Tribute to Michael Meloy (OBE) 23-Sep-1941 – 17-Aug-2021
Having been given the sad news that Michael (Mike) Meloy had passed away, I felt the need to write a tribute to this fellow sailor and very good friend.
Our paths first crossed at the sailing club in 1997 when I was Rear Commodore and this guy named Mike Meloy approached me and offered his services as my House and Grounds assistant.
From that day forward our paths ran very much in parallel and to me he will always be remembered as a man with boundless energy. To Mike everything was a challenge and never a chore.
Mike’s involvement with the club led to his taking on the position of Club Rear Commodore (for two terms, each of 3 years) a major task for any man. He also presented a plan to the clubs committee laying out the need for the introduction of RYA Level 2 Power Boat Handling courses. Mike also assisted the Bosun in the repair/maintenance of the club RIBS that, in those early years, accounted for one RIB, one Dory and one rather tired Committee boat. The difficulty then being the practicality of being able to keep the two boats serviceable to support sailing.
Those concerns led to a complete rethink by the Committee, and, in the intervening years, the club has now acquired 6 RIBS, one Dory and one reasonably new Committee Boat. Great support on the water but a lot of work for the Bosun and his team; a team that included that name again; yes, Mike Meloy
Mike was a team player and one of Mike’s favorite events was the Clubs Family Regatta. It gave him and the team the opportunity to attire themselves as Pirates for the day and to use the Committee boat to transport the much younger element of our membership, also suitably attired as Pirates, across to Denny Island where they sought buried treasure (Chocolate Bars) that Mike and other members had strategically hidden on the Island the weekend before.
I would guess that a lot of those youngsters are now adults who are, hopefully, senior members of the club and who now look back at their Pirate days.
In more recent years Mike did have to stand down as Principal Power Boat Training Officer, but he did not do so until he had selected seven members of the club who he trained up to be his replacement. Those very same instructors are still together today and are led by Jeff Stratford.
But what about sailing? Well Mike was a good sailor who chose the simplicity of cruising over racing which was reflected in the classic dinghies he chose to sail. He did join John Ballinger and me for “The Annual Wayfarer Dinghy Challenge”. It involves sailing around the Isle of Wight non-stop (Calshot to Calshot). Which we completed in 9hrs and 55 minutes. Quite an achievement for three seniors.
I have nothing but praise for the tenacity of Mike and his love of the club. It was pleasing to know that he was given Honorary Membership in 2009.
The abiding legacy that Mike will always be remembered for is that of his continued effort to serve his club with boundless energy and pride; something that manifested itself in his delivering a safety policy on the water that cannot, as yet, be seen to be bettered.
Assisting in running a sailing club is not always love and harmony though; there is much healthy debate at Committee meetings when agreement cannot be readily reached on an issue.
Mike and I had such disagreements from time to time; but because we both had the club at heart, we did always reach an agreement – yes sometimes it was a compromise. However, we never fell out over any such issues.
In finishing I can say that it has been my pleasure to be alongside such a dedicated man as Mike Meloy. His love for the club and his support to me over the years has been second to none, and I for one will miss his company.
There is much more that could be said in praise of Mike Meloy, and I know you will all have your own stories to tell. I just hope that I have written enough to show that he was a dedicated member of CVLSC and, as such, he will be missed.