Shirley Freeman - 1924-2014
Shirley Freeman was the first female boat owner and female senior club member of the club in 1974, a well respected member of the club who gained Honorary Life Membership. The scuttle butt is that she had approached a number of club's around the Bay, but none of them would accept a Female boat owner, let alone sailor! Shirley was at a function and was introduced to the then Commodore of HBYC. She told her story and he said "We'll have you" and the rest is history.
She had a stella racing career, winning many HBYC and other club's trophies. Some of these were; 1992 Port Phillip Sea Pilots race, 1992 Melbourne to Devonport race (she competed in 5!) and the 1984 Petersville Regatta. Shirley's name is on many of our honour boards (Look out for S. Freeman), as well as being a regular ocean racing skipper, the only women Ocean Racing Skipper during that period! See below an article in the Age 10/1/84 called "Freeman wins with Pazazz". Pazazz was her 3/4 tonner designed by Ben Lexon.
Dr. Shirley E Freeman gained her AM (Member of the Order of Australia), Queen’s Birthday, 12th June 1989 in recognition of public service. Shirley Freeman was much more than an Honorary Life Member of HBYC, click here to read her obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald (one of many newspapers who printed it), titled "Parmacologist became an adviser on chemical weapon disarmament".
Notices in the Age
The following are from the Age...