Stay­ing afloat

Ge­orges River Boat Club has long history in area

Cape Breton Post - - NORTHSIDE/VICTORIA - Gor­don Samp­son

The Ge­orges River Boat Club re­cently had elec­tions and the new com­modore is Don­ald Jessome.

The first mate is Owen Marsh, the sec­ond mate is Lionel Jessome, and the sec­re­tary-trea­surer is Shawn Mac­Don­ald. Don­ald Jessome was com­modore for years, then Ron­nie Clarke stepped in last year for a year, and did a fine job.

The three di­rec­tors are Ron­nie Clarke, Jeff Brown and David Muir, while the wharf com­mit­tee is com­prised of Ge­orge Maxner, Owen Marsh and John Fraser.

The club was es­tab­lished in the mid-1950s by a group of men of whom Ray Howat­son is the last liv­ing mem­ber; it was then known as the Bras d’Or Power Boat Club. It went dor­mant un­til 1990 when a new group started it up again, and a new wharf was con­structed.

In 2004, un­der a new ex­ec­u­tive, the club was re­or­ga­nized, and with the help of the province, $40 000 was granted. A slip­way was paved to the shore, and a new road was con­structed along the 620 feet of wa­ter­front.

Cur­rent ac­tivites in­clude a poker run on Au­gust 22 which is a slow race to each point; you’re given five cards: the first card is given at the club, the sec­ond one at Christie’s Wharf, the third one at Groves Point, the fourth one at Long Is­land and the fifth one back at the club. The first prize is a cash prize and nu­mer­ous draws fol­low.

At present, the club is build­ing a new wharf cost­ing around $20,000 with the help of Health and Well­ness Nova Sco­tia and the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Last year’s pro­ject was a new sewer pump house; it’s the only one in the area, the near­est ones be­ing at Ross Ferry and Baddeck. It was a $32,000 pro­ject with the help of ECBC, who shared the cost. They also up­graded the launch pad last year.

They ex­tended the board­walk 150 feet, and put in new fin­ger piers.

A fu­ture pro­ject is a new club house; it will have a com­mon area, a bath­room and a washer and dryer for boaters.

The club has em­ployed stu­dents for the past 12 years dur­ing the sum­mer; they come from all ar­eas and back­grounds. This sum­mer, one stu­dent is em­ployed.

The Ge­orges River Boat Club has more than 55 mem­bers, and it is a very ac­tive one. It is ac­cept­ing new mem­bers, and the con­tact per­son is Don­ald Jessome at 902-794-4874.

Gor­don Samp­son is a re­tired teacher who lives in his home­town of North Syd­ney. His col­umn will ap­pear weekly in the Cape Bre­ton Post. He writes a sep­a­rate col­umn in the Cape Bre­ton Com­mu­nity Post. Any­one with com­mu­nity news can con­tact him at

gh.samp­son@ns.sym­pa­tico.ca.

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