Grenada Yacht Club History
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Grenada Yacht Club History
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The exact date of the meeting of visiting yachtsmen and local yachting enthusiasts held to discuss the formation of The Grenada Yacht Club in unknown. It is however, believed to have taken place in 1953 in the home of George and Julien Rapier then of Tyrell Street, St. George's the capital city of Grenada. The founding members present at that historic meeting were brothers George (Porgie) & Julien Rapier, Charles (Laddy) McIntyre, Colin McIntyre, Leonard (Lio) Smith, Eric Glean, Michael Forshaw, Gordon & Betty Salhab and Maurice Gellineau. It is believed that Mrs. Gellineau wife of Maurice Gellineau along with one other person may also have been present but this cannot be confirmed.

Regular meetings continued to be held at the home of the Rapier brothers. At one such meeting the first officers of the club was elected. John Slominski holds the distinction of serving as the club's first Commodore and Leonard Smith that of first Secretary/Treasurer.

In 1954 a request was made to the Government of Grenada for lands on which a clubhouse could be erected. This request was duly granted with a plot adjacent to a shed at the entrance to the port used at that time to store bananas being handed over to the Grenada Yacht Club. Today this shed has been renovated and is used to store equipment used by workmen employed by the Grenada Port Authorities.

Having been granted their request for lands the club members went about raising the funds needed for the erection of the clubhouse. A Miss. Lucan who's brother D G Lucan a Chief Pilot, had been the founder of the Grenada Sailing Club which became defunct after his death, was approached by John Slominski and Eric Glean with a request that she hand over all funds from the Grenada Sailing Club to the Grenada Yacht Club. This most gracious lady, agreed that the funds should be used to benefit Grenadians who like her brother, enjoyed sailing. Both Miss Lucan and D G Lucan will be remembered for their contribution to sailing in Grenada.

The members of the club chose to undertake the job of clearing the site and putting in a slipway themselves, money was in short supply and the club could not afford to pay professionals to carry out these tasks. It was decided however, that before the clubhouse could be started more funds would have to be raised. The founding members therefore set about recruiting more members whose membership fees would boost the coffers. Life membership was offered to both founding members and newly recruited members at a cost of $100, a princely sum in those days. Fortunately the community housed a few citizens who chose to make this generous commitment, amongst them was Mr. George Joseph, Managing Director of General Traders Ltd. agents for prefab aluminium buildings produced in Guyana. Mr. Joseph was kind enough to offer the club one of his company's prefab buildings at a greatly reduced price in exchange for life membership. His offer was accepted and the members working in their free time on evenings and weekends duly erected the aluminium prefab set on a basement made of concrete.

The opening night of the clubhouse when it finally came was a joyous occasion. This joy alas was doomed to be short lived. September 1955 saw Grenada completely devastated by hurricane Janet. Part of that devastation was the lost of the St. George's Pier along with the aluminium section of the newly erected clubhouse.

In 1957 the rebuilding of the St. George's port began. The opportunity for expansion was taken and the Grenada Yacht Club was informed that the land allotted to them would be needed by the Government for this project. The club was compensated and offered a 25-year lease of the land known as The Spout.

Jonas Browne & Hubbard agreed to supply materials for the construction of a new building to be erected at The Spout. The plans drawn by Mr. Berris Wilcox for the new clubhouse were later found to be unsuitable and were replaced by plans submitted by Mr. Michael Forshaw. The building work began under the supervision of Mr. Michael Forshaw with Mr. Eric James as foreman, in January 1960. The committee at the time included John Slominki as Commodore, Eric Glean as Vice Commodore, Michael Forshaw as Secretary, Lyle Webster, a Barbadian, manager of the accounting firm Bovell and Skeet as Treasurer, and Gordon Salhab, Laddie McIntyre, and Julien Rapier floor members. Of special interest is the fact that in these early years of the club the Secretary acted as an unpaid manager. Upon completion the new clubhouse was opened in June 1960 in the presence on honoured invited guests Hon. Carl Noel, Minister of Works and Mr. James Lloyd, Administrator of Grenada. There have been no major changes to the building since it's opening in 1960 until the present members voted to have major renovations done.

"As related by Mr. Michael Forshaw, Founding Member".

Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2011 16:18