25 June 2019

Good evening Members and their Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

it gives me great pleasure to offer you a very warm welcome to this the highlight of the Centenary celebrations of Emsworth Sailing Club: the Centenary Ball.

I am especially honoured to be here celebrating the Centenary Year with you, as Commodore.

The Ball and other key Centenary events mark the culmination of almost three years of planning from a dedicated committee of about a dozen members, led by Chris Clode.

Many thanks from us all to this team, my Flag Officers, Jane Scott, Jane Mellor and Tim Keeping, and all of our various committees for the hard work and time they have put in to make this happen.

Thanks also to all the people this week who have helped on the magnificent presentation for you tonight.

An especial thanks on behalf of you all to the ladies who have put all the beautiful decorations and flowers in place, coordinated by Louise Elliot and Jac Hepworth.

As you know, the original part of this building dates from the 1790s when it was a bathing club. But in 1919 Emsworth Sailing Club was established here by a group of army officers returning after the first world war – and the rest, as they say, is history, which can be read in the excellent book Emsworth Sailing Club, A Centenary History, written by Liz Sagues. (pronounced SARGEZ)

ESC has come a long way since then, from just 64 members and six club boats to now more than 1200+ adults and 500 juniors, several hundred boats and a membership waiting list of more than 50.

After much hard work in recent years, the club itself is in excellent shape with the extended wet bar, North room and the general refurbishments inside and outside in the dinghy park, terrace and car park making us one of the best clubs on the south coast.

It was a particular honour for the club to welcome last month HRH The Princess Royal. She shared with us the enthusiasm of our juniors and members, enjoying the club in our wonderful setting in a magnificent harbour in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

I must also mention our other great asset: the catering team, lead by Ollie and Eloise – well known to most of you. I am certain you will enjoy their meal tonight.

Welcome again tonight to everyone and enjoy your evening. Emsworth Sailing Club is in great shape with a proud history of 100 years of sailing in Chichester Harbour. Join in celebrating our history and looking forward to the start of the next 100 years of the Club. The engraved glass is your memento to take away with you.

I now call on Jamie Doble to say Grace.


(Michael Geary)


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