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History

The club was originally organized as a civil defense unit. Early in World War II, small craft in this area, which could measure up to, certain specifications, were enrolled under the Transport Controller for use by civil or military authorities. In 1942, the organization was incorporated as “Vancouver Island Power Boat Squadrons” with the threefold purpose of:
  • Assisting in time of national or local emergency.
  • Fostering interest in the safe and efficient handling of small craft.
  • Promoting all matters of interest to small craft operators.

Membership at this stage totaled 350 vessels from 25 to 110 feet long, and the Squadrons undertook patrols in the R.A.F. Gulf Islands training area, blackout inspections for A.R.P., and training exercises with Army Reserve Forces.

When the war was ended, a majority of the members voted to perpetuate the association and added to its objective the functions of a yacht club. A clubhouse was built at Canoe Cove under a lease arrangements and late in 1947 the Bylaws were altered and the name changed to “Capital City Yacht Club.” In October 1957, the club abandoned its situation at Canoe Cove. Much effort was put forth during 1958 in the search for and planning of a club-owned site which could be developed as a club headquarters with clubhouse and mooring facilities. At the same time, negotiations with Clark Bros. were being held and an agreement was eventually reached late in 1958 to lease from Clark Bros. in Tsehum Harbour. A panabode type building was purchased and erected by the personal efforts of the Club members on Clark Bros. property during the summer of 1959.

The Clubhouse gave the C.C.Y.C. members the feeling of owning and with this inspiration, suitable property was located in Blue Heron Bay, just south of Tsehum Harbour. Negotiations for the purchase of some two acres were completed in May, 1964. During the next few years a foreshore lease was applied for and received. Plans to move the Clubhouse became a fact in the later part of 1966. The 1967 programme included the dredging of the entrance channel on a cost sharing basis with the Government of Canada. When this project was completed the same company continued into Blue Heron Basin where a total of 36,149 cubic yards were extracted. All costs for this were paid for by the club. A pile driving company was the next step and approximately 30 piles were driven in the bay. A great deal of praise and credit should be given to the members, the Ladies’ Auxiliary and the newly constituted junior members for the work parties, properly organized, in the building of the floats, wharfs and the grounds surrounding the area. By April 1st., 1968, 825 ft. of mooring floats and docks were placed in the water ready for use by the membership.

Between 1968 and 1972 there were boatsheds moved into the newly formed moorage area. Twelve members worked diligently to design and build a covered moorage complex, which greatly enhanced the Basin area. The Ladies’ Auxiliary were working hard during this time planning and arranging the landscaping of the uplands area. The Ladies’ Auxiliary also paid for the paving of the parking area which was a very great asset for our Club.

The General Meeting in 1972 approved an overall plan for development of the Club. This plan was divided into five separate phases and presented to North Saanich Council in April, 1973, for their approval, which was granted. This first phase consisted of the extension of our present Clubhouse. Many meetings followed and then construction began with the members taking part by way of work parties. All the while the Clubhouse was being constructed, the plans for the dredging were being prepared and in June, 1973, ten copies were sent to Ottawa and one to the Department of Fisheries for their approval. These approvals were granted in the latter part of June and July, 1973.

This then allowed us to prepare tender documents and call tenders for the dredging and driving of piles for the wharfs. Tenders were opened September 6, 1973 with Greenlees Piledriving being the lowest tender received. The contract was awarded and work proceeded through the winter and following spring. By June, 1974, the dredging was complete, piles driven and approximately 600 feet of wharf constructed. During this winter and spring the Clubhouse was progressing very well and a final drive of work parties completed the job in time for our Sailpast in June, 1974. A great deal of credit should go to the Properties Committee for their hard work and also the Ladies for their donation of drapes, etc.

The next phase on the foreshore was the construction of the covered moorage. W. Campbell Ltd. was awarded the contract to design and build these structures. They were started in late August and completed in October, 1974. The new units gave us an additional 46 covered berths and improved the overall appearance of the basin. Erosion along the Clubhouse and parking lot foreshore eventually necessitated a retaining wall. Some creosoted piles were donated to the club, and in 1980 a contract was let to drive them all along the bank. More support proved necessary and in 1982 a further contract installed cross ties and anchors. This has produced a solid and durable retaining wall which has been capped with a cement walkway. The finishing touch is given by aluminum guard rails to match the new aluminum ramp. In the same year the grid was extended five feet through the dedicated efforts of some Club members. Further improvements are intended as popular use of the gird continues.

During 1984 the Clubhouse was extended by 500 square feet and a new garage style storage building was installed to the west of the parking area. B and C docks were rebuilt during 1984, 1985 and 1986. The year 1986 saw major renovations to the Clubhouse heads, a new rear entry and some renovations to the galley. The seawall was extended in 1987 from the gate west to the Cole property. This was necessary to stabilize the parking lot in that area and allow for future dredging in the adjacent channel.

An agreement was reached to purchase the Cole property in 1985, and this was completed in 1988. Planning an extension to our water lease was also initiated at the same time. Development plans and related permits were prepared. Final permits were received in 1988 with plans for some 37 new berths in our basin. Approval for the related expenditures was given by the membership at the Annual General Meeting in November, 1988, and a contract was let to install a seawall extension west from the existing wall in front of the Cole property. This was completed in the early part of 1989 and dredging was done later in the year. onstruction and installation of E dock was completed in 1990.

The new breakwater was completed in 1991.

1992 - 1993 two new double wide boat sheds were completed.

