I am lucky to sail Dragonfly No4 and I have done since 2003. What a beautiful boat she is; slightly misshapen but what a joy to sail the river in! Some evenings when I rig her ready for a lovely sail and there is not a soul on the river, I feel very privileged to have fallen in with like minded people who also own and care for these beautiful boats.
Last night was the Dragonfly dinner and it was like stepping back in time, (which is not meant to be a rude comment) as not many of the current or recent owners of the boats were present. However the people who were there were a window on the history of the Dragonfly and also Waldringfield Sailing Club. A lovely, interesting talk and slide show was given by John Palmer.
John’s connection with the river goes right back to when he was a small child in the 1940s and his father taught him to sail. His grandfather sailed the Deben as well, so John’s family have had a link with the river for over a 100 years. One of the pictures we saw was of John and his grandfather sitting together side by side with their feet in the water on a small dingy which was resting on the beach. John must have been only about six years old.
For those of us who have only had a short relationship with the river and the Dragonfly and also most of the people who belong to the club; we just cannot appreciate the connection that people like John have with the river. The people they have known, the fun they have had and also the effort they have put into making Waldringfield Sailing Club what it is today, is wonderful.
I think we owe and should show a huge appreciation of gratitude to John and also all the people in the past who have given their time and love to the sailing club, the river and especially the Dragonfly.
I personally hope we who now sail the Dragonfly, can take the boat forward into a new era and especially cherish the memories of last night as it was a gem of an evening.
Thank you everyone for being there.