Gordon Reid's Story
Keeping up my commitment to SWD on Try Sail days gives me the satisfaction of giving back to the community and sharing some of the joy I feel at being alive in Australia. I am also extremely proud to be a part of the SWD family.
In 1998 and at a relatively young age, I retired from a seagoing career spanning 47 years. I wanted to give back some of the benefits that I had enjoyed while living in Australia.
As a member of Lions Clubs International, I became a Trustee for the Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation; funding the cost of walking aids for children with cerebral palsy. I took on the position of Registrar and was responsible for establishing and maintaining the foundation’s database. I also collected and disbursed all funding received from Lions Clubs throughout Australia. Seeing the joy on the faces of children as they took their first steps made the hours of volunteer work worthwhile.
An introduction to Sailors with disABILITIES came about while seeking opportunities for children to get out into the community. It was 2005, and two groups of children enjoyed their first Try Sail day on board Kayle. David Pescud encouraged me to take over as skipper on Try Sail days and I have never looked back. The trips around Darling Harbour (with too many wheelchairs on board) are always great fun with the kids shouting at the Luna Park face and calling out to the "Pirates" on the James Craig and Bark Endeavour.
Joining SWD has allowed me to continue sailing and to expand my association with children and adults in overcoming their disabilities. And when we're under sail and the yacht heels (and they think we're going to capsize) the looks on their faces is priceless. This is when we encourage them to become fully involved in sailing and steering the yacht.
I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Board on the introduction of the new Winds of Change program.