The Commodore's Ball this year was an intimate, elegant affair. As members entered the Fairwind's Arbutus Room, they were warmly welcomed into the transformed venue. The decorating team, consisting of Linda Hamilton, Anne Thompson, Sheila Greenberg, Marion Clark, Sandra Dutton, Andy Vallis and Jo Graham, used a silver and white theme with Marion's handmade white starfish climbing up the inside of the glass table vases. The overall effect was simple and sophisticated.
Everyone enjoyed being greeted with a frosty glass of champagne or beer and a photo opt with Wally Clark. One former Commodore's Ball, photos taken from the previous year were mounted on the walls for attendees to view and take home at the end of the night. (This article writer was somewhat relieved that they hadn't done that this year, as Commodore Ryan and his wife arrived attired in the exact same dress-up clothes as the year before.... What a faux-pas that would have been!)
Even with the smaller number of attendees this year, there was an anticipatory buzz in the room during the pre-dinner cocktail hour. After all, the COMMODORE'S BALL is the SCYC'S SOCIAL EVENT OF THE YEAR.
Our dashing tuxedo-clad MC'S (TOM and JERRY...oops- I mean John and Gerry) welcomed everyone to their assigned dinner tables. John Vallis and Gerry Thompson were outstanding in their role, leading us through the program with humour as they contended with their unreliable mike cutting in and out. Not only were they entertaining, but they were also gracious to take on this commitment for a second time. Our special guests were introduced to the SCYC members: Commodore Mike, and wife Tina Ganderton, from Nanaimo Yacht Club and Vice Commodore Tom, and wife Heather Miller, from Maple Bay Yacht Club.
Our lovely Bonnie Curl said Grace, after fiddling with the unreliable mike, to no avail! (It's a good thing that our SCYC members have strong vocal projection, as that mike just wasn't cooperating.) A delicious dinner was served by the Fairwind's Restaurant Staff created by Chef Shawn and served by Elizabeth and Joanne.
Once the dessert and coffee was delivered, the program for the evening got underway. Past Commodore Simon Huddy officially acknowledged SCYC’s incoming Commodore, Ryan Laudien. The coveted 'Commodore's Cap' (donated by Bonnie Curl) and ceremonial burgee were passed on to Ryan.
Past Commodore Simon Huddy was called upon to present the enormous Si Wood Trophy for 2018 to a member who had taken on the leadership role of organizing the Wednesday night races. Wally Clark was recognized for creating a culture of light-hearted fun that includes all types of sailors, regardless of their experience with racing. Wally put a lot of time and effort, with quiet efficiency, to increase the participation level in this relaxed racing venue. Thank you Wally for making this happen! (Did anyone catch him taking a celebratory drink from his OVER-SIZED GOBLET? -just curious...)
Jim Dutton called Past Commodore Simon Huddy up to receive a token of appreciation from the club for his dedication to the role of Commodore. And of course, everyone knows that behind every good Commodore is an amazing woman. (Right? We ALL know this, don't we?). Sandra Dutton thanked Jane Huddy for supporting her man and our club with her engaged active involvement throughout the year.
2019's Commodore was called upon to introduce the New Executive. Those of you attending the gala will know that Ryan continues to be baffled over how he ended up in this exec position. (And he's still plotting his revenge on John Curran.) Seriously though, Ryan is proud to be taking on this leadership role in our club. His words were, "If I were Donald Trump, I would look around and say that 'This is the LARGEST CROWD EVER to attend a Commodore's Ball!...." However, he would not have to say, 'LET'S MAKE SCYC GREAT AGAIN!' ... because it simply is GREAT!" Ryan introduced the new executive, speaking personally to each one that was present and had served on the executive last year:
SCYC 2018-19 EXECUTIVE
Commodore- Ryan Laudien
Vice Commodore- Bob Delaney
Past Commodore- Simon Huddy
Secretary- Kathy Swangard
Treasurer- James Watson
Rear Commodore- Doug Hershmer
Fleet Captain-Dean Dreger
Staff Captain- Janette & Scott Brown
Social Director- Jo Graham
Communications Director- Linda Watson
Director at Large- Pat Terfloth
And then it was on to more serious matters... THE DREADED MEMA AWARD! (Most Embarrassing Moment Award for those newer members who probably haven't had the pleasure of being nominated yet...) It must have been a fairly calm year lacking any major craziness, but three people were "ratted out", nonetheless, by friends. Ron Davies had to nominate Joe Skipsey for his famous "SKIPSEY SLIPSEY KNOT" that occurred at the start line of the 2018 BMW Lasqueti Island Regatta. The Start Crew were all set up, ready to begin the race when some confusion was noticed at the START LINE. Apparently, a knot tying the start line buoy to an anchor got loose. As Joe put it, "I thought I ought to test the knot, but I forgot and it held NOT." We all loved reliving that story!
Brian Steane was the next one up to make a nomination. He nominated Doug Herchmer for his crabbing skills (or lack of) during the club cruise in Lagoon Cove. Apparently, Doug took out his partner Joanne's favourite crab trap to set. Unfortunately, the line got caught in the prop and when he cut the line to untangle it from the prop, the entire trap sunk to the bottom of Shoal Bay. Joanne put on her wet suit and tried to save her beloved trap, but it had sunk too deeply. Let's just say that fellow sailing buddies overheard a bit of "CRABBY TALK" between Joanne (the exceptional fisherwoman) and her Doug (the not-so exceptional fisherman).
And John Vallis felt compelled to nominate Ryan Laudien over a conversation that was held at one of the Gentlemen's Luncheons last spring. Apparently, the guys were chatting about the first cruises they had taken for the season up to Desolation Sound and the Broughtons, when Ryan announced that he had taken an epic voyage recently, as well. Yep, he had started his motor in Stone's Marina and dropped his anchor in Mark's Bay for a couple of nights. This was his idea of a spring shake-down cruise. Impressive, right? You now see why this article writer must continue producing her Prairie Girl Learns to Sail blog series...
Well, the winner of the coveted MEMA AWARD for 2018 went to Doug Hershmer. And he wasn't just the recipient of the plaque with his name engraved, he was presented with a fool proof crab trap and line. (Notice the little crab sitting in this unique trap contraption.)
The evening ended with further socializing and dancing, thanks to Andy's Oceanside DJ Music. Some couples were up and enjoying the dancing. And, of course, there were some women sharing a man with whom to dance... thank you Len and Yvonne!
Upon reflection, due to the smaller numbers this year, the Ball felt somewhat like an elegant dinner party. (And as one often encounters at dinner parties in Nanoose Bay, as the night wore on the men eventually gravitated to one end of the room and the women socialized on the other. What's that all about?)
Once again, Jo Graham (our talented Social Director) and Linda Hamilton (event planner extraordinaire) and their team, put on a lovely event, providing our members with another special memory.
Photographs by: Wally Clark, Cathy Carey, and Linda Hamilton
Article written by Mary Laudien
(For getting the scoop on your new Commodore's sailing adventures... go to Mary's Prairie Girl Learns to Sail Blog Posts at http://www.marylaudien.com Mary gurarantees you will enjoy a few laughs, as some of them have been published in Pacific Yachting Magazine on the COCKPIT CONFESSION page.)