Events of Note

Coxswain Certificates

Coxswain certificates awarded to three, presented by Ken Butler.

Left to right: KathrynFrankfurter, Lesley Wells, Margaret Smith.

Community Spirit

This Award was presented to the Classical Boating Society by the Sooke Fine Arts Society in recognition of the many “Longboaters” who volunteered their time to make the Sooke Fine Arts Show possible.

Sooke Fine Arts Award




At its first Annual General Meeting, held on October 26, 2011, at the Prestige Hotel, the Sooke Classical Boating Society recognized the contributions of two of its members with Honourary Lifetime Memberships.

Judy Gilligan and Kai Robinson

Judy Gilligan and Kai Robinson

Judy Gilligan was recognized for her hard work over the past decade. In 2004 she took on the role of Chair of the Maritime Committee, which then had responsibility for the Longboats, Dona Rosa and T’Sou-ke. This was at a time when the Longboat Program was struggling, with low levels of interest and membership. Over the next few years she was instrumental in the organization of longboat participation in major events, such as the Classic Wooden Boat Show and the Tall Ship Festivals in 2005 and 2008, and in training students for the Pacific Challenge held in Sooke in 2006. She has been very active in the recruitment of new members and in fund raising. Most recently she was a member of the group that undertook to create and register the new Classical Boating Society when the Edward Milne Community School Society divested themselves of the Longboats and for the past year has served both as a Director and Treasurer. In that latter capacity her fund raising activities have assisted the new Society greatly. The award was present by Sheila Nicholson who noted in particular Judy’s ability to motivate others and to provide the leadership needed to undertake initiatives.

Kai Robinson was also recognized for his contributions to the Longboat Program. Kai began with the Longboats in 1994 at age 12. Following his training on these boats he “graduated” to six years of service with the tall ships, Pacific Grace and Pacific Swift, first as a volunteer and then as a professional seaman. In more recent years Kai had returned to assist the Longboat Program, providing both training for crew members and leadership as Coxswain for major events such as the Classic Wooden Boat Show and two Tall Ship Festivals. He was also active in the Pacific Challenge, being named Best Coxswain at Port Townshend in 2004, and assisting with the training of students for the Challenge held here in Sooke. Kai is appreciated by all who have served with him for his personal qualities, his seamanship and his ability as a leader. In awarding the Lifetime Membership the Society is recognizing Kai as an exemplary role model for young people who would like to become involved with the Longboats.

Commenting on his award, Kai stated, “I can say without a doubt that my time with these boats and this community of people has been life changing. The confidence, skill and character I’ve gained from being involved has been of immense value to me in all aspects of my life.”