The Port Dover Yacht Club is a not-for-profit club governed by its volunteers. Its success is attributed to the dedication and effort of many people over the past 75+ years, with leadership from the Board of Directors and First Mates.
The Ladies Section has been an important part of the Yacht Club for 73 years.
In July 1949 the first meeting of the Ladies Section of P.D.Y.C. was held at the Port Dover cottage of Irene Martin. The main topic of discussion was how they could raise enough funds to be able to buy an electric stove and some dishes, etc. The suggestion was made that in the interim they should build a B.B.Q. so they could have wiener and corn roasts. All present were requested to “beg, borrow or steal” a few bricks from friends or neighbours. Sally Maytham volunteered to lead this endeavour.
Remember . . . this was still the time of severe post WWII shortages.
Actually, times have not changed a great deal in the last 73 years. Mates are extremely successful in doing a lot with very little, and are skilled fund raisers.
In the 1970’s members of the Ladies Section requested the right to full P.D.Y.C. membership. By 1986 a report states that it was granted, and that the club had been “rewarded time and time again by women who were not only able to assist in the operation of the club but made things happen!”
In 1987 the name of the Ladies Section was changed by popular vote to “First Mates” to better reflect our wish to be a more inclusive club.
During the years of collaboration between the Board and the Ladies/First Mates, there have been many, many memorable social events.
The most outstanding event award has to go to the Jamaican Jump Up, held in the mid 1980’s. Through a members connection we were able to get an authentic Jamaican Steel band from Toronto. We feared that the floor of our aged, gentle building would collapse under the enthusiastic jumping!
Hawaiian Luau’s have been held frequently at the club right back to the clubs’ earliest days, and they have always been a huge success.
An enterprising member quite recently had a crate of live lobster flown in from the East Coast, and another member’s family donated huge bags of sweet corn for a gala feast.
The ladies luncheon continues to be the most successful event for the Mates, with beautiful table decorations and flowers. It is a wonderful chance to have a great lunch, a sip of wine, and a good chat with friends.
There were countless other events that demonstrated the ingenuity, imagination and organization of the Mates in collaboration with the Executive Board.
We have served the club and its members joyously and with dedication for 73 years and are continuing to do so.
Past Lady Commodore 1983 and
Current Past President of the First Mates