50 years! Remembering liftoff in 1969

17 Jan 2019 1:03 PM | Matthew Burpee


"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." 

"And now for something completely different" 

"Pinball Wizard"

1969 was a pivotal year. The first human landed on the moon, the Concorde plane flew, Nixon started the draft, and the Woodstock generation began. Closer to home the TD Centre went up, John Lennon and Yoko Ono played at Varsity Stadium, and Trudeau made French and English official. Telesat Canada was formed, Ontario Science Centre opened, and the first ship passed through the Northwest Passage. 

And Water Rats began! The story about how we started in 1969 is one of equal opportunity and importance to the events above in this author's opinion. It began when the chief engineer of the Toronto Harbour Commission suggested at a lunch meeting that a recreational sailing club start by a spit they were building.

The first Laser sailboat "TGIF" may have been brought to Water Rats and sailed in December 1970 by three people: Laser co-inventor Ian Brucecompetitive sailor and sail maker Hans Fogh, and our club founder aka the “Pope of Sailing” Paul Henderson.

Learn more in this entertaining account...

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