An interesting start to the Annual General Meeting was the elevation of Robert Melville from Honorary Flag Officer to the position of Admiral. The change of Bobby's status was the unanimous decision of the General Committee at an earlier meeting and endorsed by our Cowes Branch, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Club over many years, including serving as Commodore from 1971 to 1973.
Bobby, a member since 1953, is well into his nineties but remains a competitive helm of Corinna, his RCOD. Matthew Anthony, Bobby’s regular crew, likes to recall that the last time Bobby raced on the 29th October 2011, he showed the fleet how to win! Corinna is, of course the last of a long line of boats owned by Bobby, including Dragons and Etchells, particularly Her Outdoors. In his early years he was an off-shore sailor, crewing for many distinguished helms in RORC.
Recent members know nothing of Bobby's skills as the writer of songs that appeared in numerous sketches and after-dinner entertainments and who can forget his portrayal of Mr Godfrey in a club presentation of Dad's Army?
Bobby spoke most eloquently, having accepted his Admiral's Flag from Stuart Munro, the retiring Commodore. He admitted to a slight apprehension, partly as there is no job description for his new rôle and certainly no Nelsonian guidance. However, he wished to convey his appreciation of the warm feelings towards him personally, as displayed by the Committee in appointing him to this distinguished position. He undertook to fulfill his new rôle faithfully and, should he be required to speak, he promised to keep his speech short and definitely not to sing!
Bobby is the third Admiral to be inscribed on the Commodores' Board, following F G Mitchell, 1959 to 1962 and Pat Dyas, 1998 to 2002.