Ripple Rock Logo


    Laury Lafleur

    In the fall of 1958 an interested group of boaters from Campbell River came together and discussed the merits of organising a small boat instruction course. The course would be sponsored by the school board and offered in the night school curriculum of the winter of 1958-59. One of the original interested boaters and organisers, Morgan Brethour, in correspondence to the Squadron January, 1981, described this first venture; "The course itself was a flop as far as instruction went, so out of this evolved a small group of interested people getting together ... "

    The fledgling group were in contact with the then Commander of the Victoria Power Squadron, Lt. Cdr. Vic Griffin. Through his urging and support, and support from the Valvoline Oil representative for Vancouver Island, a CPS study group was fromed. Vic Griffen later went on to become Vancouver Island District Commander.

    The original group numbered about a dozen individuals, "crammed into a clubhouse, a floating bunkhouse owned by Baikie Brothers Logging that came from Granite Bay and was moored in the slough, later (the) Fresh Water Marina". At the time Baikie Bros. had in their employ a skipper, Capt. Jack Bradley. He commanded the tug, "John W" of Baikie Bros. Under Capt. Jack Bradley'e tutelage participants sat for the exam in the high school under the watchful eye of Vic Griffen. It is believed that everyone in the group passed.

    Now to the task of forming a Squadron and selecting a name. After much discussion it was decided that "Ripple Rock" was the most uniquely descriptive of the area. In anticipation of a CPS Charter, the Campbell River group whose names appear below continue to learn and grow:

    1. W. Wallace Baikie
    2. Ronald D. Bartlett
    3. James P. F. Boulding
    4. Capt. F. A. 'Jack' Bradley
    5. Morgan J. Brethour
    6. L. George Davis
    7. Edward N. Enns
    1. Harry W. Gagne
    2. Raynard Johnson
    3. Miles J. Lynch
    4. Gordon K. Noren
    5. Charles G. Sandquist
    6. Harry J. Sethre

    In the winter of 1958-59 a very successful Piloting course was run as a night school course. All of the original thirteen in the Campbell River Study Group, plus R. J. Coles (Victoria P. S.), took and passed the exam. At this juncture few of the group members actually owned boats. Their aim at the start was instruction.

    In June of 1959 the Ripple Rock Power Squadron, still awaiting their charter, held a meeting. At this meeting Morgan Brethour was elected to fill the position of Commander when a charter had been duly granted. The first Bridge members of the Ripple Rock Power Squadron were:

    • Commander....................Morgan Brethour
    • Lt. Commander...............Harry Gagne
    • Educational Officer.........Capt. F. A. Bradley
    • Secretary..........................Ronald D. Bartlett
    • Treasurer..........................L. George Davis

    The Squadron warrant was issued on June 17th 1959 and the first official meeting of the new Ripple Rock Power Squadron was on September 17th 1959 at the Baikie float house. The presentation of the charter took place on Sept. 24th 1959. Activities and instruction continued apace for the Squadron. For the winter season 1959-60, Squadron meeting Minutes detail a "Piloting course with a full up membership of thirty and with further plans for a Seamanship Course and a membership of ten".

    The early days of the Squadron finances were ‘humble’, as evidenced by archival sources. Commander Brethour opened a bank account at the Campbell River branch of the Royal bank with $20.00 out of pocket. Commander Brethour subsequently financed the Junior Piloting and Seamanship Courses via a loan of $230.00 from the Royal Bank. During October, 1959, Treasurer George Davis reported a bank balance $27.74

    In 1986 Canadian Power Squadron under went a name change. The new name of Canadian Power and Sail Squadron was adopted to cover both power and sailing members. It was at this time that the new name Ripple Rock Squadron was chosen.

    From these humble beginnings Ripple Rock Squadron has gone on to flourish. In the almost fifty years since its formation the Squadron has instructed literally hundreds and hundreds of students in basic and advanced courses. From its inception, the squadron has remained steadfast in its dedication to comprehensive quality courses of instruction. The fellowship driven by this dedication remains today the hallmark of the Ripple Rock Squadron and is evidenced by our impressive membership numbers. As of June 2007,  forty nine years from the time of the formation of the study group of thirteen, our Squadron has grown to over 360 members.