The RGYC auspiced a successful application to the State Government’s ‘Community Harmony Grant’ for Geelong’s ethic communities to build two St Ayles Skiff coastal rowing boats – and was granted the $20,000 to do it.
Since then, boat building has started at a by Deakin University site in their Gheringhap Street Campus. Under the leadership of RGYC members Stuart Dickson, Bill Newman and Peter Spear the team of Geelong’s Iraqi and Iranian communities under the Diversitat banner, the ‘Lifeboat Group’ which supports 180 institution-abused men, a Slovenian woman and her daughter have the frames for two boats ready for ribs. With only four and a half of the build team speaking English (including Stuart, Bill and Peter!), the Tuesday evening and Saturday morning session are a circus of productive fun.
These boats are the first two of a planned ten St Ayles Skiffs which will be built under this initiative which hopes to see them in constant use by Geelong’s ethnic and other community groups to “show off” the true asset which these people are to our town. “Pako Fest on Water” is the moniker. While member’s reports in ‘Sea Chest’ every week will keep us up to date with build progress, you are invited to visit the build site any Tuesday evening or Saturday morning. English is optional!