McCrae YC adds the first father and son Life Members

Frank and Guy Bancroft, McCrae Yacht Club Life Members
Jane Moffat
At the McCrae Yacht Club AGM on Saturday night, Guy Bancroft was made a Life Member of McCrae Yacht Club, joining his father Frank as the 15th Life Member of the club.

As many people know life membership of a yacht club is not any easy get, so father and son life members must be few and far between. How many other yacht clubs in Australia have a similar life member combination?

Looking at the Life Members board on the McCrae Yacht Club wall begged another question what is the mark of a 'family yacht club'? Many clubs claim to be family clubs and promote the fact they cater for families with sailing school, racing and a family environment, but does this make it truly a family club is there something more? Is there something in the history of the club, the people who built it and are its custodians for the next generation that gives it the edge over the words printed in a brochure or on a website?

The McCrae life members board will now include a father and son combination but it also includes husband and wife Barry and Joy Stapleton and brothers Graham and John Mason.

Look at the Commodores board and it’s a similar story. Frank and Guy have been Commodore of the club, similar Graham and John Mason along with husband and wife Lyn and Michael Johannessen. Lyn was the first female Commodore in the clubs history.

This type of history and family commitment continually spreads down the generations with Simon Merritt following father Peter in the role of Club Captain. The environment and atmosphere naturally engage members to get involved.

McCrae is perhaps not unique in having such a strong family thread running through its club but with clubs needing to adapt to changing wants and needs of membership it is comforting to know that there are clubs such as McCrae in the rare position of delivering on the 'family yacht club' moniker across all aspects of the club.