The History of the GBA
With our grateful appreciation to R John Torode - President 1977 to 2002
The Early Years
The GBA was formed in 1923 with similar objectives to that of now. The annual subscription was 12½p in today’s money, and one of the rules was that “The GBA burgee must be flown by all members visiting Herm”. “1923: - to foster and watch over the interests of any of its members in connection with boating……” This was because in the early years the GBA was mainly involved with the agreements for passenger traffic to and from Herm, and also that island’s harbour, ladders and steps. In 1935 and again in 1937, the States of Guernsey co-opted the GBA to assist in the water carnivals held in celebration of the Silver Jubilee, and then the coronation of King George V1. In later years the GBA organised the popular illuminated boat parades in the harbour.
Facilities for pleasure boating
Over the years, the GBA worked together with the GYC and the RCIYC to press the States for improved facilities. Missing beacons, dangerous ladders, weed covered piers and the removal of dangerous boulders were some of the pressing issues tackled at the time! A request was made for a safe landing place for yachts moored in Havelet bay. Rowing ashore was dangerous in some conditions, but it took 56 years, and many accidents (some fatal) before the new slipway was built in 1980!
Today we take beacons and buoys for granted, but in 1965 (the annual sub being 5/-, or, 25p), a beacon was requested for Oyster Rock. This finally appeared after many meetings with harbour officials, pilots, and the States supervisor. All this work required time and effort by the officers of the GBA. However, during one period 3 committee members turned up for meetings, and as the secretary never appeared, records for this period remain scant!
In 1975 the GBA was amalgamated with the Small Boatowners Association, which catered for boatowners in the island’s many bays. In 1979 the enlarged GBA overwhelmingly voted for control of moorings in the island's bays, despite being the recipient of vociferous opposition.
Benefits and Membership
In the 1980s, discounts were introduced and negotiated with local chandlers and other selected outlets. From then until the mid 90's, with an increased interest generally in boating, membership increased steadily from 180 to peak at over 1,100 members.
1991 – A Mini Boat Show at the New Carlton Hotel was organised by the GBA. This was such a huge success that it led to many more shows organised jointly with the Marine Traders Association.
1993 – Paid parking for members at St Peter Port Harbour was negotiated with the (then) Board of Administration. Surplus funds from this were channelled into a new, charitable Benevolent Fund set up in 1995.
2005 – the GBA became a company limited by guarantee, and the new company was registered at the Greffe under the name of the Guernsey Boatowners’ Association LBG.
Past Presidents of the Guernsey Boatowners Association.
1923 – 1941 - Advocate Harold Randell the founder President.
1942 – 1945 - No pleasure boating during the war years.
1946 – 1947 - Jack Hart
1947 – 1949 - Kenny Bell
1949 – 1959 - Ernest J Baker
1959 – 1970 - B (Beeky) G Jones
1970 – 1971 - Idon Critchlow
1971 – 1973 - Peter Babbe
1973 – 1975 - Ernie J Baker (son of above E J Baker)
1975 – 1977 - Bas Tough
1977 – 2002 - R John Torode
2002 – 2005 - David Evans
2005 – 2009 - John D C Le Noury
2009 - 30th Nov 2015 - Peter Derham
30th Nov 2015 - to date - Nick Guillemette