This will be my last Towline article as the Commodore of the Bremerton Yacht Club. I must start it with telling you what a rich experience it has been, and how thankful I am for the opportunity to have served you!
I remember as a kid, living on the east hill overlooking Phinney Bay, the dreams I had of someday owning a boat and even being a member of that yacht club below with the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains on the horizon. Who would have thought that one day I would have become that club’s commodore?
I’ve learned a lot this past year and I thank the club members for their role in that learning process. The lessons haven’t always been easy but they have all brought me to a point of greater understanding. A greater understanding of individual club members, their needs, their motivations, and in many cases just how important this club is to them and to their lives.
I’ve also come to appreciate how different all of us are and how important it is that we make not just an allowance for those differences but that we grow in acceptance and even appreciation of those differences. That we learn to listen to each other, that we hold back from quick criticisms, rumor and innuendo, and that we all put forth as much effort to be friendly as we do to pass judgment. Our behavior today will dictate the character of our club tomorrow.
I’ve learned that this is a club, much like a family, and that the heartbeat is not that of the leadership but that of the people; and as such, it is the responsibility of the people to put forth as much effort as they expect of their leaders. Everyone needs to do their share plus a little. Everyone needs to do something to improve and benefit the club rather than just talking about what needs to be done (by someone else).
Lastly, I am reminded that we all belong to a yacht club and not just a marina. That boating and having fun on the water is our central theme. That our social events, cruises, and regattas are what all of our infrastructure and finances are here to support; and that in all of our planning, these are the priorities that must be protected.
It has been a good year for the club. We (the bridge, my flag officers, committee chairs, and supporting Executive Committee Chairs) have accomplished a lot this year and done so well within our budget. We populated our social calendar with multiple social events for every month; we sponsored the largest Heavy Weather contest that I’ve seen in the fifteen years, we finished a job description guide for the Executive Committee members that has been needed since our reorganization in 2009, we’ve created a new club data base, migrated the Towline to electronic distribution, made vast improvements to our website, and the list goes on… There was no low road. We worked very hard to accomplish the tasks which were completed.
I’d like to thank my wife, Denise who has supported our club more than you can imagine. She had been my personal strength and backbone. I could not have done this job without her and her insight, wisdom, and the common sense that has done so much to serve our club! You can be thankful for the efforts of Vice Commodore Longenecker and Rear Commodore Bruins. They have worked hard and their spouses Stacy Longenecker and Bev Bruins have worked just as hard to support them! And you can thank Fleet Captain Maralee Ormiston who has stepped up numerous times to provide the club and myself with her support.
The year is not over and we still have our “Opening Day” event which is being chaired by Nancy Haustveit on May 7, “Awards” night on May 13, “Installation” on May 20, and lastly the Commodore’s Ball on June 4. I hope to see all of you at these events and Denise and I would be particularly honored to see you at the ball. The cost is only $50/couple and will be an evening for all of us to remember!
We look forward to seeing you on the water!
Commodore John and Denise Rosendale