History of Skipperettes

Detailed History

The object of this club shall be the encouragement of social activity and promotion of friendliness among it members, and assistance to the Bremerton Yacht Club as stated in the bylaws or by membership vote.

In June of 1929 the Bremerton Yacht Club was established. It became the 6th club on Puget Sound. The club house was erected on water front property in Charleston. In April 1938, the Skippettes were organized primarily to furnish the new club. The first meeting was held to form an auxiliary of Bremerton Yacht Club. La Vern Phillips was elected first President. There were 37 ladies present, dues were $2.00 per year, payable semi-annually. Meetings were held the first Wednesday of each month.

In October 1938, the Skipperettes invited Tacoma and Everett ladies to a luncheon, there were 35 that attended. These clubs visited one another each yearly until 1943. Due to World War II, meetings were suspended. In 1946 meetings resumed with other auxiliaries joining. By 1957, 12 clubs met and this was the start of our present Women's Interclub Council (WIC). The first meeting was held in Bremerton. The Skipperettes had a big part in organizing this group thanks to Reve Hart.

In order to raise money for the Treasury, there were many fund raising events, card parties, sewing parties and potlucks. By 1939 we had a savings account of $20.00. With all this money, we ordered our first pins.

In 1940 it was decided to have our year run from January thru December. A joint Installation with the Skippers was held in December. The first lunch served by Skipperettes during Heavy Weather was served in February. A profit of $14.29 was made. At the end of December our Treasury showed a balance of $.02 in checking and $68.16 in savings.

During the War years, Skipperettes volunteered to help sew for the Red Cross one day a month and bought a $100 savings bond. Saving Bond Stamps were raffled off at our meetings. Ration stamps were used for Christmas Dinners and potlucks. We entertained sailors from the Navy Hospital.

Due to the railroad being built along the water front, property was purchased at the present location at Phinney Bay. The first meeting of Skipperettes in the new club house was held February 7, 1945, 14 members were present and $100.00 was donated to the Skippers. During these years Skipperettes had membership teas, bazaars, dinners, rummage sales (every month), bingo, Tolo dances, etc. to raise money. They also offered to sponsor swimming classes, craft classes and were involved with the Girl Mariners. By February 1946 we had a balance of $90.08 in checking, $30.65 in savings, three bonds and 91 members. This year the first Nautical News was published. It was run off on an addressograph machine. We bought the club a stove for the galley for $531.67, using the bonds.

In the 50's the ladies room was re-decorated and the “Skupperettes” came into being. These are Skippers who have repeatedly assisted the Skipperettes during the year . The first Skupperette was Art Mosher. We had our first board meeting and the history book was started in memory of 1st. President LaVerne Phillips. In 1958 we celebrated our 20th Anniversary.

The 60's found our treasury fat with $529.80 in checking. A resolution was endorsed to outlaw the Communist Party and Communistic Activities in Washington State. We notified State Representatives of approval; celebrated our Silver Anniversary with a special Tea and invited Tacoma Yacht Club and officers from the other clubs. We dissolved our contacts with the Girl Mariners after 30 years. We published our first cookbook, "Ship & Shore” with recipes from members and friends. They sold for $1.50 each.

In the 70's we increased our treasury by having a "Boat Tour"; served tea and refreshments in club house. We did so well we held another later in the year. To help us celebrate our 40th Anniversary , the Skippers presented us with a tabletop podium made by Harry Gundlach. We voted in a split year to run June thru June. The Masthead on the Nautical News was changed to how it appears today. A potluck was held for Marie and Tom Friel, caretakers for the club, they decided to retire. It was the first year for an evening Installation. Our second cookbook was published, “Ship & Shore II”, with a few problems with the printing (a long story).

In the 80's we decided to hold 5 day meetings and 5 evening meetings, so those ladies that worked could attend at night. One of our fun events, (we have had many), found us in Seattle at Channel 5 studio for one of their daytime shows. Twenty-four of us had a great time and Simone Eagle won a diamond ring. The Skippers presented us a beautiful Silver Tea Service. Thanks for so many helping hands. It was the first year the Skippers were invited to our Installation. Thanks to P/C Harry Risch and the E-Committee, they gave us our own parking space for the President. It was a big year for us, as we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a big celebration. We established a plaque with the names of all the “Skupperettes” to be hung in the club. (We were still trying to sell cookbooks.) Nona Lansbury and Elsie Fickersen were recognized for having 100% attendance for the year.

The 90's: Anyone know who ordered the Asparagus? It was a mystery; you had to be there! Our "Lettuce Bowl" was started and door prizes. This year was the first of many that we held an auction at our Christmas Meeting. We are now solvent with $1,807.41. We celebrated our 60th Anniversary with the Skippers. Where does the time go?

"The New Millennium": What is in store for us now? Good things we hope. Our Bazaar was a huge success. A lot of work went into it, but well worth the effort. Looking back over the years it is amazing what we have accomplished. We have been involved in the club in many functions. Heavy Weather, Children's Easter Egg Hunt, Children's Christmas Party, Special Peoples Cruise, just to name a few. We have donated to the club numerous items, from dishes to dish washers, and fans to flooring. Even though we are not what is known a "Charitable Organization", we have donated to many worthy causes thru the years. Our goal is still to support the Bremerton Yacht Club and it's members and to promote goodwill. We strive to be the best we can be.

If you would like a more detailed history of the Skipperettes, please go to the BYC Web Page and read Dottie Risch's great report on our past

Pat Downs; Skipperette Historian 2003-2004

Detailed History