Chandler a stalwart among amazing volunteers

Chandler a stalwart among amazing volunteers

It was appropriate Phil Chandler was found applying a lick of paint to the club’s six-pound cannon because it’s the sort of thing he’s been doing for the last 63 years.

Chandler joined the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club as a 17-year-old and, although he stopped sailing a few years ago, is still heavily involved as he approaches his 80th birthday.

“I was never much of a sailor,” he said on a break from working on the cannon, but few could rival his commitment to the club. “I look back on my time with the club with pride and a lot of smiles. I guess I love people and it’s been so much fun.”

This week is National Volunteer Week and Chandler is just one of thousands of Kiwis who give up their time to help out at yacht clubs around the country. Some do it to give back, others for the love of the sport and some even find themselves roped into doing it.

Queen Charlotte Yacht Club
Phil Chandler has been involved with the club for 63 years.

Chandler has worn a number of different hats over his time with Queen Charlotte (formerly Picton Sailing Club), from commodore (twice) and club captain to race officer and handyman, and recently built the dinghy racks in the new clubhouse.

It wasn’t his only involvement in the latest rebuild, having put up his hand to be on the rebuild committee, and he could also be found knocking on the doors of past members to try to convince them to help out financially.

“I went around most of the oldies and hit them up for [some money for] a pile,” he said. “Most people came to the party.”

The club’s latest rebuild is an impressive structure – “we will have the most brilliant site in Picton which everyone will want to come to” – but it was a quite different process to previous undertakings.

Queen Charlotte Yacht Club
The old Picton swimming baths that was filled in and where the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club’s hardstand is now located.

In the early 1960s, the old swimming pool area, which is now the club’s hard stand, was filled in. With no road access, it was a major operation and everything required to drill and blast the hillside was brought in by boat and the rocks wheelbarrowed to fill the hole. 

A decade later, Chandler was also front and centre for the club’s ‘rebuild’ of their clubhouse with old army huts.

“We ran into some trouble with the authorities, so thought we would ‘renovate’ the buildings instead,” he explained. “We did half of that one winter and the other half the next. We didn’t tell them what we were doing.

“We were paid for doing it back then; a jug of beer a day in wages.”

It helped that Chandler worked for the harbour board, so could access equipment for work on the club, and was also a carpenter and joiner by trade.

Queen Charlotte Yacht Club
Chandler helped build the dinghy racks in the new clubhouse.

He gave up sailing his Paper Tiger about 15 years ago but was still running the green fleet racing for the Interislander Regatta up to a couple of years ago.

“I still go around there but mainly to have a beer and keep abreast with what is going on,” Chandler said. “I help out where I can and will continue to do that for as long as I can.”

Like a lot of sports, yachting couldn’t operate without volunteers, whether it’s helping on a learn to sail coaching course or driving a safety boat through to being a race officer or launching boats. Volunteers are the backbone of New Zealand sailing, and sport in general.

Volunteers play such a vital role in sport,” Yachting New Zealand national sport development director Raynor Haagh said. “Our sport relies on the goodwill, time and effort of amazing members of our community who help us deliver our sport, manage our clubs and enhance our club culture.

“It is important that we take time to recognise and acknowledge our volunteers and National Volunteer Week is a great opportunity to do that. From all of us at Yachting New Zealand, thank you to all of our club volunteers. We sincerely appreciate all you do.

