The Club was originally founded in 1955 (three years before CFB Gagetown was opened) as the Montreal Squadron of the RCNSA (Royal Canadian Naval Sailing Association). With the unification of the armed forces in 1969 it became the Montreal Squadron of the CFSA (Canadian Forces Sailing Association). There were many CFSA squadrons throughout the Canadian military system, some of the main ones being Shearwater, NS, Kingston, ON, Trenton, ON, Esquimalt, BC, and even in foreign bases such as the Rhine Sqdn in Germany.
The CFSA organization was disbanded in 1994 due to military budget cuts. Squadrons which were located on properties owned by DND but not on actual military bases, were closed and the properties sold. The Montreal Sqdn was one of very few which were not closed. Pehaps because of its stragetic military position.
The Club then came under direct command of CFB Montreal, as one of it’s many sports facilities for military personnel, and became the 5ASG (Area Support Group) Sailing Club. The property is still used for actual military training exercises as well.
It is the only waterfront location in the Montreal area that the Department of National Defence owns with access to the lake. Today we provide sailing and recreational facilities for the military at Pointe-Picard. Pointe-Picard is situated in Dorval on Lac St-Louis. In addition to sailing we host the 34 Combat Engineer Regiment with their annual watermanship activities. We also host other units looking for recreational activites or a place to conduct their training on the water. We have in the past hosted the Montreal Recruiting Center, Navy League Cadets, Navy Cadets, and have supported the St-Jean Garrision and CFB Valcartier in their summer programs for children.
We still have informal affiliations with the few remaining CFSA’s throughout the system, which have been converted to the same status as ourselves.
|Our Club Burgee:
Our club burgee is the Royal Canadian Navy White Ensign St. George’s Cross with the Canadian maple leaf and the navy crown where the cross meets. The navy crown is the same on all Canadian naval vessels and naval units (units beginning with HMCS).
Military Presence on Lac St-Louis
From pretty much the time that the first settlers, both English and French, arrived in North America, there has been a military presence on Lac St-Louis (ex: Fort Rolland 1685 in Lachine).
From the Massacre of Lachine to the Seven Year War, to the War of 1812 the military and their sometimes allies, sometimes enemies, the Iroquois, have been sailing up and down the lake.
After the War of 1812 and before Confederation, one of the best sources of information regarding the military presence is the « The Journal of The Household Brigade for the year 1864« . On pages 262 – 264 we can see that the Montreal Garrisson Yacht Club started in 1863 and had some very prestigious members:
The Commodore: Lieutenant General Sir W. Fenwick Williams Bar, K.C.B. owned the Schooner « Wanderer ». At the time, he was Commander in Cheif of the British Forces in North America.
The Vice Commodore: Major General the Honorable James Lindsay, M.P..
The Secretary: Lieutenant Colonel de Horsey, Grenadier Guards.
There were an additional 17 cutters and more sailing and rowing dinghies of various sizes belonging to officers of various ranks, from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel.
The clubhouse of the Montreal Garrison Yacht Club was about equidistant between the existing CFSA clubhouse and the Royal Saint Lawrence Yacht Club just behind Dorval Island or « Gerneral’s Island » as it was called at that time.