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Yacht Club celebrates fifty years

by Travis King, Bendigo Advertiser/Sail-World on 11 Apr 2012
Bendigo Yacht Club as it is today .. .
Past and present members of the Bendigo Yacht Club will remember the good times – and the bad – when the club celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend, according to the http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au!Bendigo_Advertiser.

Travis King writes that today marks the 50th year since the club’s founding in 1962 and the BeYC has planned two days of events, beginning Saturday, to recognise the incredible history of the Lake Eppalock-based sailing club.

Among the highlights of the weekend will be a sail-past commodore Margaret Grant and inaugural commodore Allan Johnson, a trophy race, the national anthem sung by cadets and led by past commodore Robert Every, plus a black-tie dinner.

Grant said the celebrations will be all the more meaningful given the difficulties the club has faced through fire, flood and drought in recent times.

'We have more reason to celebrate than normal,' Grant said. 'It wasn’t just the drought, four years ago we had a major fire and our main boat shed burnt down.

'Our rescue boats and all of our training boats and some club members’ boats were in that fire. We were hit hard at that stage, all of our marker buoys – just everything – went in that fire.

'Then after getting water back in the lake and getting members coming back, in January 14 last year the lake went over the second spill-way for the first time ever.

'The water was right up on the front lawn of the yacht club. We weren’t insured for floods – you don’t expect Lake Eppalock to go to 139 per cent.'

But the BeYC has also had its share of reasons to celebrate since inaugural commodore Allan Johnson held the club’s first meeting at his home in February 1962, where 10 members voted to form a yacht club in Bendigo.

Seven-time world champion and Olympic silver medallist Glenn Ashby is one of the more widely-recognised sailors to have learnt their craft at Lake Eppalock, but the BeYC has had many champion sailors throughout its history.

The success of the club is most pleasing to Johnson who, along with his small team of helpers, began the club with a family-friendly ideal – something the BeYC prides itself on to this day.

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