History of the International Yacht Club

The Yacht Club was launched in January of 1958. A group of interested boaters from Washington State and the Province of British Columbia met in the City Hall at Blaine, WA The common interest then, as now, was to provide more moorage in the port for pleasure boats.

The club’s first Commodore was Earl McKinney, of Blaine. Earl was succeeded by Eric Griffiths in September of 1958. Under the guidance of McKinney and Griffiths in September of 1958, the club brought pressure to bear upon the Port Commission. These foresighted charter members were instrumental in getting improvements in the harbor facilities for the boating community.

The club has maintained this initial objective over the eighteen years since its inauguration. As a result the Island of Sucia, WA was purchased by a large group of boating clubs, including the International Yacht Club, and preserved for posterity as a State Park. Somewhat closer to home, but equally, thoughtful projects that the International Yacht Club has seen through to completion are:

Fresh water piped to all docks – 1971.

 Overhead light installed on the public launching warf – 1973.

Public barbecue pit – 1976.

Apron around barbecue – 1977.

Flag pole – 1977.

Although the club was inactive from 1959 to 1970 it had one member, Myron Terry, who kept up the dues to Interclub, thereby maintaining the club’s Charter. Such foresight comes to a few people in their lifetime. Myron’s faith in the future of the club never faultered. It is no wonder that the members voted Myron and Mary Terry the first Lifetime Members in 1973 at the Commodore’s Dance at Forest Grove.

In 1970 a renewed interest in forming a club arose spontaneously. The time was ripe and the twenty who filled the International Cafe accepted Myron Terry as Chairman and Secretary. It is interesting to note that seven of the charter members were paid-up members in 1970-71. Myron kept the club active and growing through the summer and until the October election of officers. Since 1970 the club has had six commodores to chart its course:

Bill Goff 1970-71 Bill Schroeder 1971-72 Jim Tooker 1972-73 Ron Wilson 1973-74

Roy Middleditch 1974-75 Allan Mosher 1975-76 Doug Fuhs 1976-77

The Club membership has grown from thirty-five in 1958 to around one hundred this year. The original membership was about 50% American and 50% Canadian and even today the ratio is about the same. We may be a unique Yacht Club because of this common interest. If we are not unique, at least the common interest gives every member an opportunity to work to promote international goodwill.

Our burgee has remained unchanged since it was described by Earl McKinney in 1958. One suggestion was for a white peace arch on a blue background. The other suggestion was a white peace arch on a scarlet background. The club chose the navy blue background and decided to order two dozen from Vancouver for sale.

The order was delayed and members did not have their burgees in time for the sail past at Bellingham in May of 1958. They did receive a sample in January of 1959 but only half the order was imported because the duty was so high (42 1/2%). The other twelve were sold to Canadians in Canada t the same price. The club paid the duty on the American burgees to keep the price equal. Since the original order was filled and sold at $2.75 each, the price of burgees has escalated only slightly. They are available now at $3.25. A small price to pay for the privilege of flying the club burgee to welcome others aboard. Stories are spun and plans laid aboard yachts while the burgees fly gaily aloft.

 A club history is a continuing project. The writer cannot put her pen away but only lay it aside for awhile. “Eleanor, it’s time to lay your pen down!”, I hear them say, so I’ll say “So Long For now!”

Eleanor Middleditch, Historian

(An excerpt from the International Yacht Club Roster of 1977-78)

(Eleanor Middleditch was Historian from 1975 to 2001)