Nestled on the bank of the Kennebecasis River in the hamlet once called Chalet, then village of Renforth, and finally Town of Rothesay, is the Renforth Boat Club, home to numerous boating enthusiasts. It came into being as a result of several residents who were on the executive of the Renforth Community Club who, when some waterfront property became available, sought to acquire it as land assembly for community use.
In the late 1960’s, three summer camps became available for purchase. One was the Daley Camp which is now the public parking lot adjacent to the lighthouse, plus two others – Dr. Keddy’s camp later occupied by the Thorne family which is currently our club parking lot and the Newcombe cottage which has become the RBC Clubhouse. The properties were purchased by the Renforth Community Club. However, that organization, having no immediate use for them, agreed to permit a group to use it for a boat club and scull racing, if one was formed. Some of the group were rowers and later formed a rowing club.
Interested residents met at the community Centre and agreed to form a boat club. The club was officially formed with John Fawcett appointed Commodore. Meetings for the rest of the year were conducted at his house. They continued there until the RBC Clubhouse was habitable.
Eventually the Newcombe cottage was made suitable for meetings heated by a floor “oil drip” heater. At first, access to the club was via the beach, which was not our property. A road was eventually constructed on land leased from CNR and is still used today.
So… we had a clubhouse but we had no means of hauling and storing boats!!!! No problem… we had no boats but the gang was getting interested in acquiring them. We needed a railway into the water, a car, a winch and a slider transfer system. We scrounged steel railway wheels, built a car, got rails and welded them to make a track. John Fawcett’s 53 foot power boat, Lucinda, pulled them into place. We somehow got together enough money to build the sliders. They are still being used today.
Still, we were operating on a shoestring. We landed a job catering the annual lobster dinner for the Saint John Construction Association. We made a lot of money and bought a GIC Savings Certificate. We got the contract for one more year, and then we put on our own lobster dinners. That got us off and running. For two or three years, we ran the dances every second week on behalf of the Community Club. This was our way of thanking them because they owned the property and we felt obliged to assist them with their debt situation.
The Club was originally called the Renforth Yacht Club but the name was later changed to the Renforth Boat Club.
By Jim Flood, Commodore (1974, 1984), Honorary Commodore