About the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Society and its Dragon Boat Team

The Society

The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Society is a non-governing, and a non-profit society. Under that umbrella, we have the Angels Abreast Dragon Boat team who can receive charitable donations. Anytime we wear our team jackets, we are promoting breast cancer awareness. Only the Angels Abreast Dragon Boat team belongs to the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Society. Only breast cancer survivors can belong to the Society. We have members who want to be part of the team but do not wish to paddle.  In 2009 we again welcomed supporter paddlers to the team.  For our mission statement go to mission

The Team

It took a little over a year for the Angels to form the Society and put together their dragon boat team. Their first meeting was in Sept. 2000 and their first competition was at the Gorge in Victoria in August 2001. And they came second in their first race!

Some of the original members of the Society

From the start the Angels had significant support from their families, friends and the community at large. They were able to buy their own boat in June 2001, largely due to a loan from Bill Duke whose wife Ann was one of the founding members. The boat’s builder, Vincent Lo of Vancouver, also donated the teams’ first 25 paddles.

The boat is delivered

The Angels worked hard to raise funds to pay back the loan. They held garage sales, meat draws, silent auctions, fashion shows, put together various baskets of goodies for raffles and even worked for the City of Nanaimo picking up garbage. Astoundingly with this combination of work and the generosity of supporters, the Angels managed to pay off the boat loan within one year

Garbage picking

The team initially practiced on Green Lake. The boat was “parked” at Ann and Bill’s place. In 2003 Stone’s Marina offered to house the boat for free, which meant practices could be on salt water in the Strait of Georgia and Ann and Bill could have their dock back. You can see the Angel’s Abreast sign on the side of the Boathouse.

The boat at Ann and Bill’s dock.

Support came in another form. The first team included supporters who were not breast cancer survivors. In the boat the survivors wore pink shirts and the supporters wore white. By 2003, however, there were so many women who were survivors wanting to join the team that a decision was made to make the Angels Abreast for survivors only. By then Nanaimo had many dragon boat teams for Angel supporters to join. To this day there is much greeting and celebrating at competitions when Angels meet their sisters who now paddle on other teams.

The mixed team on Green Lake, 2001

The Angels make a special point of acknowledging the contributions of their accountant, Irene Mark, who has donated her services from the very beginning and still does. Over the years they have enjoyed the support of various businesses as well. For a complete list go to sponsors

Our Teams over time
(Click on pictures to see larger version)





Second Place in the Women’s Division at the Comox Nautical Days Festival

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