Burnt Store Isles Boat Club

Punta Gorda Florida

Burnt Store Isles Boat Club History

It was in September of 1988 when two of the natives became restless, namely -Victor Forsyth and Herb Frede. They discussed the possibility of forming a fishing or boating club. It was determined later that a boating club would be better to fill the void in Burnt Store Isles.

    On November 17, 1988, a meeting was held at 413 Macedonia Dr., with Victor Forsyth,Herb Frede and Edgar Smith in attendance. At this time it was decided to have a flyer delivered to all those in Burnt Store Isles who had a boat at their dock or on a lift. This was done to determine who might be interested in forming a boating club. The response was overwhelming.

    On January 18, 1989 -The first General Meeting was held at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. It was at this meeting that a vote was taken and approved to form a Founders Committee. The members elected to the Founders Committee were Victor Forsyth, Chairman; Herbert Frede; Rosanna Frede; Paul Gottwals; Edgar Smith; and Marion Case.

    January 18, 1989 -The Founders Committee met at 413 Macedonia Drive. The meeting was to draft up the By-Laws and develop information about seeking a non-profit boating club status in the State of Florida.

    January 28, 1989 -The first boat cruise was to Burnt Store Marina for lunch with 18 boats participating.

    February 1, 1989 -The Founders Committee met at 3717 Toulouse Ct. and reviewed the proposed By-Laws and Charter.

    March 7, 1989 -A General Meeting was held by the Founders Committee at the Punta Gorda Elks Lodge. The By-Laws presented were amended by those present and then approved. With the election of the Officers and Board Members, the Founders Committee was automatically dissolved and the Burnt Store Isles Boat Club, Inc. was formed.


The Officers elected were:

            President Victor Forsyth

            1st Vice PresidentHerbert J. Frede

            2nd. Vice PresidentWilliam Ackerly

            Fleet CaptainEdgar J. Smith

            SecretaryMary Jane Franklin

            TreasurerPaul E. Gottwals

Board Members were Marion Case, Dean Meyer, and Richard Wagenbrenner. Also approved: (1) Initiation Fee of $5.00 and dues of $10.00 per year, (2) Newsletter name of"UP THE CREEKER" (entitled by Don Murray), and (3) The Official Burgee -(designed by William and Mary Ann Ackerly).

    The Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Florida and on March 9, 1989, they were documented by Certificate #N31107. At the March 7, 1989 meeting, it was noted that all who joined the Club by March 31, 1989, would be classified as CharterMembers. There were 52 in number.

    In order to make the titles of the three of the principal officers consistent with the titles of the principal officers of other similar boating organizations an amendment was passed on November 5, 1990 to change the title of President to Commodore, 1st Vice President to Vice Commodore and 2nd Vice President to Rear Commodore.

    As a Club we have published the "UP-THE-CREEKER," held boating related courses, a "Skippers Ball," the "Annual July 4th Celebrations; raft-ups and cook outs, the "Change of Watch," the "Commodore’s Ball," the "Fleet Captain’s Dinner/Dance," and most important to a boat club — Cruises. In addition, club members have been instrumental in many activities: Formation of Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) Committee for Alligator Creek, opening and removal of the lock, dredging of Alligator Creek, in association with "Adopt-A-Shore"— cleaning 19 miles of sea walls and 4 miles of mangroves in our Burnt Store Isles canals. Also, the club supports the Charlotte County Composite Squadron (Civil Air Patrol); and the Friends of the Charlotte County Environmental Center. In 1997, the membership adopted "Burnt Store Isles Best Management Practices" which includes the "Canal Watch Program" and "The Manatee Sighting Network."

   In addition to our favorite pastime, boating, our members found other common interest to bring the membership together; in 1999 our Boat Club expanded to include a Fishing Club, a Computer Club and an RV Club. In 2000, the Computer and RV club moved out from under the boat club and have established their own identity. Many of our members participate in all three club activities helping to create closer ties between the three organizations and continued harmony within the community. Bringing our community together to share ideas, experiences and fun is a common goal of our club.

    Burnt Store Isles Boat Club promotes furthering our boating and marine education, safe boating, supporting our law enforcement agencies, protecting our marine environment and enjoying good fellowship among our boating and non-boating members.

History of the First Commodore’s Flag

(The Forsyth Flag)

Beginning in 1990, a few months after the founding of the Burnt Store Isles Boat Club, the Commodore’s Flag was flown by Victor Forsyth, the Club’s first Commodore. It was passed down to succeeding Commodores:

                                                Dean Myer                         1991

                                                Dick Wagenbrenner         1992

                                                Jack Cockshott                  1993

                                                Jack Collins                        1994

                                                Gary Ray                            1995/1996

On January 30, 1996, the flag was framed and presented to Victor Forsyth by the Board of Governors to express the Club’s appreciation to the “Founding Commodore” for his leadership during the early years.

Shortly after Victor’s passing in 2012, Loretta, Victor’s wife of 58 years, graciously returned the flag to the BSIBC requesting that it “be passed down to each Commodore as a sense of continuity.” She said Victor was most proud of the Flag, and always felt the founding of the BSIBC was his greatest accomplishment.

At the Club’s annual meeting in 2012, the Flag was presented to Commodore Kathy Williamson. The now-named “Forsyth Flag” has been passed down to each subsequent Commodore at the Change of Watch Ceremony to remind them of past contributions made by many, and their responsibility in guiding the Club’s future.