Diamond Lake Yacht Club ….Yesterday and Today
It was on a Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1938 when a group pf Diamond Lake sailors met on the front lawn of Joe Geary’s summer home. At this time, 48 sailors signed up as members, and over the next 25 years, the club grew quickly to about 100 members! The initial years were focused on sailing, and members sailed and raced Snipes, Cat Boats, National Ones, and Gaff C’s. That first year, they even hosted a 3-day Labor Day Regatta! From the start, the Club hosted an annual Memorial Day Breakfast, which is still celebrated today! Through these first 25 years, Thistles and Nippers were also added to the racing fun, and youth swimming and water safety classes were also started. Social activities grew as well, with an annual rummage sale, an Annual Ladies Luncheon and a Men’s Golf and Dinner. In 1947, the Clapper Marine Hospital was purchased for the Diamond Lake Yacht Club. Through the ensuing years, many renovations and remodeling took place, down to handmade curtains for the windows! A new seawall was added, the front lawn was improved, and a new pier was installed.
During the next 25 years, many of the events from the first 25 years continued, along with many new entrants! 1964 saw the first 4th of July fireworks on Diamond Lake, along with a new mid-summer party. Through these next 25 years, there were numerous regattas, with the new entrance of Sailfish and Sunfish. A bridge championship was added, along with the first Island Swim, and the Hayden’s Opening Cocktail Party (which continues to this day!). In 1971, the club moved to their new clubhouse, and a new fund was started for ongoing renovations. In 1973, the 35th Anniversary party was held as a Hawaiian Luau, and even included a water ski show! Central air was installed in 1976, and in 1978, the Family Burger Night was held with 180 adults and 38 children in attendance! Three regattas were held in 1987, and the one for the MC’s had 70 participants for the 5-day event. These 25 years concluded with a wonderful 50th year celebration for 150 members.
At the start of this timeframe, there were 54 kids in swimming classes, 32 in tennis instruction, and 11 new youth sailors. By 2010, golf lessons had also been added, with 30 kids enjoying those instructions. The Junior Yacht Club was in full swing, with four major events. The club went through many renovations in this era, with the use of a new kitchen in 1994, and another major remodel in 2008-2009. This latter one included a new kitchen with new appliances, an enhanced bar, new bathrooms, a beautiful patio, plus tables, chairs, dishes, silverware and a useable fireplace! In 2010, the 177 members enjoyed these wonderful renovations. In 2011, the boat hoist was replaced, electrical upgrades were made lakeside, and a new pier was installed. A wonderful 75th Anniversary Party was held with dinner, dancing, and a Commodore’s Walk where all available Commodores were recognized and thanked for their efforts.
It was estimated that in 2014, half of the DLYC members were volunteering for something! It’s possible that this percentage was achieved in many other years as well, but it was specifically mentioned in 2014. Membership was at 182, and new parties, like the Taste of New Orleans, were exciting for all members. In 2015 our new website went live, and a new shed was constructed to house sailing items closer to the water. In 2016, the Strategic Plan was presented to members at the Annual Meeting in September, and unanimously approved. Implementation began in earnest in 2017, and two strategic recommendations were approved by the Board of Governors in 2018. The Sport Court has become a much loved amenity for the club, and the waterfront enhancements have been made to improve youth and senior sailing. 2018 also saw a wonderful 80th Anniversary Party, with members enjoying a wonderful buffet under a huge tent lakeside!