We are currently undertaking the mammoth task of compiling a record of the clubs history which will be accessible to all.
If you have any information will may assist please contact Tony Fitzgerald on email@example.com
The changes faces and location of our club
The following article appeared in the November 2007 edition of “The Seaport News” courtesy of Nigel Perry.
One day recently I was looking out on to Waikawa Bay with my brother, Trev, when my thoughts drifted back to a day in 1937 when as an 8 year old I rowed into a 3rd place in a race which was organised by a group of bach owners for a bit of fun during the Christmas break. The race itself was across the bay. My father gave me threepence as a reward for my 3rd placing from about eight starters.
Just over a decade later at New Year, 1949, another enthusiastic group ran a few rowing and outboard races in the bay itself and also had a copper going on the foreshore supplying hot water for the public. This day set the standard for the formation of a properly organised Club to run future events and also help make other improvements to the bay’s facilities.
The first meeting of the Waikawa Boating Club was held on January 15th 1950 with its initial purpose being to cater for rowing boats, power boats up to 5 h.p. and most types of sailing craft.
The first committee was: President – W.J. Girling, Commodore – Randal McMurtry, Vice-Commodore – A.E. Turner, Secretary – Jack Hann, Treasurer – Jim Naysmith, Committee – Messrs J.E. Broadbent (Chairman), Wally Hahn, Nigel Perry, Jack Cassells, Ivan Williamson, Wally Perkins, Brian Becknall and Cairo Huntly. The Club burgee was also designed and ordered at this time. The yellow cross on the burgee denotes the golden colour of Marlborough, with a blue background denoting the sea, with the ‘W’ on the top corner being the Waikawa Boating Club’s initial.
Records show that the Club decided to hold a carnival at Easter, 1950, with races for various classes and also a swimming race from the Snout to the bay foreshore. A couple of years later, with many launch owners now having joined the Club, a jetty became a priority. Railway rails from the then dismantled Nelson railway were purchased by Randall McMurtry and donated to the club to set the ball rolling. So in 1951, Don Ballantyne was allowed to borrow, from somewhere, a pile driver and with this platform firmly moored to his boat the rails were driven in over a couple of week-ends. After many more week-ends the Club now had its jetty finished and it proved a tremendous asset to members and other launch owners.
Dinghy racing disappeared about this time as fibreglass became readily available and runabouts became more popular. The Club then gave away its New Year/Easter regattas. In the early days, meetings were held in the Arapawa Rowing Club rooms, but the Club gained its first real clubhouse when it purchased the Nichols property on the north-east corner of the bay. It also obtained a slipway which was installed alongside the Club’s launching ramp and in front of the new club rooms. the for a nominal fee, members could slip their own boats for painting and maintenance. Sadly this has now disappeared.
The Club today in its present commanding Marina position is in great heart and is one of the most active of any in New Zealand.
It has certainly come a very long way from those first tentative days of the 1950’s..