Concord & Ryde Sailing Club Inc

Life 1987


A motion was put forward at the AGM of 22nd July, 1987 by Mr. Ted Kendrick who proposed that Ian McMaster and Sandra Donovan be given Life Membership of the Club. In speaking for the motion he pointed out the tireless efforts of these members over a number of years regarding the Club’s relocation. Their attendance at meetings, often going late into the evening, with officials of various organisations consumed a lot of their personal time and without their dedication the Club would not be where it is today. Mr. Bruce Dunlop in seconding the motion also endorsed Mr. Kendrick’s remarks and pointed out no matter what sometimes seemed like unsurmountable obstacles being put in their way, a way around seemed to be found. Mr. Ralph Warren speaking for the motion also endorsed the two previous speakers’ remarks and added that these members, in short, had ensured the survival of the Club, because if these relocation negotiations had not been successful, the Club would have been unable to continue. When the motion was put to the meeting it was carried unanimously by acclamation showing the respect and thanks of those present for the work of these two people. In addition to these remarks there is a lot more to say on both of these people who are well known to our membership.

Sandra Donovan

Sandra started sailing with CRSC at the age of 16 years in a Sabot in our newly formed Cadet Class way back in 1964; she was in fact the first sailor in this class. She soon become involved in the affairs of our Club becoming a member of the Canteen Committee and soon started sailing as a crew in the NS14 Class with her brother, Chris McDonald, and then later with Les Donovan whom she married along the way. 

Sandra was NS14 Class Captain for the 1977-78 season and at the AGM in 1980 she and Chris Wood were elected in a joint capacity as Editors of UTR and Publicity Officers. Then from the 1982/83 season Sandra jumped into the Secretary’s seat which she has continued to keep warm. In her initial season as secretary, she relinquished her editorial role to Chris Wood but then jumped back into this role, as well as her secretarial duties, the following season. Incidentally the numbering of issues of UTR was first instigated by Sandra and Chris after they had produced 7 editions and began with the number 8 appearing on the next issue – with those issued previously assuming the numbers from #1 to #6. Sandra held the position as Editor until the end of the 1992/93 season – 11 seasons in total. During this period she was responsible for producing 11 Year Books and 66 issues of Up The River.

Since then has contributed many articles to our magazine. Sandra has represented our Club at many NS14 Association events as well as accompanying Les to Skate Nationals. Probably her most memorable Championship would have been her trek to Perth for the National Skate Championship whilst being also on her honeymoon with half of the CRSC Skate fleet also there!!! This being re-reported by Sandra in her article printed in the UP THE RIVER of December, 2008. 

Sandra’s work with the relocation efforts of our Club in the 1980s and its later extensions was remarkable. It can be truly said that Sandra has been tireless in her efforts for this Club and it is a better place as a consequence. 

With Bruce and Ted in May 2000, she was the recipient of the Ryde City Council’s Volunteer Certificate of Recognition for her personal contribution in adding to the lifestyle of Council’s local area with her Club work. In 2000 the Club also nominated Sandra for the Australian Sports Medal and the Government approved of this presenting her with a very nice medal in November of that year. 

At one stage Sandra was also secretary if the NSW NS14 Association in her spare time. In addition to all of these things Sandra can be seen around the Club helping with the training, with the Try Sail days and wherever else she is needed. Sandra and Les’s children have sailed at our Club as had her daughter-in-law, Nicole Williams, who as current editor returned this task to within the family. Her grandchildren, Ella and Tim, have now started sailing, sometimes as her crew. Generally, Sandra is still skippering an NS14 with her sister, Wendy McDonald. 

She has also been our Club’s representative at the State Yachting Association and at the Parramatta Foreshore Meetings. In addition Sandra represented the club on the Sydney Harbour User Group, convened originally by the Department of Maritime Services and disbanded by the current government when it came in and it became Roads & Maritime after being a good forum for about 20 years.  Also she was our club representative on the Sport & Recreation Advisory Committee at RYDE Council.  This is disbanded at every Council election and you have apply to be a member if the new Council decides to continue with the group.  Both only met every 3 months. Over the years there have been dozens of meetings regarding specific issues which effect the club.  One just blurs into another!

In May, 2021 Sandra was presented with the “Contribution to Sport Award” by the Ryde Sports Foundation for all of her work for CRSC over some 40 years. Also a few months later Sandra was the 2021 winner of the NSW and ACT Australian Sailing “Lifetime Achievement Award”. The full story of Sandra’s work with CRSC can be found in the December, 2021 issue of “Up the River” #211.

As of the 2023/24 season, Sandra is still involved in many areas including most of the above and she is still our Club Secretary now serving her 42nd season in this role a record period that one could assume will never be broken.

Sandra Donovan

Ian McMaster

Ian joined our Club back 1975 when he started off by sailing an NS14 and later when the Tasar boats took off he was one of the first to purchase a boat of this Class. He called his Tasar “HELIANTHUS” which is a sunflower but when looked at closely it is made up of his wife Helen’s name and his own name.

During his time with our Club Ian has been very involved with Committee matters since 1978. He started as a member of the Race Committee in that year and spent some 15 years in total on this committee in various capacities. He was our Auditor for 3 seasons 1979 to 1983, our President for 3 seasons from 1983 to 1986, our Commodore for 6 seasons from 1986 to 1992 and Tasar Class Captain in the 1994/95 and 1997/98 seasons. As already noted above he and Sandra were very instrumental in the relocation of our Club House and according to Sandra he bore the brunt of the work over the three years it took to finalise matters.

He spent many sleepless nights as well as much time and effort in the badgering of officialdom over a long period of time in getting the needs of our Club recognised. In this regard I will quote from an article by Sandra Donovan in UTR of August, 1987 – “His talent for keeping his cool and always looking for an amicable solution, even when confronted with open hostility, bureaucratic bungling and just plain pigheadedness, earned him the respect of all parties concerned. Consequently many people both at Local Government and State Government levels went to bat for us and the result is what is under construction off Kissing Point Park today. I think that he missed his calling – he should be in industrial relations!”

One must remember that Ian spent all of this time and effort on our Club’s matters whilst working extremely hard in his profession. Also Ian was instrumental in changing our Club to an Incorporated Body under the Companies Act during 1986. In between all of these activities he was often seen in our working bees doing what had to be done.

Ian sailed his Tasar “HELIANTHUS” until the 2011/12 season and at close to the age of 80 years was still showing up some of the younger sailors. In May, 2002 Ian was awarded a certificate for the Ryde City Council Volunteer Recognition Award for his tremendous work for our Club over the years. Thanks Ian!

Ian McMaster

Even after retiring from his sailing Ian still regularly showed up at the Club of a Saturday afternoon to see what was going on and to tell some of his jokes of which he seemed to have an endless supply. Also during 2016 when the work was being done on the Bryce Ellis Boatshed extension, Ian was down at the Club helping out. Ian passed away on 22nd September, 2019 at the age of 86 years and his presence around the Club will be sorely missed by his friends.