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My thanks to an Oliver  for submitting this photo which was part of their late father's collection. We are not quite sure when it was taken but judging from the battered look of the club and the fact that similar photos were taken of Hurricane Janet waves, we are thinking that it was taken in 1955 and the battered look was a result of Hurricane Janet.

Does anyone know the girl in the photo or whether the club was damaged by Janet??
The St.Vincent Aquatic Club - A moment in reflection.

Seeing this photo provides me an opportunity to dwell on an incident when I was only a baby in 1947 and as such I am dependent on accounts related to me. It is not something that my adopted parents talked about. This site is not about me but I feel that there is some historical importance to an event which  took  place.at that time. There are others that may want to add to this or correct details.

What brings this back to memory is a visit to St.Vincent a few years ago when I ventured to Ratho Mill, a place where I still have many pleasant  memories. The Sundays where the "Villagers" (the teens of the area) would gather at the careenage (Canash) or the "Breakers". As I literally retraced my nostalgic footsteps I started looking for a path we took to get to the Breakers beach and of course there was new development including some very nice new houses. I could not find that path and looking a bit lost, two gentlemen who were sitting having a drink on a veranda asked me if I needed help. I told them I lived in Rathomill quite a number of years ago and was looking for that path to the Breakers Beach. He asked who I was and when I told him he wanted to know who was my father. I told him that it was C.V.D. Hadley and I was his adopted son. He immediately invited me for a drink because he had something to tell me.

He indicated that he had recently come across the court records where he observed the fine CVD had to pay because of an altercation at the Aquatic Club. The CVD Hadley I knew was not a man that I seen in any violent way - in fact he never laid a hand on me even though there a few times I would have deserved the corporal rod.

So why did he get this fine?

It seems that he was confronted by a 'friend' at the entrance of the St.Vincent Aquatic Club who was blocking his access because he had me - a black adopted baby  - with intentions of bringing me in as a "member". It seems that C.V.D became so outraged that he struck the first blow and was consequently fined - Imagine that!

CVD was probably heralded by the underdogs of the society at that time while his plantocracy friends wondered what dangerous step he was taking by attempting to bring his black adopted baby into the club.

By the way, I never did get to the "Breakers Beach" on that day but enjoyed the 'breaking'  historical account.

Tony Hadley

Update provided to me (Feb 2003): CVD was asked in court whether he threw the first punch and he replied that he did and he would do it again.

Aquatic Club.
Attached photo is from the Aquatic Club c.1952:  l-r  Elizabeth Abbott, Joan Sutherland (Leggett), Geoffrey Gunn, Brendan Gill, Dick Gunn.

The dark portion with the roof is the Customs and the boarding of St.Vincent's Grumman Goose air services. Once boarded, the plane went down the ramp and taxied to the right between the Aquatic club and Young Island.