With the approach of South Shore Yacht Club’s 100th Anniversary celebration in 2013, all eyes of the club’s membership are looking back at the role played by everyone in the club’s history. The South Shore Yacht Club Auxiliary will also be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2015.
It was on July 26, 1915 that the South Shore Yacht Club Ladies Auxiliary was organized. In those early years until 1937, meetings were held in the homes of members with the first historic meeting being held in the home of Mrs. William (Mata) Lawrie. The first Auxiliary members were wives, mothers, and sisters of the club’s members who at that time were all men. Until women were allowed to become members, the application for Auxiliary membership needed to be signed by the male in the family who was the club member, and that application had to be approved by SSYC Board members. Dues for ladies who wished to join the Auxiliary were fifty cents.
Since its inception, the standard operating practice of the Auxiliary has been to provide improvements to South Shore Yacht Club. Most recently, the Auxiliary has raised money through its sale of “Queen’s Cup® Race" merchandise. Members have helped to furnish items throughout the clubhouse. Projects have usually been centered in the kitchen and dining room, although the Auxiliary also helped with the outdoor hamburger stand expenses. Many times over, the Auxiliary has purchased new chairs or re-upholstered and refinished chairs both in the upstairs and downstairs areas of the clubhouse. The Auxiliary has helped monetarily in the installation of new technology such as up-graded phone and computer service and office equipment. The Auxiliary facilitated the renovation of the stone wall on the north and west sides of the clubhouse. From 1989 - 2011, donations from the Auxiliary to the South Shore Yacht Club have totaled $107,110.
The name of the “Ladies” Auxiliary was changed to South Shore Yacht Club Auxiliary in 1981. This occurred after changes in the club’s bylaws stated women could officially become SSYC members. Membership in the Auxiliary is now open to spouses of Active, Associate, or Life members. These members may also join the Auxiliary. Associate members eligible for Auxiliary membership are former Junior members who have turned eighteen years of age and wish to remain active within the club. The Auxiliary now has initiation and yearly membership fees. Interestingly, as of 2012, the Auxiliary has 134 members and has had no male applicants for membership.
Currently, the Auxiliary also provides annual funds to community groups such as “Bay View Community Center”, “Feeding America”, and “Daystar, Inc.”. It participates in the community’s holiday “Giving Tree” by dividing up gift tags among its membership to provide holiday gifts for those in need.
Returning to the history of the Auxiliary, twelve social events were held its first year of 1915 to raise money for furnishing the kitchen and dining room of the “Lily E” which was actually a floating clubhouse. In 1926, the floating clubhouse was renamed “The Skow”, and, once again, Auxiliary members worked to furnish it, even installing a piano. After storm damage in 1929, “The Skow”, along with its contents, was a total loss. In 1936, a permanent clubhouse was built, and Auxiliary members pooled their resources, talents, and enthusiasm to furnish the new clubhouse with furniture and operating equipment.
The Auxiliary has always been instrumental in hosting many activities throughout the years. In the early days, there was no club restaurant and events were not catered. SSYC Auxiliary members routinely cooked and served all the dinners and lunches for special events, including New Year’s Eve. There were traditional parties such as card parties, mother-daughter banquets, and bazaars.
In 1940, the president of the Ladies Auxiliary proposed the organization of a Junior “girls club”. It was understood that the Auxiliary would assume responsibility for this aspect of the Juniors. At the time, neighborhood boys could join the Juniors, but membership in the “girls club” was open only to SSYC members’ daughters, not neighborhood girls. Opening times for all wickes northampton. Check our store locator and find closing times for Wickes stores. Records show that in April 1941 a complaint stated that “Junior girls” were congregating in the clubhouse basement, and a letter was sent to the Ladies Auxiliary requesting that this practice be discontinued.
In 1941, South Shore Yacht Club announced that Friday “Stag Nights” were going over well. However, in May 1972, wives and lady friends of the male members were asked to respectfully avoid the clubhouse on Friday nights to allow “full freedom of expression” to those members exercising their membership privileges. One story that has been handed down tells how the “Men’s Club”, as SSYC was often called, asked the Ladies Auxiliary if the men could use some of the Auxiliary’s dishes. The immediate thought of the ladies was to deny this request, but upon reflection, the ladies answered that the “boys” could use the cracked and handle-less cups.
In January 1942 during WWII, the Ladies Auxiliary asked permission to use the clubhouse one afternoon every week for Red Cross activities; this patriotic request was approved by the SSYC Board. The Ladies Auxiliary members helped the troops by sending candy and cigarettes to the servicemen at Christmas at the recorded cost of $30.00, a financial sacrifice for that time. Permission was granted for a “USO” party, sponsored jointly by the club and the Ladies Auxiliary, to be held at the clubhouse on July 23, 1944. It was understood that the club would provide the beer and lunch with expenses to be reimbursed from the $1.00 entrance fee paid by each lady attending.
As previously stated, the Ladies Auxiliary held its meetings in the homes of its members until 1937. Some recognizable names of members from the Auxiliary’s first fifty years were Lawrie, Starkey, Boyce, Emery, Nickel, Skelding, Dreher, Williamson, Jelinek, Leipthien, Blackwood, Schoendorf, and Nowack. Names from the second fifty years include Bruesewitz, Hugg, Dickinson, Rakowski, Mueller, Predith, Daveley, Dukes, Aring, and Putney. Present-day meetings are held at the yacht club the first Tuesday of the month, except for January and July.
From 1988 - 1990, the Auxiliary hosted the well-attended Labor Day weekend “Ice Cream Social and Carnival”. The Auxiliary’s active participation in the social life of SSYC continues. In recent years, the Auxiliary has organized and hosted club events such as the “Queen’s Cup®” cocktail party held the evening before the big race. The Auxiliary continues to hold ten meetings a year, with monthly speakers or games, such as “Bingo” with “white elephant” prizes. One of the highlights of the year is the October “Shipmates Night” when members invite spouses or significant others to an evening featuring dinner and entertainment. The Auxiliary also honors its Life Members and Past-Presidents with a May dinner and program.
Throughout the years, the SSYC Auxiliary has been a constant supporter of the club’s Junior program, providing financial support and having Auxiliary members serve as advisors and chaperones. Since 1991, the Auxiliary has provided yearly donations of $600 - $900 to supplement the Junior-sponsored “Easter Egg Hunt” and Halloween and Christmas parties. These sold-out events are open to children and grandchildren of club members.
Beginning in July 1983, the Auxiliary has been helping to run the “Kaszube Cup” regatta, a Junior invitational sailing race held each July. Each year during the three days of the regatta, Auxiliary members staff the race committee, provide donations of food and housing on boats, prepare meals, and serve as clean up committee.
It is clear when looking at the history of the SSYC Auxiliary, that its members have been thoroughly involved in service both for the club and the greater community. In this celebratory spirit, the Auxiliary looks forward to its second century of actively participating in the history of South Shore Yacht Club, the “Harbor of Hospitality”.
Written by Jan-Marie Weiler
Edited by Bonnie Merryfield