Lewes Yacht Club Commodore Nick Carter interrupted last Sunday's regular meeting of the board of directors to honor one of its own. Carter presented the Meritorious Service Award to 60-year member and former Commodore Bill Reardon. Bill's daughter Maggie accepted the award on behalf of her father, who is battling cancer.
“Bill was commodore of the club in 1978 and 1979 and then again for three years starting in 1981,” said Carter during his presentation. “During Bill's terms, the club went through a period of revitalization including construction of the swimming pool and renewed emphasis on the youth sailing program. Bill also headed the committee that coordinated the visit of the tall ships to Lewes during the nation's bicentennial celebration and, last but not least, he moved the bar out of the basement to the upstairs.”
Carter said he remembered his years growing up on Lewes Beach when the Reardon raft was a fixture just off the beach in the summertime: “Those memories include trying to water ski off the raft with a coil of rope by your side and watching it go out. Billy Walsh was there. Then in recent years, the Reardon raft was rebuilt, and I had to take my children and introduce them to that aspect of summertime on Lewes Beach.”
Bill's father, Judge Francis Reardon, set the pace for the Reardon presence on Lewes Beach when he brought his family down from Wilmington to a beach cottage in the summer. He taught them how to fish and swim and enjoy the raft he anchored offshore for many people's enjoyment. The Reardon presence on Lewes Beach has multiplied over the years with many children and grandchildren, cousins and friends taking advantage of the Reardon raft and Bill's generosity with his sailboats and motorboats.
“One of the things that gives me the greatest pleasure,” said Reardon recently, “is simply watching the kids sailing and enjoying themselves on the water.”
Carter said the award will be placed on a wall in the clubhouse for others to see in the future.
Maggie Reardon expressed her family's appreciation for the award presented to her father. “It means a lot to him to know that this will be here for children and grandchildren to see in the years ahead.”