Tuna Club Clubhouse celebrates centennial

On Saturday evening, members of Avalon’s Tuna Club gathered with friends to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the completion of their Clubhouse.  The Club, established in 1898 by Naturalist and Author, Charles Frederick Holder, is considered the birthplace of big-game sport fishing.

On Saturday evening, members of Avalon’s Tuna Club gathered with friends to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the completion of their Clubhouse.  The Club, established in 1898 by Naturalist and Author, Charles Frederick Holder, is considered the birthplace of big-game sport fishing.

The original building, which sat on the same foundation as the current Clubhouse, was lost during the Avalon fire of 1915.  Amazingly, the new building was completed in one year, opening in 1916.  Guests at Saturday’s gathering were heard marveling at the excellent condition of the building, especially considering its age, proximity to the open ocean and many storms it had weathered.

Club Manager John Talsky is credited with keeping this building, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1991, in pristine condition.

Past president and Tuna Club historian Michael Farrior, presented the history of big-game fishing and The Tuna Club’s very prominent place in that history.

He explained that The Club had established revolutionary big-game fishing standards and practices that are still in use today such as the concept of using light fishing line and rods only, to not only level the playing field among rival fishermen but to create a sportsmanlike atmosphere intended to prevent the over-fishing of pelagic giants such as tuna and marlin.

In honor of the historic event, club member and former Avalon Mayor Ralph Morrow, presented donation checks on behalf of The Tuna Club to The Lion’s Club of Avalon, The Avalon Rotary Club, The Catalina Island Medical Center and Avalon schools.

A new American Flag was raised on the Club’s flagpole alongside a white flag bearing the black silhouette of a tuna, announcing a member’s catch that day.   Farrior predicted that it was a good omen for the beginning of the Club’s 127th fishing season.

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