Westerly Yacht Club Celebrates 80 Years of Social and Boating Fun

by Don Greene

It all began in 1927 on the steps of the Westerly Post Office. A chance meeting of the late Geoffrey L. Moore and the late Sydney B. Alling laid the groundwork for the club.

On July 30th, 1928, the 28 members on board began to draft incorporation papers for The Westerly Yacht Club.

In 1934, Dan Lakin Jr., Stanley Higginbotham, and Dick Burnett won the RI Junior Sailing Championship for the third time. The sailing crew gained National recognition when they raced for the national title in Edgartown, MA.

In 1936, the average fee for a Yacht Club function was 49 cents per person. Through the years, the club growth kept pace with the members’ requests.

On January 26, 1988 the club’s burgee flew from the signal halyard on the US Coast Guard Tall Ship Eagle in Sydney Harbor. The Eagle participated in a parade of Tall Ships celebrating Australian Bicentennial Day.

She went on from there to cross the Equator from South to North at 180 degrees longitude on a passage from Pago Pago American Somoa towards Honolulu.

On June 7th, the officers and board of directors invited the Past Commodores and their ladies to a dinner to celebrate the continuing growth of the club under the Commodores direction. Chef Tony & Cheryl Spino, co-chairpersons and a committee of fourteen members prepared and served, family style, a sumptuous turkey dinner. Dinner and dancing music was provided by one of the many bands selected by Fred Koury, manager of band entertainment and daily operation.

We were fortunate to have 15 Past Commodores present for a photo shoot.