We received a lovely letter from Charles Duncan, a gentleman who sailed a Cadet at RMYS around 1959. Below is the text of the letter:
More than fifty years have passed since I first tasted the joy of sailing in a cadet dinghy at St Kilda but memories of those days live with me still.
I was introduced to the club by my school mate Don McCurdy and with no fuss or formality whatsoever I found myself accepted into a wonderful gang of boys and young men, all happily engrossed in the serious business of sailing small boats on the open sea.
Of course I accepted it all without question and gave no thought at all to the generosity of the senior members whose time, energy and money made it all possible.
I was in no way distinguished as a cadet sailor - certainly not Stonehaven Cup material - but I enjoyed my adventures as crew on Ann Too and Blue Lake and my spell at the helm of dear old EB.
When I finished school, my work as an engineer took me away from Melbourne to far-flung places so I did not progress beyond junior membership at the club. Some might see this as an indication that my cadet years were a wasted investment but from my point of view that is certainly not so. My spell in cadets instilled in me a fascination with boats and a love of sailing that stayed with me and grew throughout my life and, to a large extent, helped to define me as a person.
My travelling lifestyle limited my opportunities for sailing but over the years I managed to fit in some happy times and keen competition, including spells at South of Perth Yacht Club in WA, the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia and Whitsunday Sailing Club in Queensland.
None of my sailing exploits are worthy of note to anyone except me but are nonetheless valuable and have provided me with a store of wonderful memories.
Of course much has changed in fifty years and young people today have so many more recreation options open to them. But no doubt junior sail training is still an important aspect of club life; I certainly hope so, for I well know how exposure to the wonders of sailing can help mould a man's life, surely for the better.