Last month, during the open of boating season, the community came out in force for the annual breakfast and to celebrate Geoffrey Baillie, the late president of the Longbranch Improvement Club, with the unveiling of a monument in his honor. Photo by Frank Slater, KP News

A special memorial, tasty breakfast and “perfect” sailing weather brought out a crowd for the opening of boating season and the annual dock breakfast at Longbranch Improvement Club marina in early May.

More than 180 people enjoyed breakfast with friends and family.

Lynn Carr, dock master, introduced speakers for the brief memorial service for Geoffrey Baillie, late president of Longbranch Improvement Club (LIC).

Speakers included Kurt Anderson; Gayle Brewer; Lisa Bryan; Baillie’s widow, Lynn Larson; and Terry Lee, former Pierce County councilman.

Baillie faced the problem of having the marina closed during the summer of 2011 due to the county condemning the wharf because of a deteriorating structure. The marina generates 60 to 80 percent of funding used for LIC maintenance and programs.

The club had five months to put up a new wharf.

Baillie, as president, faced obtaining permits from an array of agencies that were expected to take more than a year to complete.

He believed in the power of enduring community and often noted the community spirit of the Key Peninsula.

With “pit bull tenacity” and a small group of committed individuals, Baillie made it happen in time for the 2011 boating season.

Baillie’s death last December left a void in the community and LIC.

The club opted to rename the wharf in his honor.

A memorial plaque was unveiled that states: “This wharf is dedicated to the memory of Geoff Baillie, president of the Longbranch Improvement Club from July, 2009 until December, 2012. Geoff spearheaded the LIC effort to secure permitting, engineering, construction and financing for replacement of this wharf in 2010. His ingenuity, dedication and hard work made this wharf, and the success of the LIC marina, possible.”

Lynn Larson said Geoff was a modest man, but would have appreciated the gesture of the memorial plaque.

“He wanted to leave the world a better place,” she said.

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