History of the BLYC Gun Club

Commodore Steve Harris – November, 2011

I would first like to start by thanking everyone for their supportive comments on my first history  article last month..  It was a pleasure to write and I’m glad that so many of you enjoyed it.  Secondly, as I’ve been looking for ideas for this month’s contribution, I’ve been reading through a whole lot of history articles by Commodores Foster & Limes.  Commodore Limes titled his articles “Did You Know,” Commodore Foster’s were called “The Way We Were.”  I figure that I should find a title for my offerings as well.  While I may have some creativity in my makeup, I’m at a loss.  Please give me your suggestions.  Whoever comes up with the best name will receive a free drink at the BLYC bar – on me!  Now, I realize that doesn’t sound like much of a prize, but when’s the last time a Past Commodore bought you a drink?… especially one named Harris?  Onto this month’s offering….

One of the first years I was a member of the Club, I opened my Log to view the above advertisement.  Considering myself to be a “Yacht Person,” of course I felt the need to check it out.  Needless to say, in the years since, I have enjoyed many winter Sunday at the Club participating in or, more recently, watching the Sunday Trap Shooting activities of the BLYC Gun Club.  With the coming of cooler weather and the recent wrap-up of yet another sailing season, my thoughts turned to our winter activities at the Club.  While we might not always get sufficient weather for ice-sailing and other activities on the “hard water,” the Gun Club is available to all members, every Sunday, from November through the end of March – a great way to continue your weekend enjoyment of the Club!

A diligent search of the history archives on the website yielded a 1981 article from Commodore Limes giving the history of this perhaps little-known group at the Club.  So… with some further research and a fair amount of paraphrasing plagiarism….

BLYC Gun Club – c. 1965

The BLYC Gun Club first formed in the fall of 1964 with eight members.  As of the writing of Commodore Limes’ article, the only remaining charter member was P/C Chris Lambrecht.  Chris is no longer with us, but I remember him still participating well into his late 80’s when I first started, as I’m sure many of us do.  By the end of the 1965 season, the group had grown to over 80 members, both men and ladies, started the “200” competition, and purchased an automatic thrower.  The first “200” was won by Don Downey.  In 1968, Gene Hays donated the five metal shooting station stands still in use today and in 1969 he constructed a metal frame to suspend the thrower over the water as we still set it up today.  In 1973, the Gun Club added the two concrete “triangles” to the front patio, significantly increasing the patio size and making it easier to shoot from stations #1 & #5.  Over the years, the Gun Club has consistently been a part of our winters at the Club.  In 2005, under the leadership of, then Chairman, now Past Commodore, Will Price, the Gun Club held a raffle and purchased a much needed replacement thrower.  The Gun Club continues to be active to this day.  It’s not at all unusual to find BLYC members, groups of their friends & neighbors, fathers & sons, and husbands & wives out for an afternoon to show off their “eagle-eye” skills in a little friendly competition.  Of course, also in typical BLYC tradition, there’s usually a fire in the fireplace and another great opportunity to socialize with your friends and family at the Club over drinks and dinner.

Commodore Chris Lambrecht – 1966

Although records for each season are not available, some highlights which I was able to glean from past issues of the Log include:  Our current Commodore was the Club Champion for two consecutive years, 1980-81 & 1981-82; Bob then chaired the Gun Club in the early 80’s until he stepped aside and was replaced by John Doneff who has remained very active over the years – both as a participant and several years, the Chair;  Incidentally, John is again Chairing the Gun Club in 2012!

The first Sunday of shooting for the 2011-12 season will be Sunday, November 6  and continue weekly through the end of March.  The cost per round is $3.00 to cover the cost of targets, etc.  Bring your own shotgun and shells.  Everyone is welcome!  Come on out, bring your friends, and participate in this great BLYC tradition!
For more information about the Gun Club for this season, I direct you to a quote from P/C Frank Foster III about the Gun Club I found in the November, 1986 issue of the Log … “If you want to know more about what it’s all about, ask John Doneff.  He doesn’t know what it’s all about, but he is a lot of fun to talk to.”

John Doneff – 1992

Frank’s right about one thing at least.. John is fun to talk to.  I know he’d be happy to answer your questions and help you become a part of the group… just ask!

Editor’s Note – Due to safety, insurance, and environmental concerns, the BLYC Gun Club ceased operation following the 1992 season.

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