Commodore’s Newsletter – 22/6/2020

Monday 22nd June, 2020
Peter Buitenhuis

Dear Newhaven Yacht Squadron Members,

I hope that over the past months you and your families have stayed safe and well and that the recent lock down restrictions during Covid 19 have not been too difficult and you have not been too adversely affected. These are unprecedented times, but it is good to see the restrictions slowly easing (even though we had a bit of a setback yesterday) and life is reverting to some sort of new normal.

The Committee met on Friday 12 June and as part of the meeting we discussed what we thought was a sensible strategy for our club at this time. The messages from the Government and Health Officials change almost daily as restrictions ease but given the age demographic of our members we have decided to remain conservative and risk-averse for the time being.

Boating with social distancing is once again allowed so the club is open for members to use the facilities, however we strongly advise good social distancing measures and good hygiene procedures for anyone using the toilets or making a coffee, etc. As we are reminded daily this pandemic is not over and we still do not have any vaccine for the virus, so please remain careful. We have also decided that for the time being, certainly until mid-July, there will be no social events or Saturday night happy hour functions and the bar will remain closed. We will review this situation again at the next Committee meeting scheduled for Friday July 10th. We will continue to monitor the progress and hopefully Victoria and Australia will continue to do well and not experience a second wave after we have done so well in containing the spread of the virus up to now.

The Building Subcommittee has been active during Covid 19 shutdown. The leaking roof and skylights above the amenities on the first floor have been removed and replaced with new roofing, a much larger and deeper internal box gutter has been installed and a larger rain head with overflows. Hopefully with some ongoing maintenance to keep the gutters clean we will see no more leaks to this area. The repair of internal ceilings etc is now being attended to. We have also produced a Compliance Audit of the club rooms, conducted by a Building Surveyor and the results and actions are being discussed by Committee.

Some exciting building projects have been discussed and concept drawings are currently being prepared by our architect. These will be reviewed by Committee and then presented to members, hopefully at our next AGM. Vermin and other pests are becoming a major issue and the Subcommittee is actively seeking a long-term solution to eradicate these pests, then a maintenance program for future control. Hopefully, this will be in place and the pest issue resolved by the time members are able to return to the club.

You will have received your invoice for 2020/2021 and you will note that we have not increased any fees for the year, the club will absorb increased costs for items such as insurance, electricity, water, rates, etc. We felt this would help our members and we are proud that we are able to offer such low fees to our members. We remain one of the most affordable yacht clubs in Australia. Given the financial impact of Covid 19 a few members might be experiencing financial hardship; if you are severely affected and are having issues being able to afford the fees please write to the club Secretary, David Tonkin, ( so that we can consider your case in confidence and see what we can do to assist. Also, a reminder to submit your Safety Declaration before July 30th 2020.

I am pleased to announce that Michael Dixon has taken on the position of Rear Commodore after the resignation of Chris Wilson. We thank Chris for his past work, and I am certain you all join me in wishing Michael great success in his new role on Committee. We are certain with his knowledge of boating and sailing and his enthusiasm that he will do a great job. There are a few other positions that will also be up for election in October’s AGM. I am pleased to say that we have already two other nominations: Noel Street has indicated he will stand for Vice Commodore when Derrick Kershaw retires from the position, and Matt Ingham has indicated that he will nominate for Treasurer as Annalisa Elliot retires from this position. Stan Jackson has also indicated that he is retiring from his position as Communications and Grants officer and at this stage no-one has nominated for this position. We would love to hear from any member who is keen to join the Committee, particularly someone with good communication and IT skills. Being on Committee is a great privilege and very rewarding plus a chance to put something back into our fantastic club.

It may be possible to start some sort of boating activities again, some sort of sailing or cruising events or fishing and motorboat events. Michael Dixon, John Baragwanath, Alen Garrett and Robert Millard are looking at this, to see if we can create some fun events that comply with the current Covid 19 restrictions.

We have recently seen some opportunities for members to acquire berths in the marina as some members have relinquished their berths for various reasons. There is still a fairly lengthy waiting list for some size berths but for those that have been waiting patiently for a berth to become available it is good to see some movement. Most of the movements have been the smaller berths, however we do have a 10.5 M berth available immediately, which could be an excellent opportunity for some member. The cost of the 10.5 M berth is $48,195.00 and under the Squadron’s Licence Agreement this is fully refundable once it has been relinquished and purchased by a new member. This is a unique program and makes a berth in the marina very affordable to members. We have also had discussions with our friends at the Bendigo Bank who can assist with finance for the purchase of a berth at a very favourable interest rate, being under 3% to Members, with reduced application fees. If you require assistance with finance you can contact Michael Scott, Branch Manager, Bendigo Bank San Remo on 0427 568 232 to discuss your situation.

The next Quarterly magazine will be the winter edition, due for publication in early September. Stan, our magazine editor, has asked me to urge members to send in articles by 1 August.

On behalf of the Committee please keep safe and I look forward to seeing you at the club once the restrictions start to ease. At least we can start to enjoy our boats again, and hopefully in time we can start to enjoy the club rooms and some socialising with our friends.

Best Wishes,
Peter Buitenhuis
Commodore NYS
0407 045 525

UPDATE JUNE 22, 2020 What you need to know
• Stay safe by washing your hands, keeping your distance from others, and staying home if you feel unwell.
• If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should get tested.
• From 22 June the number of visitors that you can have to your home has reduced to five visitors. Outdoor gatherings have reduced to a maximum group of ten people.
• Restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community halls, libraries, museums and places of worship remain at a maximum of 20 people in any one space until 12 July.
• Businesses including gyms, cinemas, theatres and TABs can open, with a maximum of 20 people per space.
• All changes to restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued and effective management of the spread of COVID-19.

Also please remember to use the NYS Website for all Newhaven Yacht Squadron news, San Remo Tide Guides, Webcam, Member Forms, NYS reports, Buy & Sell etc.

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