The year has definitely turned, this morning there was frost on the garden which was covered with fallen leaves – the end of the year seems to be creeping ever closer.
Today was also an important day for us as it has been the day that my husband’s time as Commodore of the sailing club came to an end. Following the AGM he stepped down and handed over to the new incumbent.
Having held the position for two years, it is obviously the end of a period in which we have both been heavily involved in all aspects of the management of the sailing club – from the glad handing and prize giving, to the politics and procrastination that goes with any volunteer role.
I don’t really think either of us had any real idea of what it was all about in the beginning, it was the job nobody wanted (and were a little nervous of, given previous events) and it was only with commitments of support from many others that the Mr felt able to step up. We felt very strongly that the future of the club was uncertain without leadership, and the club was important enough to us both that I encouraged him to take the role – but really, I was unsure as to how he would cope and what it would mean.
Over his time he has brought his own stamp to the role – accessible, approachable and down to earth, he has shown a completely different side of himself than that I knew, and his time has seen the Club continue to stand firm in a difficult time for sailing in the North East. He has encouraged new blood onto the committee and ensured the inclusive nature of the club is maintained as well as juggling relations with the water authority and the legal entity we operate via.
There have been lots of highs –
- the annual prize giving – always went well despite the run up stress of making sure all the prizes came back and that everyone knew who won what
- the rib replacement program – a long drawn out process but working with the treasurer we have a shiny fleet of fantastic boats at our disposal for rescue and patrol
- celebrating 30 years sailing at Kielder along with the Yacht club – bonus points that we remembered!
- encouraging Windsurfing and supporting the enthusiasm of one member who has now developed a full program complete with equipment mostly gained from grants thanks to the support of the committee
- getting approval for the new bar – and financially supporting it by drinking the stock!
- getting the Water Authority on board with a new boat registration system to make members lives easier
- actually doing some sailing! Although obviously this threatened his title of the None Sailing Commodore!
The lows? Well let’s not dwell on those – but I bet he would say that it was that only a couple of weeks ago a long established member still identified him as ‘Vicky’s Husband’ – he threatened to get a badge made at one point.
His action, hard work and commitment have meant that we still have a thriving club to be a part of, that we are coming through the recession strongly and with some new revenue streams open to us and some great people to take us on into the future. So it’s an ending of sorts – but also a new beginning too.
So from the bottom of my heart – thank you for wearing the big hat Mr.
Well done Mr.!
What an inspiring story. I have recently taken on a new (to me) volunteer role in my sailing community and this post is a great inspiration to me.
Michael has indeed been an excellent Commodore (which did not surprise me a bit!)
My only regret is that he did not have more time on the water enjoying the sport he was enabling all the rest of us to take part in.
Michael’s wife (to make up for the Vicky’s husband comment …) has also been superb in her many roles – they have been a dream team and the Rob/Helen combo have a hard act to follow.
High praise from one who knows exactly how tough it can be – the Mr is a little demob happy – but has sailed more this year with Mr Dow than ever before…. Next year they may yet take the club by storm!
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Thanks for posting this.. It’s been a pleasure to read 🙂