Thanks for all of your hard work
A small boating fraternity on Oahu has for a number of years sported a T-shirt emblazoned with the question, "Where In The Hell Is Iroquois Lagoon?"
It wasn't an easy question to answer for anyone other than military personnel because the lagoon is just a tiny inlet, surrounded by Navy housing, barely inside the entrance to Pearl Harbor where security issues keep most boaters out.
But now it would appear those folks -- members of the Iroquois Lagoon Yacht Club -- should have never brought attention to their secret because it seems the wrong people have found them.
Historically, according to the club's former secretary Allan Cameron, more than 30 years ago a couple of Navy guys who wanted a place to moor their fishing boats initiated what grew into the present yacht club.
Still, as he points out, although there have been some 60 boats moored there, the term "yacht club" gives the place more class than it might actually deserve.
"Everything from the (rest room), to the back yard garden sheds for storing boat gear, to the docks themselves have been built by the (active duty and retired military personnel) that banded together to form the club," he said.
About five years ago the status of the Navy housing at Iroquois Point was changed when Congress implemented its "Base Realignment and Closure" policies and leased the property surrounding the lagoon to Ford Island Housing, LLC, a private developer.
For a while the company merely worked at creating a new military housing project, Cameron noted. But then early this year it turned its attention to the lagoon and the ILYC. The club's members were soon informed that Ford Island Housing was going to hire a commercial operator to run the marina in the future.
In a letter dated June 25, Ford Island Housing ordered the ILYC to, within 30 days, "vacate the Iroquois Point Marina property, discontinue use of the clubhouse, and remove its personal property, including the piers and mooring buoys owned by the club and/or its members."
These were, of course, the same facilities, piers and mooring balls ILYC members had paid for and installed by themselves over the years. And then, incredibly, the new developer offered to buy one pier for $1 (yes, one dollar) and to rent some moorage back if "your members need additional time to relocate their boats."
Understandably, the ILYC members did not immediately accept their eviction and for the past month launched a campaign to get the attention of anyone who might help their cause. E-mail and press releases went out to various politicians and the media, however the response was less than encouraging.
"The ILYC has now voted to disband and give up the fight," Cameron told me. "We were not established to fight legal battles ... (but) to provide military members with a recreational outlet."
Given the inaccessibility of Pearl Harbor to civilians, I can't help wondering just who Ford Island Housing is planning to rent moorings to after it has angered and evicted its most likely customers.