Official opening of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron sailing season
Thank you, Mr Somerville, for your warm welcome this morning.
And thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for the wonderful hospitality you have once again extended to Kaye and me on this important occasion.
As Governor and Patron of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, it is an absolute pleasure to be with you for the launch of the 134th yachting season, and to participate in the inauguration of your outstanding new Marine Sports Amenity Building.
And may I say what a great honour it is to see the Governor’s Standard flying proudly over your grounds today.
Kaye and I have enjoyed the company of the Commodore and Squadron members on the Opening Day of several yachting seasons, and on other special occasions.
In March of this year, we were here for the rededication of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Opening Stone, exactly 65 years since Governor John Lavarack officially opened the Kemp Place Club House in the city.
As I said back then, Sir John would be amazed – and indeed quite delighted – by the immense progress made by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in that time, and especially during the past few years.
As most of you will be aware, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron was founded in 1885 as the Brisbane Sailing Club by a group of gentlemen who were interested in water sports.
By 1894, the title of Queensland Yacht Club was adopted, while in the same year the Admiralty granted members permission to fly the Blue Ensign of Her Majesty’s Fleet.
In 1902, it was King Edward the Seventh who bestowed the title ‘Royal’ on the club.
And, in 1961, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second approved a change of name to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.
A squadron is a portion of a naval fleet, which gives an idea of the wider significance, or prospective significance, of RQYS.
Some like to race; some like to cruise. Others may even enjoy maintaining their vessel even more than sailing it!
And then there are those who love the marina life.
However, I’m sure we all agree that there’s nothing quite as magical as being out on the open sea – the moment you clear the harbour and feel the breeze.
The thrill of travel, the challenge of pitting yourself against the forces of nature.
It’s the voice of the water, that only you can understand.
True sportsmanship has given the yachting fraternity in Queensland strength and resilience.
I’m absolutely convinced that the founding fathers of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron would be extremely proud to see what has become of their then humble club.
Your new Marine Sports Amenity Building, which I will soon officially open by unveiling a plaque, is not only a testament to their vision; it demonstrates the determination of the generations that came after them, including everyone here on this historic day.
Squadron members have never been afraid to look beyond the horizon, and today we are seeing the fruits of their endeavours.
I would like to congratulate you on your achievement and wish you good luck and fair winds.
It is now, with the greatest of pride and pleasure, that I declare the both the134th sailing season of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, and the Marine Sports Amenity Building, officially open!