90th Anniversary of the Royal Charter

Thursday 13 June 2024

Happy Anniversary! We are celebrating RFBYC then and now.

From the archives:

Roland Smith, as Commodore 1932-35 had played a crucial role in three developments during the thirties.…successful negotiations by him and our patron Sir Talbot Hobbs with the State Governor Sir James Mitchell enabled the Club to inform its members “His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the use of the prefix ‘Royal’ by the Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (dated 13 June 1934)”. Following this the practice was introduced whereby all Club yachts carried the prefix “RF” before their number in blue lettering, on their mainsail. At a special general meeting on 16 March 1936, the club burgee and flag, blue with a white cross, which had been flown for over thirty years, was confirmed, with a crown superimposed, as the official RFBYC emblem.


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The Commodore, Vice, Rear and Past Commodore all had defined their own distinctive burgees. 

The negotiations by the Club to obtain this royal prefix has been mared by controversy. It became known to the Royal Perth Yacht Club, somewhat sensitive of these issues, that we were seeking a name change as well. We considered it appropriate to call ourselves the Royal West Australian Yacht Club. Perth made enquiries and discovered the Lt Governor and the Agent General in London has approved of this. Consternation prevailed. 

Immediate protests were made to the Governor, Governor-General of Australia and Sir Hal Colebatch the Agent General in London. In addition RPYC's letterhead was altered to include 'of Western Australia'. In the end, no doubt for the better, we settld for the more appropriate Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.