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The History of the Burnaby Association of Marine Modellers.

In the August, 2009 issue of the BAMM Newsletter John Tarvin wrote a short history of the club.  There are also some photos below.



The History of our Club by John Tarvin


I've been asked to write a history of our club, so here goes.


The beginning began about 1957 when I joined the ‘Vancouver Model Aircraft Club’.  At that time there was no model boat club and being that was my main interest, I thought I should try to get one of the ground.


It didn’t take long before we had a small group together, having meetings in each other’s homes.  At first we called it the ‘Neptune Model Engineering & Maple Leaf Yacht Club’ with our first regatta at Deer Lake in 1959.


For several years our first home pond was Trout Lake and during this period we also started venturing down to the Seattle Club’s Green Lake, they in turn coming up to Trout lake.


During these early days it was quite difficult to obtain ship model supplies but my employer, Woodwards Department Store, allowed me to create a hobby shop within the toy department.  My previous employment managing a hobby shop in England gave me the contacts to bring in the model bits and pieces Vancouver modellers needed.

When Burnaby Parks Department began to make improvements to Central Park, we discovered another boat pond and eventually, with the assistance from the Burnaby Park Board, we were allowed to build our clubhouse adjacent to the concession.

During these early years at Central we continually made improvements to our boating site by going from a rope barrier to proper fencing, more tables, and at two regattas, bleachers were supplied by the Parks Department.  We even had an opening ceremony where the Mayor said a few words.


I believe or best regatta was in 1986, which ran for two days.  The Saturday was for fast electrics and sailing yachts and the Sunday was for steering course type events.  Along with the bleachers, we had a very large tent to house the models overnight, including a generator for security lighting with two of us patrolling overnight as well.  A closing banquet at a local restaurant was held where prizes were handed out to winners of the various events and showings.


Trophies were hand made, Ian Godbolt made ‘plates’ for mounting carved half models of various ships, tugs, fish boats and warships.  These I made out of walnut and very time consuming to carve but were well received by all.


The scale ships were judged at Bonson Hall where wwe had well over one hundred models showing.


Various clubs were in attendance from Vancouver Island, Washington State, Surrey, and Vancouver.  A group from the interior of B.C. brought a very large model of the paddleboat ‘Moyie’.  Ron Burchett from the Island brought his working model of a tipping log barge, giving demonstrations complete with ‘boom boats’.


In the early club days we did include gas-powered models but these were phased out due to noise and probable complaints from the public.


The present club name came around the time we started running at Central Park.  At first it was going to be ‘Association Of Marine Modellers’ but the word ‘Burnaby’ was a necessary requirement, so to this day it’s ‘Burnaby Association Of Marine Modellers’ or ‘BAMM’.


John Tarvin

Some scanned photos of yesteryears at BAMM.

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