LABOUR WEEKEND Oct 25-28 EVENT
If you are looking for a destination for your Labour weekend cruise – see attached flyer promoting the Kawau Boating Club / Mahurangi Spring Splash weekend at Kawau Island.
ww encourages all boaties to support the weekend. There is a lot of money to be spent on the place but it is unique in the Gulf and is worth saving.
If you can’t attend, consider joining, details on the flyer. The club is really dependent on the boating fraternity joining the club and helping to fund the costs of getting the fuel facility operating again and the clubhouse spruced up for summer.
PS – not sure if you noticed it but there is a significant sign of the changing boating environment on this flyer – what you ask?, the new name for what was the Kawau Yacht Club, now the Kawau Boating Club, next it will be the Royal New Zealand Boat Squardon ………. 🙂
Kawau Yacht Club – memories ex Ken Ricketts
I was a foundation member of the original format of the club from day one, & thought perhaps it may be of interest to some, if I write a little anthology, of my knowledge of the background as I know it, & background the early days preceding the creation of the original club, which has now of course, excitingly, taken “its next step along the way, in to the future.”
Post WWII the wonderfully hospitable Mr & Mrs Roy & Irene Lidgard, who were very good family friends, & were, it seems, friends of the whole boating fraternity, in northern New Zealand, held fairly comparatively impromptu, New Years day gatherings, on their front lawn, of their newly built beautiful, waters edge, Smeltinghouse Bay home, where there was a day filled with dingy races, swimming races, & sailing races, to which most of us, who were at Kawau on that day, attended, with many hundreds, lining their property front lawn, & shoreline. This was followed by a dance & social, in their boatbuilding shed, along the other end of the bay, in the evening. Always a hugely successful & popular event, which I attended every time, from Christmas 1946. The popularity of this was such, that it prompted the wonderful donation, by Mrs Irene Lidgard, of the land, to make the club & club house possible. I think the Lidgard family, also donated much of the materials for the building.
The actual building was created substantially by donations of labour, some materials, & time by a good number of boaties and residents of the day, & was erected, in the circumstances, surprisingly quickly.
Initially, its interior was open all the way to the slope of roof line, & was completed, from memory, circa 1949-50. Some years later the ceiling was lowered & made flush.
It was erected before mains supply power came to the lsland, in the early days, power was courtesy of a 1 cyl Lister Diesel, driving a 32 volt DC generator, in a shed a wee way up the bank at the rear of Lidgard’s house, connected to 3 or 4 x 32 volt light bulbs, hanging from the roof.
Power came to the island in the1950s, – (c1954-56 as I recall), after which the club blossomed, from a services point of view, with a shower & toilet facility being built, for the benefit of all of us, refrigeration, & sale of foodstuffs being important additional facilities & services, the club provided.
Through the years there have been some wonderful dedicated people running it all as club captain, & one family whom I knew well, who was there for many years, from the 1950s was the Schumachers, of what I have always called Commettee’s Bay, (after Frank Commettee, a business friend of my fathers who had a lovely home in that bay) — next door to Smeltinghouse, who were instrumental to quite a degree, in the evolution of improvements in various areas.
The Lidgards had an association with BP in Auckland, & perhaps with their input, the club acquired its petrol & diesel facility in the later 50s 60s era.
For many years after completion of the clubhouse, every New Years Day, there was, for many, “the ultimate regatta of the year,” with competitions from the very young boys & girls, to extremely mature, both ladies & gentlemen, with ladies & gents racing & completion for many water associated sports, including dinghy rowing, one oared sculling,– from the bow & the stern, which caused many hilarious collisions & sinkings, — swimming, yacht racing , launch racing, etc., etc. & a great prizegiving evening of festivity to following on, on New Years night in the clubhouse with local musicians, boaties & island residents providing a big diversity of sound & hilarity. I have considerable 8mm colour movie footage, (now on DVD), of these events & will try & scan some still shots off this.
These wonderful events were attended by many hundreds or perhaps even in to the thousands for the regattas, & went on every New Year Day & night, well in to the 1980s, until eventually, sadly, as a result of a small number of troublemakers, it was reluctantly decided to pull the plug in these wonderful dance social evenings. — A typical example of the majority having it ruined by the few.
As many of us are aware there have been mergers, & financial support from other boating organisations leading eventually, to the great news of this week, that it is continuing to have a future for as all, but at the end of the day, the building. its history, & the concept & the club have endured. — Long, long, may it continue –