EARLY HISTORY OF JESSELTON YACHT CLUB
Compiled by Mr. M.F.L. HAYMES, Commodore (1955-1961)
JESSELTON BOATING AND SAILING CLUB, first meeting held on 26th August 1951. George Chettle elected Commodore, H. Foy as Vice Commodore. Site for proposed Club at Tanjung Aru.
Names proposed were “Jesselton Yacht Club”, “Jesselton Boat Club”, “Jesselton Coracle Club” and eventually “Jesselton Boating and Sailing Club” was elected.
Last General Meeting held on 5th November, 1951 at which Messrs. Robinson and Burbrook attended, both of whom are still Members of the J.Y.C.
The Club appeared to die a natural death, but in the meantime Robin Gossip had been transferred to Sandakan and started the Sandakan Yacht Club. On his return to Jesselton he revived interest in a Yacht Club, and an informal Preliminary Meeting was held on 22nd October 1952, at which Gossip, Tyson and Sadler were elected into ways and means. At this meeting it was decided the G.P. would be the most suitable boat – the main reason being that there was one already in Jesselton at the time belonging to John Stagg named “Fat Annie” and she could be copied locally. She has since been renamed “Naiad”.
The First (Inaugural) General Meeting of the JESSELTON YACHT CLUB as we know it now was held on Wednesday 26th November 1952, and of the original Founder Members, Jack Boles appeared to be the only existing Member who was present at that meeting. John Tyson was elected Commodore, Robin Gossip – Secretary/Treasurer.
At the next meeting, J.C. Robinson and Paul Dallimore were elected members. The first Club picnic was held on Gaya, and resulted in the Flying Fox being chosen for the Club Badge. For some years the Club made do as best as it could in the Wharf area, and boats used to lie on moorings next to what is now the Harrisons Building.
Later on, in about 1954, a small piece of ground adjoining the old Customs Building was allowed to be used by the Club, and on it a lean-to was built, which is now reclaimed land where the Customs House is built.
In 1957, we had to give up that piece of ground and were allowed to take a T.O.L. on part of the new reclamation. Here a small wooden shed was built, and a jetty, and we also were able to use a P.W.D. ramp. This was a tremendous improvement and the 1958 season was one of the most successful we have had to date with seven or eight boats out each Race.
Meanwhile in April 1958, the Committee had made an application for the present site, and in about November 1958 building operations commenced. The Club House was opened on 3rd April 1959, since then a considerable quantity of beer has flowed over the bar.
(Jesselton Yacht Club was re-named in 1968 as the KINABALU YACHT CLUB.)