On November 2, 1969 the club began to take form as a division of
#72 Sea League of America, Inc., chartered February 28, 1970.
The first elected officers were:
President – Henry Luber,
Vice President – Albert Lada,
Treasurer – Marek Sokolowski,
Secretary – Danuta Bijowska.
The first founding members were: Isidore Ryzak, Marek Jozefowicz, Leszek Krajewski, Dorota Jezierska, Waldemar Flanczewski,
Andrzej Bijowski, Tadeusz Pacyniak, Stanislaw Kostecki, Anna Chlebowska, Kazimierz Wytaniec, Wojciech Lada, Hanna Jezierska, Karolina Ryzak, Ireneusz Geblewicz, and Zbigniew Kubit.
The club selected its name at this meeting: the Joseph Conrad Yacht Club,
named after the famous author and sailor, Jozef Konrad Korzeniowski.
The club met originally at private houses, then at the University of Illinois at Chicago where most members were students. At that time professor Donald Lamke and professor Renata Hostynska took part in clubs activities.
After most members graduated from U of I meetings were moved to Aragon Arms Hotel owned by Isidore Ryzak, „Patria” Restaurant owned by Mrs. Ciurla, Naval Armory at Monroe Street Harbor and and later, House of Polish Scouts Dom Harcerza.
On February 28, 1970, the club held its first ball, with the help of members of the Sea League of America (Liga Morska). Tickets were $3.00 per person, dinner included. We participated for the first time in the Polish Constitution Day Parade (a long-standing tradition among Chicago’s Polonia) on May 3, 1970 with a 22 ft. Star sailboat donated to the club by Isidore Ryzak. On November 1, 1970, at the annual meeting new officers were elected and Henry Luber was elected Commodore, Isidore Ryzak was elected Vice Commodore, Janusz Glinski Treasuer, and Danuta Bijowski secretary.
In the first years of our club, most of our members, many from the University of Illinois, took part in social sailing events on Luber and partner’s 19 ft. Kormoran, the 39-ft. Eel, and later on 48-ft. Fraja , and on Isidore Ryzak’s 25-ft. Aeolous, 34-ft. Karolinka and 43-ft. Vela.
In 1971 Members decided to separate Joseph Conrad Yacht Club from the Sea Scouts of America, while retaining ties with it. The club selected a committee to write the by-laws and take the necessary steps to obtain a charter as an independent non-profit organization, officially known under the legal name of Joseph Conrad Yacht Club, Inc.
On February 18, 1971 they went to attorney Chester Rawski and Isidore Ryzak, Albert Nowosielski, and Mark Sokolowski signed the Articles of Incorporation. On February 24, 1971 our club obtained the Incorporation Certificate under No. 13982, signed by Secretary of State John W. Lewis.