Looking through the club roster, there aren’t many old timers left, and several people have asked me about how the club started and we got the club house, so perhaps now would be a good time to put it on paper.
The marina is built on the site of an old land fill. The land fill operations were completed in 1974. Subsequently, Kohl, a developer went to the city of Brisbane and offered to develop the site in exchange for a 77 year lease on the property. The city anticipated that the property taxes and other income from the development would add significantly to the city coffers. The original plan was for 12 office buildings and included a yacht club built over the water south of the harbor masters office. The Marina was part of the deal. The city borrowed the money for the marina, but the developer agreed to pay the difference between the mortgage and the berth income for several years. That time period has now expired.
The marina opened in 1984 and the club was founded not long after. The first club meetings were held in various restaurants. In 1988 the City of Brisbane rented the club a maintenance building, basically a 3 car garage, one of the three buildings to the west of our present site. We tore out two interior partition walls, built a bar, put down a rug on the bare concrete and we were in business.
From the start, we realized that this club house was only a temporary solution, since while the city owned the building, the land had been leased to the developer who could decide to develop the site at any time. We knew that eventually we would have to find a site and build a club house. It took more than a year, but after considerable (and sometimes heated) debate, in we voted to double the dues to $240 a year, the intention being that most of the dues would go into a building fund for a new club house. We never quite made it, but we came close.
In 1992 we started discussions with the city regarding a suitable site for a permanent club house. Over the course of the next 4 or 5 years we made 3 presentations to the city council. The council directed the city manager and planning director to work with us on a plan. We went to the developer about a suitable site and he did not give us much encouragement, but he did identify two parcels that were not part of the lease and were city owned. We went to the city and asked for a lease on one of those parcels, the area that is now the parking lot to the west of the club house. However the sticking point was always the city’s concern that the developer might want to use these sites, so they wouldn’t make a commitment. We were given the option of building a club house provided it could be moved to another site.