The page you are reading right now was assembled by a big man. A big man with a big heart and a taste for outrageously loud Hawaiian shirts. And he has had a big impact on the magazine you are now holding. In fact, Club Marine’s Production Manager, Brendan Strauch has had more to do with the quality and presentation of the magazine over the years than any other person.
The reason I bring this up is that Club Marine Magazine this year celebrates its 25th silver anniversary. And while many of the staff and contributors go back a ways when it comes to time spent with the magazine, Brendan is by far the longest serving staffer. In fact, he has been doing what he does with Club Marine since 1983.
By comparison, both myself as publisher, and current managing editor, Chris Beattie, are relative babes in the woods, having between us ‘only’ around eight years in our respective saddles.
Elsewhere in this issue, Brendan recounts his own memories of his time with the magazine and some of the landmark issues and events that helped shape Club Marine over the years. But I wanted to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a very creative and dedicated man who has had a major influence over the magazine as it has evolved from what was virtually a newsletter, into the quality coffee table title that is now enjoyed by almost 85,000 subscribers and 250,000 readers throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Apart from his layout and artistic skills, Brendan is also a walking encyclopaedia of information on boating. If a story has a historical angle that requires a particular photograph from Club Marine’s extensive archives, invariably Brendan can produce the needed image in a flash. And he can probably tell you exactly when it was taken, by whom and with what camera.
So a special thankyou to Brendan Strauch for his unique contributions to Australia’s favourite boating magazine. Twenty-five years on, he still displays the same enthusiasm, creativity and commitment for Club Marine that captured readers’ imaginations way back in 1983 ?– and he’s still wearing the same bad shirts.
As for the next 25 years, I am delighted to say that we have some exciting plans for both the insurance company and magazine going forward. While we are all going through some tough economic times, none more so than the hard-working members of the marine industry, we have taken the position that we need to offer more to our members and readers. We strongly believe that we are in a unique position to contribute to the on-going health and growth of the Australian marine lifestyle and industry.
In coming editions, you’ll see that we have not been idle when it comes to finding ways to value-add to the benefits of insuring with Club Marine. I’m sure you will all be pleasantly surprised when we can finally reveal what our ‘backroom’ folks have been working on in recent times. Watch this space…
Before signing off for 2008, I’d also like to say how proud we all are here at Club Marine to have recently been awarded a special Gold Partner Award by volunteer environmental group, Coastcare. Coastcare has projects all around Australia that are aimed at protecting our unique marine environment and Club Marine is now an official corporate supporter of their efforts. In particular, we are sponsoring initiatives to restore local habitats, monitor populations of specific species and clean up areas that have been damaged by human activities. We believe that being Australia’s largest provider of insurance for recreational boating brings with it a responsibility to contribute to our wonderful marine lifestyle where we can. Our alliance with Coastcare allows us to do that on behalf of all our members and readers.
Speaking of which, I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a safe and enjoyable summer boating season. I know I’ll be making the most of it, taking time out with family and friends to get out on the water for some much-appreciated R&R. I hope to see some of you out there doing likewise.
Publisher and CEO
Club Marine Limited