In Friday the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron hosted the final session of the inaugural Joe White Sailing School community sailing program. Thirty- two Year 5 students from St.Columba’s Primary School in Elwood were presented with their Tackers introductory sailing certificates, along with a Squadron cap and showbag by Rear Commodore, Ian Lodewyckx.
This graduation ceremony was unexpected for the children, who have enjoyed three sessions of Tackers sailing for free at the Royal Melbourne Sailing Academy, as a result of the generous donation to the Squadron from the Joe White Bequest.
Joe White was a former Commodore of RMYS on several occasions between 1925 and 1945 and was very successful as a result of his malting businesses. Joe left a bequest which donates to medical research, art galleries and community projects. On behalf of the Squadron, Commodore Marcus Coppens successfully approached the Joe White Bequest to see if they would support a free community sailing aimed at primary schools. The Directors of the bequest agreed and felt that it would reflect Joe’s passion for sailing and community spirit. Between now and Christmas 2017, a further 100 students from St.Kilda Park and St.Kilda Primary Schools will pass through this new program as result of the funds provided by the Joe White Bequest.
We hope that this first step will lead to a continuation of the important community sailing program into 2018 with further funding, as St. Columba’s Deputy Principal, Ms. Bern Bradley has already signed her school up again to this program.
All Joe White students and families will be invited to attend a family fun sailing afternoon to held at RMYS on Sunday 17 th December 2017 from 1 pm to 5 pm where free dinghy sailing, club house tours and a sausage sizzle will be provided. Club volunteers will be sought to assist on this day.
Special thanks to the Commodore Marcus Coppens, Vice Commodore Charles Meredith, Rear Commodore Ian Lodewyckx and General Committee Member James Lynch and Senior Member David Connelly, for steering this important program through.