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Windsor Yacht Club to Celebrate 80th Birthday

Windsor Yacht Club to Celebrate 80th Birthday

Feature photo: Windsor Yacht Club 2016

WINDSOR YACHT CLUB TO CELEBRATE 80TH BIRTHDAY ON MAY 12

Windsor Yacht Club circa 1948
Windsor Yacht Club circa 1948. Photo courtesy Southwestern Digital Archives.

Only two years after the amalgamated City of Windsor was formed, the Windsor Yacht Club was born. On May 9, 1937 the club was incorporated and is now celebrating its 80th birthday.

The club has an interesting and storied history.

In the spring of 1938, the Canadian Power Squadron was started at the Windsor Yacht Club with G. William Bowman as its first Commander. Over the past 75 years, the squadron has spread from Windsor across the nation and been involved locally, regionally and nationally in providing leadership and education regarding safe boating.

The Windsor Power and Sail Squadron continues to host events for members of the general public to this day. That includes holding seminars involving border patrol and various police and coast guard officers regarding the rules of our area waterways and crossing the border.

During the Second World War, yacht club member Harry Gignac loaned his boat to the RCMP to patrol the Detroit River from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, helping to keep residents safe during a time of conflict.

The club’s first major expansion occurred after the war when in 1945 kitchen and dining facilities were added.

Windsor Yacht Club circa 1957
Windsor Yacht Club circa 1957. Photo courtesy Southwestern Digital Archives.

In 1949, the first Maple Leaf International Classic race for power boats was held. In 1972, the Canadian Club Regatta for sailboats began, with this year marking its 45th anniversary.

In 2001, the clubhouse was reconstructed as it stands today. And, in 2016, the harbour was reopened after an $850,000 upgrade which means it can now accommodate boats up to 60 feet in length. The club has a long tradition of welcoming boaters from around the Great Lakes and belongs to the Inter-Lake Yachting Association and the Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association. Despite the obvious nautical nature of the club, one does not need to own a boat to become a member and enjoy the many amenities it offers.