1994 - Two more double wide boat houses were completed and the electrical upgrading continued.

1995 - Was a very busy year - 3 additional double wide boat houses were built, an office was added to the storage shed, C Docks roof replacement was started, a canopy was built over the entrance to the club house, the electrical upgrading was completed and the Les Cole house was renovated.

1996 - A year of Construction and Destruction! During the year three double wide boat houses were constructed. The main wharf of E Dock was moved back 15 feet and the fingers were replaced with larger ones. The fingers were also replaced on BB Dock. New dock lighting was installed on A, B, and E Docks. The foreshore purchase was concluded with the exception of final documentation. The seawall repairs were completed and the balance of the plans were to be started when ---- the “Blizzard of ‘96” struck. C Dock collapsed under the weight of the snow and high winds. A and B Docks also lost boat houses. 31 boats were sunk and dozens of boats damaged. Within hours of the disaster the Canadian Coast Guard was on the scene along with the crews of Campbell Construction and Victoria Pile Driving. Our members began arriving and assisting wherever they were needed. So began the lengthy and exhausting task of clearing, refloating the boats and rebuilding. Our Club has a strong tradition of volunteerism and if ever it has been put to the test, this is it!

1997 - The beginning of the year saw many of our members undertaking the massive cleanup of both sunken and floating debris. A considerable amount of aluminum was salvaged for later sale and under the watchful eye of ex-fire chiefs the balance of the debris was burned. A contract was let for 37 piles to be driven and 500 feet of dock space for C wharf. Before building of the boathouses got underway, a fire on B wharf destroyed 2 boathouses and damaged a third. Two tenders were called, the first for a 24 double wide and six single boathouses and the second, to replace the burned boathouses and the damaged one. Once construction began Members completed all the necessary electrical, plumbing, locating and connecting the boathouses together with anyother miscellaneous jobs. A sale of bonds within the membership raised $560,000.00 which together with the insurance proceeds was sufficient to complete the work. Eleven months to the day the project was completed and all the berths assigned. Also during the year the membership finished the seawall improvements, the entry gate building and the installation of the new ramp. The flag pole was refurbished and relocated and finally the surrounding area was landscaped. During the next two years our volunteer workers continued to improve the Club’s facilities. A second entry gate and house leading to D wharf was constructed. The balance of the lawn area was regraded and seeded to lawn. During this period a Fire Protection system consisting of mains, stand pipes hose boxes and fire extinguishers were installed on C wharf. Mains and standpipes were also installed on A & B wharves and initial installation was begun on D wharf. The Electrical system was completed and passed a final inspection. As-built drawings of the entire electrical system were made and are stored on an auto cad disc. At the same time general maintenance was carried on throughout the property. In the all of 1999 the Cole house was repainted and a contract was let for the repaving of the westerly portion of the parking lot. At the end of 1999 a second repayment of the bond issue was made leaving a balance of only $182,000.00 to be carried into the year 2000.

Between the years 2000 and 2004 a number of changes and improvements have taken place. Repayment of the bonds was completed. The first lady was appointed to the Directorship and the members agreed by vote to construct a new clubhouse. Sadly the Ladies Auxiliary was disbanded and an Auxiliary was formed to include all members. “A” wharf was rebuilt and four double wide boathouses were added replacing old ones. The end of B wharf was rebuilt. The complex was split replacing one half with three double wide boathouses. In all 850 feet of services and wharves were rebuilt on A and B wharves by volunteer members.

In 2007, after a three year period the members of the Auxiliary unanimously decided to revert back to the name Ladies Auxiliary and change the bylaws accordingly. The volunteer work crews continued to be kept busy with a number of projects. The Ladies Auxiliary made a significant contribution towards replacing the old sign and the volunteer work crews erected the sign along with supporting structures, landscaping, street improvements and a new entrance. “D” wharf fingers were upgraded and a new sewer pumping system station for the Cole house was completed. Fobs replaced the keys with the installation of a computer operated security system. After two unsuccessful meetings the members of the Club finally approved the financing cost of a new clubhouse. In May 2009 the old clubhouse was demolished and the construction of a new one began. 2010 saw the completion of the new clubhouse and the first Lady Fleet Captain in the history of Club.

In 2010 the new clubhouse was completed on the site of the old clubhouse with a much larger footprint. Some work was contracted out and some was done by the volunteering of our membership. New landscaping was completed around the building and we were once again in the business of club activities in our new facility

In November 2012 CCYC elected its first Lady Commodore, Teresa Sandwith.

In 2013 the seawall was replaced from A kiosk to B kiosk and a new railing, walkway and decorative planters were constructed upon the completion of the seawall. New dinghy docks were installed along with a winch lift for small boats and motors.

In 2014, the work crews build a covered BBQ open hut outside the kitchen back door. The Barbeque is hooked up to our natural gas line. Lights were installed inside the open hut. After having the seawall replaced the year before, the club had the parking lot repaved with new lines and handicapped spots put in.

In 2015, the work crews installed drainage in the lawn of temporary parking area for improved drainage to enable earlier use of this area. The fall saw work start on replacing the old walkway in front of the clubhouse with the capping off the breakwater with concrete with new railing on top and the rebuilding of the flagpole and adjacent area.

In 2016 the Work Party completed the seawall concrete cap and walkway with post and chain railing. The next project was memorial garden area and improved landscaping. Started the upgrade and enlargement of the Cole House parking area complete with continuation of the hedge.

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