Centennial 2017 is not only a world event for Lions International but it is now also the name of a vessel.
Centennial 2017 is the third yacht donated to the volunteer organisation Sailability in Toronto, NSW by Morisset Inc Lions.
Sailability provides facilities and personnel to give a safe and enjoyable sailing experience to people with a disability. It serves children from special needs schools and adults and maintains excellent purpose-built launching and boarding facilities at Toronto on Lake Macquarie.
The club’s donated boats are mainly sailing dinghies approximately three metres long and are rigged so they can be controlled by disabled people. They are unsinkable and almost impossible to capsize but are self-righting should they do so. A rescue boat attends constantly.
The latest donation was part of the club’s Lions Centennial Project. The boat was launched and named Centennial 2017 by President Margaret Tumeth.
“We hope it brings as much pleasure to all of you as the others have in the past, ” she said at the handover.
“We look forward to our continuing great relationship with Sailability.”
Lion Margaret then poured a glass of champagne on the bow of the boat with the time-honoured maritime blessing, “I name this boat Centennial 2017. Bless and protect this vessel and all who sail in her.”
Within 30 minutes Centennial 2017’s bright yellow sail bearing a Lions emblem could be seen out on the bay.
The Sailability program was instigated in Toronto by the club’s Jim Williams, a life member of 57 years and a boating enthusiast for 50 years.