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Making history as club’s first female flag officer

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Adderley is club's first female flag officer

By Jessie Moniz Hardy

The new Rear Commodore for the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) is wearing a skirt and a scarf, and that's saying something.

Amy Adderley recently became the first female flag officer in the Paget club's 132-year history, and is essentially number three in the club's ranking behind Commodore Ed Faries and Vice Commodore Neil Redburn. The term flag officer is given to the leadership within the club which is dedicated to the advancement of sailing in Bermuda.

The idea of having a female flag officer is so new that there wasn't even a female version of the uniform when Mrs Adderley took up the post this year.

“I had to create it myself,” said Mrs Adderley, who works as financial controller at Bermuda Realty. “I said instead of trousers I would wear a skirt. I wear a tricorne hat. The men have ties, and we tried to source a scarf for the women but we weren't able to source one to match the tie. So, I took two men's ties, took them apart and got my sewing machine out and made my own scarf. I wanted the female uniform to carry along the RHADC tradition but also to be a bit feminine. I wanted to be comfortable in it.”

The club, located on Pomander Road, has a marina, clubhouse with restaurant and about 600 members.

As Rear Commodore, Mrs Adderley sits on the committee of management which is the club's main operations committee. Her focus in her new role is getting more young families on board. The club is looking to expand its membership in the 30 to 40 year old age range.

“I joined about eight years ago because I had started sailing and I knew other people who were members,” she said. “The RHADC has a nice casual, relaxed atmosphere. It is not at all stuffy. That suits my personality. I got involved in the management of the club because I stuck my hand up at one of the annual general meetings because I was concerned about some of the safety issues for kids on the back lawn. The next thing I knew I was on the committee, and the next year they asked me to be the chair.”

She said, with a laugh, that sometimes if you don't keep your mouth shut you end up with a lot of responsibility.

To join the club you must be sponsored by a member and your membership must be seconded by another member. There are also membership dues. You do not need to own your own boat, although sailing is a strong focus of the club.

“We have a lot of people who aren't boaters,” Mrs Adderley said. “You don't have to sail. We have the food and beverage aspect of it which a lot of people enjoy. On Friday nights, we have a bouncy castle up and happy hour for the parents, so we can sit and have a nice relaxing evening while the kids play. That has been a popular thing. There is a junior membership for children of members. Our sailing programme is phenomenal. My son Jack has done it. Living on this Island with the ocean around us, learning to sail is a pretty neat thing.”

She said she never set out to be a groundbreaker in terms of gender.

“With that comes responsibility,” she said. “I think navigating that with grace is an important piece of it. It is good to open the doors for other females to come behind me. Everyone has really supported that. My biggest goal is to set the right precedent for people coming behind me, and to help the club grow.”

She said the next in line behind her, the committee management chair, is also a woman, Chrisse Kempe.

“We have a lot of females involved in our committees across the board,” she said. “The club is changing with the times, as everything else is. Change is good, and modernising things is good.”

Mrs Adderley is also Bermuda Junior Service League Treasurer and recently won an award for her volunteer work at the CableVision Salute to Service Awards Banquet.

For more information go to rhadc.bm.

Changing times: Amy Adderley, is the first female flag officer at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club
Changing times: Amy Adderley, is the first female flag officer at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club
Changing times: Amy Adderley, is the first female flag officer at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club
Changing times: Amy Adderley, is the first female flag officer at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club

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Published June 03, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated June 02, 2014 at 8:19 pm)

Making history as club’s first female flag officer

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