The Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club history began one lovely afternoon in August of 1935 when Arthur and Marjorie Johnson took Max Barbour canoeing at Long Pond. The Johnson’s wanted to fully show Max this beautiful sheltered haven with its many arms just 15 miles from St. John’s, and yet without a summer home on it. According to Arthur Johnson, Max’s mind took off like a rocket and he said, “Our maritime people must have a yacht club.”
The following spring on a cold day in April there was a meeting at Noseworthy’s beach, on the south side of Long Pond attended by Dinty Moores, Max Barbour, Gib Parsons, Arthur Monroe and Charlie Bell where they met for the first time young Ned Noseworthy who lived nearby. In a short while money was raised for a club by issuing shares and substantial land was purchased from the Noseworthy’s where a clubhouse 20 x 40 feet was built with washrooms, a kitchen, and a room where members could meet. Thus the Avalon Yacht Club was born.
According to a Daily News article of the time, the official opening of the Avalon Yacht Club took place on July 22, 1936. Dr. Will Roberts the first president of the club in his opening speech mentioned that amongst the activities would be boating and yachting, mackerel fishing and boat races etc. The first boats to join this club were four small speedboats powered with history_beginning232 hp. outboard motors. Max Barbour, though, was a sailing enthusiast who soon came up with the idea of a fleet of small racing sailboats. George Giannou remembers that “the following summer due to Max’s efforts about six snipes 15 1/2 ft. long, 5 ft. wide and each weighing about 500 lbs. appeared on the pond. Racing buoys were put down in 4 corners of the pond and whatever the wind conditions, we raced around three of them”. In just a few years these six snipes grew to sixteen with races on Wednesday afternoons, which was a regular half-holiday in those days. Competition was keen and very successful. Later there was also a Deep Sea Trophy for an annual snipe race around Kelly’s Island.