The Great WWBA Burgee Presentation


    Most members will not know that Denny Bohmer (ALASKAN, crew Susan Marlatt), designed the WWBA flag, so here’s the history. 

    It was suggested at the 2004 spring meeting that it would be nice to have a WWBA burgee and the members were solicited to contribute a design for presentation at the fall rendezvous in Silva Bay.  Bill Ratlef (LADY ALLYSHA) and I (ALASKAN) stepped up and submitted our designs for consideration.

    My flag was made to represent a traditional West Coast trawler under repair, hence the red lead paint colour.  The red in the background could be the rising or setting sun, or a back lit island. Both Bill and Denny had gone to Ruth Reader, the flag maker in Duncan to have a sample flag made so we’d both have a realistic and dramatic presentation.  

    At the fall rendezvous Bill flew his flag off the Lady Allysha, while Denny kept his under wraps – for the element of surprise you know. 

    Saturday, at the fall meeting, Bill and Denny made their presentations in dramatic and verbose style.  26 members voted (there was one spoiled ballot), and my design won with a 13-12 vote.   I thought I had the most artistic design because I had spent so much time on it, as did Bill, and I was very surprised the vote was so close.    

    There are three interesting side stories surrounding this event:

    • Denny saw a chance to steal Bill’s flag off the Lady Allysha while Bill and other members were enjoying an evening at the pub, thus preventing Bill from having a flag to show at the meeting, but, regrettably, I refrained from doing that. It would have been worth hearing Bill’s reaction, and it would now be part of the WWBA lore. It was an opportunity lost.
    • There was a prospective member at the meeting (Hillary something?) who witnessed the great flag debate and decided we were not a serious club so she decided against membership.  Her loss.
    • Al Helmersen, the President exercised some artistic license and modified the flag to make our current logo for  use on hats, other apparel and letterheads, and so on.

    At the end of the meeting Terry Hill said to me, “ I get it, the sun setting on old boats, “ and I replied “ maybe it’s the sun rising on our future. “  Take your choice.   

    Submitted by Denny Bohnmer, Spring, 2022.   


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