Fraser Squadron

Serving Delta, Tsawwassen, Ladner and Richmond

The Early Years

 


Fraser Squadron was very active in the 1960's. Piloting, Advanced Piloting, and Seamanship courses were held annually and were well attended. 1967 meeting minutes reported 28 students for Piloting, 8 for Seamanship, and 9 for Advanced Piloting. Most courses were held in schoolrooms, and the Squadron worked closely with the Director of Adult Education of the Richmond School Board. Salmon fishing was very productive (and profitable) in the 1960's and there were many small gillnetters working out of Steveston and Ladner Harbours. A Fishermen's course was developed and held in Steveston. An interpreter was provided for the Japanese fishermen.

 

Fraser Squadron held Executive Meetings (now called Bridge Meetings) monthly, usually held in members' homes. There were frequent General Meetings for the full membership, usually including a movie or slide show and refreshments. Locations for these meetings included the New Quilchena Golf Club, the Richmond Yacht Club, and the Richmond Rod and Gun Club. An ongoing theme was the need for affordable locations for meetings.

 

Graduation Banquets were parties. The 1966 Graduation Banquet included a 19 place smorgasbord (we would call it a buffet today) and a 5 piece orchestra. The 1967 Graduation was a Smorgasbord Dance attended by 74 people. Typical door prizes were lighters and boxes of chocolates.

 

While training boaters was the primary mission of the Squadron, cruising was also important and Spring, Summer, and Labour Day cruises were held most years. The most frequently-mentioned destination was Telegraph Harbour. Other destinations of the time were the Wigwam Inn (now a Royal Van Yacht Club outstation) and Granite Falls in Indian Arm, Pirates Cove, Pender Harbour, Newcastle Island, and Long Harbour. Most cruises were 'family cruises' – the 1966 Labour Day cruise to Degnen Bay, Telegraph Harbour, and Montague Harbour was attended by 15 vessels with 31 adults and 12 children. There were reports of Stag Cruises, presumably men-only cruises.

 

In the late 1960's there were different roles for men and women. In 1967 the Squadron had 56 Members, all male, and 12 Lady Associates who were wives of members. The November 1964 Executive Meeting passed a motion that 'Ladies be allowed to attend General Meetings'! Another motion invited the Ladies to form a Ladies Auxiliary. This gender-specific approach did not last long, as Barbara Dyck was elected Fraser Squadron Commander (the first female CPS Commander in Canada) in 1976, and women continued to take on important roles including Commander in subsequent years.

 

A dollar bought more in the late 1960's! The 1965 Piloting course cost $18, and Seamanship and Advanced Piloting $15 each. At the 1966 Graduation Banquet drinks were $2.00, and beer 3 for $1.00. On the other hand, the BC Minimum Wage was $1.00/hr and the in the United States the average annual income was $6900, the average cost of a new car was $2650, and a 6-pack was 99 cents. Canadian statistics are harder to find.