Rededication of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Opening Stone
Commodore of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Mr Mark Gallagher; Past Commodores; Members, including the Official Secretary at Government House, Air Commodore Mark Gower, and his wife, Mrs Julie Gower, who are both Squadron members in good standing and great supporters of the boating community, Supporters and Friends,
Kaye and I are delighted to join the members of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for today’s re-dedication ceremony.
I at once acknowledge the elders, past and present, of the Indigenous tribes of Quandamooka, traditional owners of the lands and waters of Moreton Bay, where the squadron now has its home.
It has been sixty-five years since Governor Lavarack officially opened the Kemp Place Club House in the city and unveiled the stone which I am re-dedicating today.
I can comfortably say that Lavarack would be amazed – and I think, quite delighted, by the immense progress made by Squadron in that time, and especially in the past few years.
It is a sad fact of life that many member associations begin with great optimism, but slip away after the initial enthusiasm fades. So it is a signal achievement of this Squadron to find itself, 65 years after the dedication of this plaque, going from strength to strength, with a membership drive successfully targeting families, women and young people, and finding ways for people who don’t own boats to experience the challenge and enjoyment of marine sport activities, as well as the truly magical experience of being out on our magnificent Moreton Bay.
I understand the Weekend Windsurfing initiative, in particular, is booming, and it gives me great pride to see the club embracing newer marine sports like windsurfing, and also stand-up paddle boarding, and offering these to its members.
I particularly commend the Squadron on its initiatives to encourage young people to join and to participate in boating. As you all know, teamwork is essential to successful sailing, and combined with the many skills one learns on-board, boating is both a wonderful youth development activity as well as a leisure experience one can pursue throughout life.
Kaye and I have enjoyed the convivial company of the Commodore and Squadron members on the Opening Day of several yachting seasons and other special occasions. It is always a pleasure to be in the Clubhouse - such a tremendous facility, and a credit to the Squadron - and today is no less so.
Restoring and relocating this stone is a fine act by an organisation which respects its past while embracing the future – and I am delighted, as your Patron, to be part of it. It now gives me great pleasure to officially re-dedicate this stone and to wish you all a most pleasant evening.