The main event of the season has left us with fond memories of yet another special evening together anticipating the new year ahead. 2019’s Ball was well-attended with everyone decked out in their finery, so much so that it was hard to recognize the male members looking so dashing, after a season of stained t-shirts and shorts on the docks.
As members entered this elegant event, they were warmly welcomed into the transformed venue. Jo Graham, Ryan Laudien, Doug Herchmer and Marion Clark greeted all members with drink tickets and instructions to seek out Jo McIlveen (our official photographer) for photos. The Commodore’s Ball Organizing Team, under the direction of Jo Graham, included:
- Sheila Greenberg and Marion Clark for their inspired creativity with the elegant settings with Joanne Caple’s help
- Programs prepared by Linda Hamilton
- Sandra Dutton, Andy Vallis, Anne Milne and Jo McIlveen- setting up and dismantling.
The overall chic effect was created with the tall glass vases and white roses, aqua blue napkins and white X’mas lights. Simple, but beautiful.
The social hour over drinks and hors d’oeuvres was enjoyed by all. There is always an audible energy in the room, as members seek out one another to connect and start planning new adventures for 2020. The COMMODORE'S BALL truly is the SCYC'S SOCIAL EVENT OF THE YEAR.
Captain Janette Brown and First Mate Scott Brown welcomed everyone to their assigned dinner tables. Janette and Scott proved to be the ultimate risk takers in our club this year. Having NEVER attended a Commodores Ball before, they volunteered to take on the MC role. This dynamic duo brought in humor (Okay, agreed, Scott’s jokes really were GROANERS.), but the COIN TOSS GAME sporting Commodore Bob Delaney’s face on the HEADS side, won everyone over. Their choice of props and visuals they prepared added both fun and entertainment to the program.
Our special guests were introduced to the SCYC members: Commodore Therese Saunders and husband, Brian Saunders from Maple Bay Yacht Club, Vice Commodore Leslie Smith and husband, Burnie Smith from Nanaimo Yacht Club and Past Fleet Captain John Schnellback and wife, Shannon Breeze from Maple Bay Yacht Club.
Our SCYC Past Commodores in attendance were asked to stand to be recognized: Bruce Berry, Ron Davis, Peter Howells, Karen Herage, Joe Skipsey, Bonnie Curl, Joe Straka, Pam May-Straka, and our most recent addition, Ryan Laudien. New members were introduced and welcomed. Pauline Back and Lindsey Wilson will be wonderful additions to our club.
Our personable Bonnie Curl came forward to say Grace. She ALWAYS has something historical to impart with the club. (You’ll hear more about the red dress later in the article.)
Fairwinds outdid themselves this year with our plated dinner of BBQ Pork Ribs or Steelhead Trout. Chef Shawn was brought out from the kitchen and his support staff, Taylor, Tim and James were thanked. As well, the serving staff, coordinated by Elizabeth and assisted by Lisa, Lani, and Erica were acknowledged.
As the dessert and coffee were delivered, the program for the evening got underway. Past Commodore, Ryan Laudien, thanked the 2019 executive for their diligence and club spirit in making SCYC one of the most congenial and aligned clubs during another year of change and transition.
He then had the honor of presenting the coveted Si Wood Trophy for 2019 to a member who had contributed to our club for outstanding service in a significant way. The recipient of the Si Wood Trophy 2019 was recognized for her three year term as Social Director. Jo Graham DAZZLED us with her thoughtful, inclusive planning and her amazing social events for Regattas, Sail Pasts and Commodore's Balls. She instituted the AFTERDECK FRIDAYS as another way for members to connect, and she even inspired reluctant Past Commodore Ryan to put up some X’mas lights! She has creatively theme planned our events, always keeping her goal in mind, ensuring that racers participated socially with the cruisers as one completely unified group. By the standing ovation for Jo, it is obvious that the entire club won’t forget the memories accumulated from all the special events of the last 3 years. THANK YOU JO! (Hopefully husband/vintner, Don toasted your award with his excellent champagne upon returning home after the Ball.)
Past Commodore Ryan Laudien then officially acknowledged SCYC’s incoming Commodore, Bob Delaney. The coveted 'Commodore's Cap' (donated by Bonnie Curl) and ceremonial burgee were passed on to Bob. (As well as a personal gift to spruce up his Commodore attire at SCYC events.)
Past Commodore Peter Howels called Past Commodore Ryan Laudien back up to receive a token of appreciation from the club for his service in the role of Commodore for 2019. And Donna Howells called upon the writer of this article to come forward to receive a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. (Boo Hoo! Prairie Girl was just starting to like husband’s role as Commodore and now its over…)
2020's Commodore came forward to introduce the SCYC 2020 EXECUTIVE:
Commodore- Bob Delaney
Vice Commodore- VACANT
Past Commodore- Ryan Laudien
Secretary- Kathy Swangard
Treasurer- James Watson
Rear Commodore- Doug Hershmer
Fleet Captain- Richard Hudson
Staff Captain- Dick Duffley
Social Director- VACANT
Communications Director- Linda Watson
Director at Large- Pat Terfloth
Janette and Scott created a fun visual and slide show of our new Commodore and acknowledged his continued commitment to the club, despite his wanderlust (adequately described as his 10 day rule). Thankfully with technology, he’s able to keep in contact when needed. He is hopeful that some members will step up to take on the Vice Commodore and Social Director roles, as both executive positions are important to the club’s function. If not individuals, teams would work. Please consider this option.
And then it was on to more serious matters... THE DREADED MEMA AWARD! (Most Embarrassing Moment Award) Who would be the fated winner for 2019? It must have been a pretty abnormal year for mishaps, as only two nominations were put forward this year.
Dick Duffley nominated Don Graham for a “Skipsey Knot” reoccurrence. Don Graham provided Silverwood for the Club Regatta race starts and finishes and for setting the start line. Everyone remembers Joe’s notoriety over the “Skipsey Knot”, but what you may not know (If you didn’t read Prairie Girl’s article in Sept.) is that we have another notorious knot maker. That’s right members- Don Graham was towing his dinghy and buoy out to the start line and wouldn’t you know it, his knot didn’t hold and his buoy and dinghy started drifting. He was totally oblivious that they were gone! Fortunately, Eric Young and Dick Duffley rescued the drifting flotsam just before it kissed the rocks.
And Richard Hudson nominated Jim Dutton this year for mutinous behaviour. Crewing aboard Spud, Jim noticed Skipper John Collins was perhaps a tad too relaxed drinking a beer with his feet up in the middle of the race. Jim felt compelled to take the helm and wouldn’t you know it, he found the dreaded Schooner Reef. At that point there wasn’t anything to be done, but to wait for the tide to lift them off. Noteworthy to the story, Spud still went on to win the race, in spite of the delay!
Well, the winner of the coveted MEMA AWARD for 2018 went to Jim Dutton! However, Jim was no where to be found to receive this prestigious award. Hmm, do you think, perhaps, he had an inkling of his nomination?
The evening ended with further socializing and dancing, thanks to music by Bruce Feltham.
All SCYC members enjoyed the opportunity to further engage with one another and catch up. And you know it has been a successful night, when your guests from other Yacht Clubs stay after dinner to dance and socialize. Once again, Jo Graham (our talented Social Director) and her committee, put on a smashing event, providing our members with yet another treasured memory.
Formal Photographer: Jo McIlveen
Informal Photographers: Donna Howells and
Advertisements of the Commodore’s Ball:Linda Watson (Communications Director)
Article Prepared by Mary Laudien (alias: Prairie Girl)