Sailing by


Popular Listings

  • Practical Trade Unit
    Highly functional office/warehouse unit available for lease. The space is currently configured with shop front, bi-folding doors set inside the roller door at the entrance of the Warehouse. If the bi-folds suit your business that's great! But if not, they can easily be removed, thus reverting the space back to its original intended use as a Warehouse. Key Features: - 72m² warehouse - Mezzanine office (30m²) - Roller door / bi fold doors - Two allocated car parks Call the sole agents at NAI Harcourts today.
  • Takapuna Retail Showroom and Warehouse
    Situated in the heart of sought after Barrys Point Road in Takapuna, these large retail showroom, warehouse and office premises totalling approx. 1,462m² are available on a new lease from 1st August 2020. Offering wide street frontage with excellent exposure and large front yard for display purposes or customer parking this building has been occupied for the last 10 years as a successful Motorcycle Dealership providing sales, accessories and service facilities. Comprising retail showroom of approx 524m², mezzanine office 186m² and warehousing and storage of 752m² the premises include 6 car parks on the front yard, further 9 at the rear and option for additional basement car parks. Only 3 minutes north of the Harbour Bridge, Barrys Point Road is home to many outdoor sports, trade retail, automotive, furniture and service retail type uses. Call now to arrange an inspection of this exceptional opportunity.
  • High Profile Wairau Warehouse / Showroom 916.72m²
    Now available! This 916.72m² (approx) high-stud warehouse / showroom is one not to be missed. Located in the heart of the Wairau Valley, the site makes for an ideal trade or bulk retail location. Featuring a highly flexible open plan layout, the high stud warehouse can be configured to provide as much showroom and warehouse as your business requires. Retail access is at the front and full height roller door at the rear. Adjacent to the roller door is a designated container drop off area. Access is a dream and is complemented well by the use of 14 dedicated carparks plus half share of an additional 22! Be where the action is! Direct neighbours include Mitre 10 Mega, Pak'n Save and Bunnings Warehouse. The site has fantastic exposure to Wairau Road and great signage opportunity. Motorway access is only 800m down the road at the Tristram Avenue interchange. Approximate Area Breakdown: Breakdown: - Warehouse / showroom - 710.69 - Office and amenities - 206.03 - Car parks (dedicated) - 14 car parks - Car parks (half-share) - 22 car parks Call the joint sole agents at NAI Harcourts today.
  • Vibrant Wairau Business Hub Development
    Stage 1 resource consent obtained - Sept 2019 Huge potential for Childcare, Pharmacy, Entertainment, Medical GP's & Specialists (e.g. Chiropractors, Physios), Dentists, Gym, Pilates, Yoga, Restaurant/Cafes, Offices etc*, to be strategically located within this exciting development. Flexible tenancy sizes range from 100m² to over 1000m². The site offers elevated, road front profile, within the Wairau Valley's growth corridor. Large format food retail premises are scheduled for development next door and the Southern Cross Hospital is just around the corner. Ample parking - 90 car parks. Accessible location - 1 minute from SH1 on-ramps at Tristram Avenue. Completion due early 2021. The developer is now inviting expressions of interest. Call NAI Harcourts today to discuss your requirements and secure premises in this exciting development. (* Subject to resource consent)
  • A-grade Industrial Investment – New 10 Year Lease
    Finally, a stunning standalone Industrial investment worthy of your attention. Taking pride of place on the ever-popular Apollo Drive on Auckland's North Shore, this prize asset offers a new 10-year lease to its anchor tenant and will sit proudly in your portfolio. Currently occupied by RPM International Tool & Die Limited as well as Mitre 10 New Zealand Limited, the contract rentals combine to $492,080 pa plus GST plus outgoings. Situated on a high profile freehold site with wide street frontage, the building was purpose built to allow for future growth of RPM, but also allows for a split tenancy arrangement which is currently in place. With an A-grade seismic rating of 92% and a warehouse stud height of 7.8 - 9 metres, the quality of the asset is on par with new builds, but in a sought after location. Warehouse construction is full height pre-cast concrete tilt-slab panels and the main offices at the front of the building are fully air conditioned. Opportunities of this calibre rarely come to the open market. Please call one of the preferred joint sole agents today for further information or to arrange an inspection. Key Features: - Freehold site of 5,160m² (more or less) - Total building area of 3,368m² (approx.) - A-grade seismic rating of 92% - New 10 year lease to anchor tenant from 1st June 2020 - Dual tenancy providing for future expansion - Zoned General Business - 53 car parks onsite - Combined contract rental of $492,080 pa plus GST plus outgoings. For sale by Deadline Private Treaty (unless sold prior) Closing 4.00pm, Thursday 2nd July 2020 To download further information please copy and paste this link into your browser: NOTE: all outlines in images are indicative only
  • Affordable Devonport Office
    Positioned in the heart of Devonport are a variety of professional office options. Access via a stairway in the central lane way courtyard leading to the first floor office suites. Each office features a kitchenette, pitched ceilings and air-conditioning. The offices are within close proximity to a number of eateries and retailers along with just a short walk to recently redeveloped Devonport Wharf. Features: - Car parking available - Character brick arcade - Close proximity to Devonport wharf - Through access to Wynyard Street - Air-conditioned - Short term lease available to the right tenant - Available now Available Options: - Office 4: 52 m² Call the sole agents at NAI Harcourts for further information and an appointment today.