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  • Writer's pictureHannah Johnston

A history in photos: The Lord Reading Yacht Club turns 76

The Lord Reading Yacht Club (LRYC) has been a fixture within the city of Beaconsfield since it was formed in 1946. On Saturday, August 20th, the Club hosted a celebratory event to honor the 76 years since its founding.

PHOTOS: Lord Reading Yacht Club

The history of the land that lies off Beaconsfield Boulevard began in 1699. It is of note, of course, that the territory was first inhabited by Mohawk and Iroquois populations. The Sulpicians, a religious group of Roman Catholic diocesan priests, ceded land in Beaconsfield after they had been Seigneurs of the island since 1663.

The piece of land where the Club currently resides was known as Farm 20, and it was given up to Mr. Jacques Denis. He held onto the land until 1732 and it was transferred to the Lefebvre family until 1851.

The West Island began to welcome more visitors shortly after, in 1853, when a strip of land was expropriated for the Grand Trunk Railway, which brought Montrealers out to the western part of the island to enjoy their summer cottages.

PHOTOS: Lord Reading Yacht Club

In 1910, residents asked for and received a road that would stretch north of the former Lakeshore road. Today's Beaconsfield Boulevard was then created. In 1946, The St. Germain Estate, which owned the farmland then, sold a part of Farm 20 to Mr. H. Wiesenthal.

Mr. Wiesenthal, Mr. Bernard Pesner, and Harry Batshaw, later a judge, were the first charter members of the LRYC. The Club was named for Rufus Isaacs, Lord Reading, an English Jewish person who, among other distinctions, was the Viceroy of India.

PHOTOS: Lord Reading Yacht Club

The Club's Commodore, Mrs. Cheryl-Anne Simoneau, signaled the Club's rich history and looked to the years to come during her speech at the anniversary celebration; "let us remember the work and efforts of our founding members to establish this great Club. I am honored to be here today, as Commodore, to do my part to continue the dreams and work of the founding members."

The Club looks ahead to another 25 years on this historic piece of land and has signed a contract with Beaconsfield that entails 15 years with two extensions of 5-year terms.

"We intend to be here for quite some time and look forward to maintaining and repairing the harbor so our members may enjoy safe access to Lake St. Louis and Beyond," exclaimed Commodore Simoneau. "We encourage everyone to visit our website, visit our picture gallery and read the complete Commodore speech, as well as letters of congratulations from our Governor General and our MP, Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia," she concluded.

The historical data was granted to the LRYC in partnership with the archives of the Historical Society of Beaurepaire and minutes from the City of Beaconsfield council meetings.

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