Celebrating International Women’s Day
On 21 March 2023, at the half yearly General Meeting, three female club members will receive their 40 year medallions, the first women to be awarded this recognition; Mary-Alice Tedstone, Jan Ferguson, and Past Commodore Wendy Luck. The following reflections are from Mary-Alice. Over the next few weeks, we will provide reflections from other women who were members of RBYC in 1983, when women were admitted as senior members.
In 2024 it will be 120 years since our first Lady member was elected. Mrs Percy Hedges was elected in November 1904, unfortunately in 1910 the General Committee decided to bar all women from the club except with special invitation! Things have changed!
My introduction was through a group of RBYC members that I met at RSYS 59 years ago, they were so welcoming and I like to think that this is a feature of this particular yacht club to this day.
My initial involvement with the club was on Saturday mornings – helping my husband rig his boat ready for the afternoon race – battens in sails and wooling spinnaker etc. then home after being looked at askance when passing through the yard “What have you been doing ?”
Anyhow the years have passed – sailing wjth my husband, watching my own and other members` children learn to sail and enjoy their involvement here, and my own personal time sailing with Rosie Colahan and David James on their boat “Ingenue”.
It has been my privilege and great pleasure to be involved with so many members of this yacht club – Bushy Beavis taught me how to drive a boat and pick up marks, Ray Neville was my first Race Officer. I remember him going off to do his training course and I commented that I wouldn`t mind doing that – “anything you need to know I`ll tell you “ he said !! I did get to do the course eventually !
So – I have been fortunate – from volunteering with Sabots on Sunday mornings to being a part of our Race Management Team to this day – a part of the life of a great yacht club, but it`s not just what one does, it`s the people involved – ALL the members, they are remarkable and a very special family!