Girls sailed on the brigantines from its very beginning, but only for day sails.
Elaine Watson sailed on Playfair right from the early days and she sent us this note:
“We were …. Sea Rangers from SRS Endeavour and spent many winters sanding and preparing the ship for the summer season and we were the first girls to be allowed to sail on her either year one or year two (I am not sure which). We were rewarded with an overnight sail in late October, the first girls to overnight (officially) .. how times have changed. … we learned a lot about sailing from Fred McConnell and Maurice Smith. Thanks, Elaine Watson”
Here is an article about Pathfinders crew in 1963. Pathfinder was still being fitted out. The work was expected to be done by August, and all by volunteers everying night and weekend, much like the program is still being managed today. Most of the youngsters belong to Sea Cadets and Sea Rangers back then. Gregory Leigh, then 15, says “baseball is boring compared to sailing”. Arthur Cooke, then 15, says, “It gets in your blood.” And William McMullen, age 15, says “you get a chance to see foreign parts”. Jane Gabura, then 15, says, “there is a grandeur and beauty to sailing”. and Ardene Miller, then 15, liked it a lot more than Girl Guides.
This article describes Toronto Brigantine’s program for girls in 1965.
The Girls sailed on Sunday afternoons. While the boys program was one week on land and one week on the water.
Avril Juce, Philippa Snape, Maureen Albert and Lucinda Doucette are mentioned as 4 of the 11 girls that sailed that day. The Captain was Maurice Smith, and Paul Oziuban was left home darning the sails all afternoon.
In 1971, Heather Sampson was promoted to WO Pathfinder, becoming TBI’s first female watch officer.
By 1976, the girls program expanded to the full two week program that the boys had.
And by 2011, our tall ship sail training program is a Program for Everyone, and available to everyone equally. We have about the same number of young men and women participating and our officers are similarly balanced by gender.
Call today to book your spot for the 2011 Summer Program. Berths and Bursaries are available.