Following today’s sad news, as soon as I heard, I lowered the Union Flag on the Fleetwood Club flagpole to half-mast.
I’ve taken a look back to when the Duke was invited to extend his Patronage to our sport and Association.
In 1956, Victor F. Wade was the President of Fleetwood Club and secretary of the Association.
The Duke was at the time a very active yacht racer competing in the Flying Fifteen and Dragon classes. Indeed his boats Cowslip (FF) and Bluebottle (D) regularly competed at Cowes week.
Armed with this knowledge, Mr Wade wrote to Buckingham Palace asking if the Duke would consider extending his Patronage to the Association. The Duke accepted the Patronage on 27th June 1956.
In the 65 years that we have enjoyed his Patronage he has taken a keen interest in our Association and sport, helping us to celebrate our Centenary in 2011, by attending our IOM World Championship at West Kirby Sailing Club
Our Chairman, Peter Stollery and I represented the Association at his 90th birthday celebration dinner later that year at Trinity House, where we were again introduced and he had asked who had won the event and I was proud to tell him that Peter had!
When I was elected President of our Association following the passing away of my predecessor Norman Hatfield, I carried on with his tradition of sending the Duke an annual report of the Association’s activities, and it was through one of these reports that I was able to send an advance invitation to him to attend our event. I would this year have been advising him of our A class centenary in 2023.
Over many years officers of our Association have been invited to attend garden parties at Buckingham Palace through the Duke’s involvement with us and it was back in 1995 that David Rose our Treasurer and myself as Vice Chairman were selected to represent the MYA with our wives. On a boiling hot July afternoon, we stood in line as we had been selected to meet HRH, and answer his questions about our sport. We were the end of the line and after he finally got to us and we had our chat we were then able to go to the refreshment tents for a very welcome cold lemonade!
Although we are a small Association, I feel that we have been fortunate to be able to list his name as Patron on our stationery.
09 April 2021