1996 saw us once again return to Canada for our Rotary Convention this year it was held in that lovely city of Calgary. The Canadians certainly made the opening ceremony something to be remembered for they presented the parade of flags as an ice spectacle. Our booth was as ever kept as busy as ever and our AGM/Luncheon was served at the "Hospitality Inn" where some 120 Iforian's and their mates enjoyed a succulent lunch.
Amongst the members and guests at this Convention was the GB Commodore John Billingham who presented to IYFR the "JOHN BARRETT BELL". Denis Dalby a Founder Member of our then Fellowship in 1947 had the bell made in honour of our Founder Commodore John G Barrett and presented it to our Yachting Fellowship. No records were found as where, or, where it was made, nor when Denis Dalby actually presented it to our fellowship. The only record discovered was a very short note informing us that during the early days of IYFR it was presented yearly to the "Yachtsman" who had sailed the longest leg during the year. Then, for a very long time it disappeared and had only recently been found amongst the memobility of the late Commodore (GB&I) Silver Carter. Commodore (G B) John Billingham was the one who discovered it, He had it restored, and presented it at this AGM into the safe hands of IYFR. This certainly was the highlight of our AGM in Calgary and grateful thanks must go to (GB) Commodore John Billingham and his associates in Great Britain for presenting such a trophy to IYFR
THE BARRETT BELL Probably the most significant symbol of history associated with our Fellowship is the John Barrett Bell.
Probably the most significant symbol of history associated with our Fellowship is the John Barrett Bell. As we enter our fiftieth year of existence it is significant that the Barrett Bellhas been relocated, restored and presented by IYFR- GB & I to our International Commodore Frank McDonald at our Annual General Meeting in Calgary in 1996. The inscription on the back of the ships wheel says it all.
To be held in the custody of future International Commodores of IYFR and used to maintain order at our Annual General Meetings.
The Barrett Bell Presented by Past International Commodore Dennis W. Dalby G.B. 1959-60 to commemorate the Founder of the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians John G. Barrett G.B. in 1947
During the R I Convention in Seoul in 1989 an agreement of affiliation was signed by Past Commodore George Kent and the Past G B & I Commodore Geoffrey Pearce which was the first major step taken to heal the rift between the World and Gt Britain. Since then several meetings had taken place on both sides with a view to once again create one Fellowship. Prior to the Convention in Calgary in 1996 Rotary International issued a directive that only one fellowship would be recognised by them in any category. At this Convention a very cordial and friendly meeting took place between the International and G B & I Bridges with a view to how we could once again be truly united as one fellowship. At the end of the meeting it was agreed by both parties that a "Deed of Intent" be signed by International Commodore Frank McDonald and Commodore John Billingham behalf of G B & I.
The Deed of Intent provided for a total integration of both organisations over a period of three years commencing 1st July 1997. This proposition was considered firstly by the executive of G B & I in September 1996 and subsequently in February 1997 by all Fleets attending their A G M. At that AGM an overwhelming decision was made to totally integrate our two Fellowships into one homogeneous and truly International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians in accordance with the "Deed of Intent" submitted. It is most significant that this important event has occurred in this our 50th year of continuous yachting Fellowship.
Helpers at the IYFR Booth at the Calgary Convention. Left to right: International Commodore Frank McDonald, Eva Allerstorfer. Past international Commodore Andrew Mitchell, Marda Phillips and International Rear Commodore Joe Phillips.
Following the Calgary Convention Iforians once again returned to Victoria (Canada) to enjoy a further 3 day's of Fellowship together. After an overnight stay at Maple Bay and a visit to a theatre at Chemainus famous for its murals and theatre.
The following day was "Canada Day" a very special day to be enjoyed by all. The three International Bridge Officers were ferried and put aboard the Royal Canadian Mine Sweeper "HMCS Chignects" under the command of Lieutenant Commander F L Zebruk.
Here the International Bridge were to take the salute from some 20 vessels in line formation. Located off Saanch Inlet on a bright sunny day It was a sight to see each vessel sail past and dip their pennants. Following the Sail past they then proceeded to Todd Inlet for an extensive raft up for lunch Which was followed by a visit to Buchart Gardens'
Returning to Port Sydney we were then transported by buses to McMorran's Restaurant on beautiful Cordova Bay for a farewell dinner of great proportions. The next morning saw Iforians wend their way home.
During 1996 the Japanese reported the terrible disaster of the earthquake there, Funds were sent to help them in some way restore things back to normality.
The Hawaiian Fleet reported that 13 events had taken place during the year. IRRC Eric Bakkos reported that the Marc Nostrum Fleet in Spain was continuing to function effectively, IRRC Geoff Crockford was to charter a new Fleet in Tasmania. IRRC Ferit Biren "Turkye reported that 8 of his Fleets were working very effectively together and IRRC Robert Gubbels (France) was busy recruiting new members.