissioners but never proceeded with the massive project.
“The National Yacht & Skiff Club was the scene of a most successful Masquerade Ball at their club rooms. The ballroom and adjoining parlours were tastefully decorated with countless electric lights, flags and coloured bunting representing the club’s red and black colors. (Held in the 1st club house at Queen’s Wharf) NYC Archives”
1930 – NYC’s top outboard Sea Flea racers enter the 132.5 mile Albany to New York City Hudson river race. The four NYC daredevils were accompanied from Toronto by an entourage of members as they took on 137 professional and amateur competitors from across the US.
Frank James of NYC won the race in Spareribs, with a speed of 37.9 mph. The hull was of his own construction and powered by a 215 cu in Johnson. He collected the coveted Yacht Motor Club of France Trophy. In Class B Harold Ballard, slowed by mechanical issues still managed a 19th with an average speed of 29.7mph.; Harry Sleeman was 23rd while the Club’s phenomenon, 16 yr old John Ardiel was DNF after hitting a log. NYC members provided a massive welcome at the Humber river bridge as the convoy returned to the city. The team was given a Bay Street parade and a grand City Hall reception hosted by the Mayor.
1950 – The Board proposes applying for a Liquor License. Alcohol had not been permitted on the property since January 1914 when the Club unanimously voted to prohibit spirits, just ahead of Ontario’s 1916 prohibition.
1988 – A Special General meeting requested $200K for new clubhouse completion and $40K for repair and modification of the new docks. Commodore Ed McCormick notifies members the old club property must be vacated by May 16 and will operate out of temporary facilities while construction is completed.
By Wayne Mullins
Past Commodore and NYC’s “Honorary Historian”