Commodore’s Corner By Peter Suchanek

Warm greetings to all our OHCC members. I hope everyone has had a terrific holiday. Welcome to 2016! For the past 15 years, Ralph Drake shared his thoughts here in the Commodore’s Comments spot in Flotilla. Last year, he decided to step down as Commodore. It is fair to say that we all owe Ralph a great debt of gratitude for his hard work, dedication and belief in the strength, growth and development of the OHCC. When Ralph took the tiller, the club was experiencing turbulent times. Membership had dropped and significant infrastructure improvements were needed. Without a lease with the City, swirling plans for port lands development could have pushed the OHCC out of the Toronto harbour or even into the history books.

Amid proposals for Olympic bids, grandiose Cherry Beach condo developments, cross-lake ferry service, a Ferris-wheel, Waterfront Casino and on and on, Ralph didn’t flinch. One New York City consultant hired by a potential developer even groused that “there’s no place for 19th century sailing clubs in Toronto’s outer harbour”. In 2012, after decades of insecurity, the City signed a lease which protects the OHCC until 2025. At last; some certainty.

Throughout it all, Ralph was a Commodore with purpose and resolve, providing the quiet stewardship and sound judgement needed to survive in ambiguous and unpredictable times. Thank you, Ralph.

It is appropriate to recognize all the returning members to the OHCC Executive from last year and welcome 2 new faces; Peter Hale, Property (Marine) and Frank Moens (Recording-Secretary). The list of Executive contacts appears on the Contacts Us page in the site menu. This is a very dedicated and capable group. The 2016 Executive held its first meeting in December with more planned during the winter to the ramp up to the 2016 sailing season. The Executive puts forth considerable effort each year to ensure that the membership enjoys the best possible sailing experience that the OHCC can offer.

It goes without saying that, as OHCC members, we can never lose sight of the fact the OHCC is a not-for-profit, self-help sailing club. We’re an extraordinary, volunteer based organization able to keep sailing safe, affordable and fun in downtown Toronto.

Renewal reminders will be sent out by email the week of January 25, 2016, so please keep an eye out for yours.

May you all enjoy much health, many laughs and prosperity in this New Year and a wonderful sailing season.

(Thanks to Mike Goldstein for the photos below from the AGM.)

AGM


See more articles in the January 2016 Flotilla Newsletter.