This is the first instalment of what is intended to be a dynamic record of our club’s history. I am hoping to have a page for each decade until 2009, when our electronic newsletters commenced on this web site.
Special thanks to Judy Heap, who so graciously let me delve into some of her club memories and take away these wonderful pictures.
The writings are of events and memories, some over 40 years ago, so I expect to get a few things not quite right. Please enlighten me and send me stories and/or photos of your fond and special club memories so I can share with today’s members. You can email me at; email@example.com
Over 40 years ago, in 1979, the club idea started with four sailors with three owners of Cole 23s.
Janet and Wayne Devonshire on Limelight (Wayne designed the club’s first burgee and they were sewn in cotton)
Peter and Helen Coppock on Swanyea
Ross Berghofer on Greensleeves .
The first formal meeting was in a church hall in Newcastle and out of that came 10 members. The original club name was the ‘Hunter Valley Trailer Sailer Club’. This later became Newcastle Hunter Trailer Yacht Association (NHTYA).
Following meetings were then held in a small room at a school in New Lambton. The sample program of 97/98 has meetings still at the small school room. The club general meeting moved to Club Macquarie sometime during the following 10 years, as there is a newsletter mention of the February 2008 meeting at Club Macquarie.
Judy and the late Neville Heap (life members) joined the club in 1982 and by then everyone had updated their boats. There were about 5-6 Sabre 22s in the club, one of which was their Sabre 22 called “Happy Wanderer’.
Club members continued to upgrade to bigger boats- Sonata and Noelex were popular choices.
The club’s first newsletter was printed via gestetner and manually posted. Judy can remember the meeting when they were discussing emails, but it was more a topic of ‘who actually had a computer’ never mind who could use it. Back then, no mobile phones so they had to use a phone box and certainly no Facebook or web site!
When Nev and Judy joined in ’82, the club was already racing. Originally, it was 1 race day a fortnight and 1 cruise a fortnight, alternating. Yes, it was a race ‘day’ on the Sunday. It wasn’t until early 2000 that Ian Nunn proposed they made a weekend of it and race on two consecutive days – any excuse to sleep on their boats! Club members were not sure how they would handle two consecutive race days but they gave it a go anyway and that format remains to this day, although it is a monthly weekend.
The photos on these pages depicts how popular cruising the Myall Lakes was and to this day the Myall Lakes is just as popular and holds a special place in the hearts of current and past club members. The club not only cruised (and still does) its home base of Lake Macquarie but also ventured on away cruises to Frazer Island, Gippsland Lakes and the River Murray. This adventurous spirit remains to this day and the club has added the Whitsundays and regular cruises on the Hawksbury River, Sydney Harbour, Wallis Lakes and Lake Glenbawn.