Life membership is the greatest honour that can be bestowed upon a member. Margot is highly deserving and it was a very popular award at the well-attended General Meeting.
Margot Watt joined Sandringham Yacht Club as an Associate Member in 1963 and since then has been a continuous member for 54 years, volunteering her time and experience to the club throughout this whole period.
In the 1960’s Rex Newman who was responsible for the club’s racing program saw the value of having Associate Members involved in race management, and taught Margo the requirements of good race management.
For many years, Margot successfully ran the club’s race control tower for mid-week and weekend yacht racing, and subsequently also assisted on the club’s start boat.
Margot became qualified in race management and has been involved with the on water race management of the Sail Melbourne Regatta along with a host of other events.
She is possibly the longest serving SYC race official who is still volunteering.
Consequently Margot became the pioneer for women becoming involved in race management, encouraging many others to take an active interest which has led to the development of the fine team of female race officials that we now have at SYC.
Being actively involved in club sailing Margot regularly competed in the annual Lady Skipper races winning on three occasions during the 1960’s.
Having two young daughters being club cadet members, Margot enjoyed working in the OTB canteen & helping organise the annual Metung Easter Trip.
With Associate Members originally not being allowed to drink in the members bar, Margot lobbied for a change of attitude by the club’s GC of the time. This resulted in Commodore Lou Abrahams amending the house rules to permit Associate Members in the bar at all times.
Margot became President of the Associates Committee from 1983 to 1985 and organised many successful social functions raising funds for the OTB & other club projects.
She was also directly involved with the catering done by the Associates for crews competing in major events such as the Admiral Cup trials held out of SYC and the running of the food tent at the waterfront where the Ken King Centre now stands.
In 1989 Margot became the first female Club Person of the year in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the club as a volunteer and was again awarded Club Person of the year in 1996.
Over the years Margot has extended the hospitality of her home to visiting race officials and competitors, and this has certainly benefited our club in establishing us as a friendly & welcoming destination.
After 54 years of continuous service it is fitting that Margot’s contribution has been recognised with the awarding of her Life Membership of SYC.