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BYC Explainer: Old Salts

By S/C Betty Gray


Have you ever wondered how Berkeley Yacht Club traditions came about? How many times have you hear someone say, “but it’s tradition”?

Well, I am one those who loves traditions new and old. So, I plan to research and share with you some of the traditions that I didn’t know about and some of my favorite ones. If you would like to know about a specific tradition, let me know and I will see if I can find the answer. I will address some trivia related to the club, such as “Where was the first dinner meeting held?” and “Who was Commodore when we got our first liquor license?” and “Who were the Sirens?"

TRADITION: WHAT ARE OLD SALTS? The Old Salts Dinner is held annually to honor our long-time members. This is my all time favorite tradition, and this year it will be held on Saturday, May 20.

ANSWER: Berkeley Yacht Club honors our long-time members as "Old Salts" when they commence their 25th year of membership. This year we celebrate some very special members, who have supported the club, both on the water and land. So, how do you become an Old Salt? If you joined Berkeley Yacht Club in 1998 (when Jeannie Mariscal was Commodore) you are being honored as an Old Salt this year. And after 25 years, we continue to honor you every five (5) years at our Old Salts Dinner. This year is very special as we will honor Staff Commodore Carl Jordan (1980) for his 50 plus years as a member of Berkeley Yacht Club.


Join me in honoring our long-time members who have built this club from the ground up. If you are a new member, you can have fun hearing the stories, like the submarine under the clubhouse and who was Commodore when we got our first liquor license and and other traditions like the Old Salts dinner.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

P.S. BYC's first dinner meeting was held at the Claremont Hotel on June 1, 1939 and over 75 members and families, local notables, City Officials and representatives from other yacht clubs were in attendance. The first Board meeting was held at Drake’s Restaurant on April 12, 1939.

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