With a rich history dating back to 1945, Kelowna Yacht Club has a lot to celebrate. What started out as a passion for boating has grown into a community of dedicated members. From our humble beginnings in the CKOV radio station to the 2015 opening of our latest Clubhouse, we continue to thrive as Kelowna’s lakeside beacon.
75TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS
Family Summer Picnic
An ode to the picnic’s of our Club’s past, we will be holding a gathering this summer. Check back soon for all of the details including the date, time and location!
75th Anniversary Diamond Gala
September 26, 2020
Our Diamond Gala will be the event of the year – you will not want to miss it! Check back soon for more information and to book your place.
RICH IN HISTORY | EMBRACING THE FUTURE
To celebrate 75 years, each month for the year of 2020 a member will delve into our historic past and provide a glance into what makes the Club it is today.
Wassail – Can traditions change over the years?
Traditions are important, they help define us. Whether they are part of a particular culture, a club or a family unit, they make a difference for many reasons. We cherish and protect them.
Our Club has many traditions and for decades celebrating Wassail each January has been one of our most enduring and unique.
How unique is it? Well, each year we start the celebration with our Commodore explaining exactly what Wassail is and how it ties into our broader agricultural community.
Why do we feel it’s necessary to cover the background and meaning of Wassail? I for one had never heard of it until I attended my first Wassail celebration. I know I wasn’t alone in my lack of knowledge. It was interesting and kinda fun learning about something so ancient yet still relevant to the Okanagan with our rural roots and numerous apple orchards.
But can traditions change? Throughout our lives we hear different themes on the topic of change. Change is inevitable. Change is good. Change is difficult. The arguments for and against change are seemingly endless. Sometimes we plan “it” and sometimes, “it” just happens to us. But traditions are traditions and they don’t change, right?
For years Wassail was one of the first events a new Commodore and Board of Directors officiated over. In early January members are invited to the Club to share an evening of appetizers and drinks. Our Commodore explains the unique tradition of Wassail; a strange term to be sure for most of the newly initiated. The Wassail candle is lit and a toast offered to the new year. It’s has been an opportunity to introduce the new Board and have our members get to know them a bit better. It’s a formal tradition yet it is done in a warm and casual setting.
When we officially opened our new clubhouse house in October of 2014, the changes were beyond anything we had experienced in the past. Our old clubhouse had served us well but had been torn down before the new one was ready. We had organized tours of the new building but the vast majority of members hadn’t really had the opportunity to enjoy its many amenities.
For the first time in our history we actually owned our land and our building. It was, some might say, a transformative change. We lost a clubhouse where we had shared many fond memories for over sixty years, but we moved into one in which new memories would be forged.
In that same year something else changed. Something far less impactful perhaps, but important nevertheless. We moved our elections from December, when they had been held for decades, to February. The reasons for this particular change were largely administrative but also connected to the delays we experienced in the building of our new clubhouse. So… what’s the connection to Wassail?
As we gather to celebrate Wassail during our 75th Anniversary Year Celebration many realize that in these past few years a more subtle change has occurred. Wassail has become the last official event or tradition our Commodore and outgoing Board oversees. It has become an evening for the membership to say thank you and goodbye before our AGM and elections of a new Board takes place. A different perspective from which to view one of important traditions.
The tradition of Wassail continues and our Club moves forward. Embracing our future while we celebrate our past.
Looking forward to a yearlong celebration of our 75th. Anniversary!
Past Commodore, 2014
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