A highlight of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons Annual General Meeting held October 24, 25 and 26 in Toronto, was the culmination of the nation-wide Flag Relay celebrating their 75th Anniversary.

In this photo past Chief Commander Richard Bee (right) and newly sworn in Chief Commander Joseph Gatfield (left) unite the two groups of flags at the Annual General Meeting. The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons began in 1937 when three Canadians from Windsor, Ontario crossed the Ambassador Bridge to take the United States Power Squadron Junior Piloting course at the Detroit Power Squadron.

Appreciating the importance and value of this education, the men went on to found the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons in 1938 in Windsor, now 75 years ago. The 2013 Flag Relay started this May when two specially designed anniversary flags arrived by boat from the United States, depicting where the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons organization had grown from.

These flags were delivered by United States Power Squadrons Chief Commander John Alter and were received by CPS Chief Commander Richard Bee on May 5th at the Windsor Yacht Club where they were blessed by Fr. Stan Fraser and then began a journey, one traveling west to Vancouver Island in British Columbia and one traveling east to Avalon, Newfoundland, stopping at each District and most Power Squadrons during the journey.

The flags were reunited at 75th Anniversary celebrations in Toronto this past week. One of the flags will be retained by the Canadian Power Squadrons while the other will travel to the United States Power Squadrons for their 100th Anniversary celebration in January 2014.

Important business was also handled during the three-day conference where a whole new set of bylaws were introduced in response to new Federal regulations governing not-for-profit organizations and a new Bridge was brought in to guide the organization in the coming year.

The budgets have been balanced and the organization is predicting a small operating surplus in 2014. Many new programs were discussed and planned for the coming year and beyond but most importantly, the members in attendance enjoyed excellent food and wonderful company in what is surely Canada’s biggest and best club for boaters of all types!

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