Official Opening of Clubhouse
Above: His Excellency the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria giving his address to members and guests
On Friday 22 May, 2015, the Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club saw the official opening of our completed Clubhouse.
Around 150 people, comprising members, guests, kindred club officials, local police and navy officers attended the opening by His Excellency the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria. The Governor gave an outstanding address outlining the club and its long history of community involvement and congratulated members in creating such a wonderful clubhouse. The Member for Gellibrand, Mr Tim Watts MP was in attendance and was impressed with the scale and the view available to members from the new building.
The day was a complete success thanks to the great planning by the Hon Secretary Don Healy and Jarmila Dakic.
Unveiling the plaque:
L-R: Member for Gellibrand, Mr Tim Watts MP, Susan Mills,
Commodore Simon Mills and the Governor of Victoria
Stepping back to 1970
The Club has had a few years under its belt, one recently uncovered archive is a newspaper clipping from the 1970 Advertiser reporting on our Opening Day, attended by The Hon Andrew Peacock the then Minister for the Army.
The article goes on to say “ The Minister for the Army was guest speaker at the Opening Day of the Royal Victorian Yacht Club, Williamstown on Saturday.
He is pictured standing beside Commodore G L Sheraton, who is taking the salute during the ‘sail past’.
Mr Peacock’s late father was a prominent member of the club.
The picture was taken from the deck of the flagship, Ottawa III, by Jack Lawrence, of Maidstone.
The clipping on the right is from the 1970 The Age, when it was still OK to advertise for ‘attractive’ clerks. Accountants were paid $4,000 per year and their spelling wasn’t up to scratch.
Building the foundations of a great club
Building a robust club, isn’t limited to the building.
Over the next few months the committee will oversee the implementation of the Clubs vision and five-year plan. Initiated by Commodore Simon Mills and assisted by Jane McAloon, the need to discuss and ratify the Clubs position became relevant when we began amending our constitution, revising by-laws and establishing a new model that incorporates the new building and its larger facilities.
We will require input from members, to gauge current opinion and some ideas for the Clubs future.
“We need to embrace the new clubhouse and create a solid foundation so that future committees and members are able to build a solid community of like-minded individuals, says Commodore Simon Mills.
A five-year vision document is currently being prepared that covers membership and marina projections, thoughts and ideas. “The clubhouse building has brought up issues and statutory changes to the constitutions has crystallised the need to include members in our on-going vision for the club.”
“Many clubs of our size have failed to address contemporary issues and technology and have been left with very little choices, we want to give our members every opportunity to contribute and own their own destiny, recent behaviour issues have divided the club and we see a need to address these so that we can focus our attention on advancing boating and community activities.” he says.
Whatever the outcome the club can only benefit from healthy discussion. This website will soon host a member survey to gauge reaction and gather opinion.
Getting off to a good start
It still looks the same as it did last month, but behind the scenes there is a lot going on.
The building progress may appear to be stalled but there are a few things happening in the background. Last month has seen an issue with the building foundations, excavation came to a halt as builders found excessive amounts of concrete and quite a bit of discarded rubble including steel, boulders and building debris. As expected, a variation has been negotiated, although this is always hard to bear, it represents only 14% of our contingency.
The variation includes a change to the way the foundations are made, as we go to print a 30 tonne drilling unit is being erected on site to drive foundation poles into position.
Foundations should proceed without any major problems. In the mean time, off site construction has progressed, tilt slabs have been made and structural steel fabrication is almost complete. The electrical meters have been moved and critical electrical conduit will be completed shortly.
Displaying our flags
With a club Burgee, the right to fly the Blue Ensign and displaying the National Flag, we have a unique situation to correctly display our flags.
Specifications to display the National Flag are quite specific.
When displayed on a flagpole fitted with a yardarm, with the flag of a sovereign nation or a State flag, the Australian National Flag is displayed with the National flag at topmost. As figure 1 and 2.
If the flagpole is fitted with a gaff the flag on the gaff has the position of honour, although the national flag is lower than another flag flying from the peak. This tradition originated in the days of sailing ships and was designed to keep the flag form the ship’s rigging. Figure 3.
In our situation, there is no criteria that describes displaying the Blue Ensign with The Australian National Flag.
Prior to the reorganisation of the Royal Navy in 1864, the plain blue ensign had been the ensign of one of three squadrons of the Royal Navy, the Blue Squadron. This changed in 1864, when an order in council provided that the Red Ensign was allocated to merchantmen, the Blue Ensign was to be the flag of ships in public service or commanded by an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve, and the White Ensign was allocated to the Navy. It's interesting to note that the Australian National Flag is the Blue Ensign defaced with the Commonwealth Star and Southern Cross.
To resolve our issue our National Flag flies from its own flagpole in a prominent position and the club burgee and Blue Ensign fly together with the Blue Ensign in the position of honour.
Local paper gives the club a plug
The clubs re-development received coverage in the August 7 edition of the local newspaper.
Commodore Simon Mills, Vice Commodore Chris Akerman and Committee member Greg Miles posed for photographs before actual demolition started, although Simon was driving the bobcat through the clubhouse days before, and we can now guess his management style by the way he wields that sledgehammer. Autographed copies of the photo will not be available.
Lloyd Group, has completed the removal of the old clubhouse and are ready to start work on the foundations of the new building.
Mixed feelings were tempered with enthusiasm for the temporary clubhouse which opened for business on Friday the 16th of August.
The demise of the clubhouse caused several members a little sadness, and office manager, Jarmila’s heart sank when the jaws of the digger chewed through the rotted timber of her office.
It’s not hard to look at the pile if rubble with fond memories and past glories. The removal of the asbestos roof went fairly smoothly, until more sheets were found between the roof and ceiling, this became the first variation, but was kept to a few hundred dollars due to the good management of Len Dockrill and Darren Keast.
The Norfolk pine was one of the last items still standing, we have always despaired at the dropping of branches and needles over our boats when in the yard, yet it stood as a defiant sentinel till the last, when it finally was felled and revealed the largest colony of white ant in Williamstown.