What is The Waterlog Project?
The Canadian Sub-Aqua Club was formed in late 1956, a very long time ago in a galaxy fairly close to ours. We still have a few faces that have been in the club since the early 60's and I will confess, these original divers were hardcore. Coming from me, this is a REAL compliment. Shortly after the club was formed, they began publishing a newsletter ... a weekly newsletter. Yes ... WEEKLY. Wait, that's not all ... for a while there were actually TWO different weekly newsletters. I will confess, I don't understand why there was two newsletters and I am going to do some digging and see if I can get an answer to that questions but in the mean time, let me continue to explain about Waterlog.
Waterlog was the primary newsletter - yes, a weekly newsletter - that was written, typed out and often mailed to the membership. For you young people out there, let me explain what mail is. In the old days, before smart phones that could have run an early NASA mission were in each of our pockets, people communicated via the post. So to emphasis this again, Waterlog was a newletter about diving and club business that was produced weekly by the club, printed, folded up and stuffed into an envelope. Then someone would lick a stamp, address the envelope and mail that envelope out to each of the club members.... every week. To give this a little more context, remember the 50s and 60s? There were no computers. There were no word processors. There were typewriters.
Over the years, a vast collection of the issues of the Waterlog newsletter have been bequeathed to me ... thanks for that. The Canadian Sub-Aqua Club was started in 1956 and needless to say, there are a lot of newsletters to work through. I have been given an archive that starts in 1964 and goes through to 2005 ... so I have been spending some time removing staples (oh, how I currently loathe staples) slowly scanning each page, sorting, redacting and compiling these issues for their new home on the 'internets' for your viewing ... or reviewing pleasure. I think you will find that many things and opinions have changed over the years and there are quite a lot of interesting things to read.
The shear volume of work invovled in producing this newsletter, on a strictly volunteer basis is incredible. Over the years, the frequency of the Waterlog dropped off as editors became harder and harder to find, and honestly the editor is only one part of the newsletter. Club members need to contribute as well, and I think people just got too busy. I finally decided that if for nothing more than the enormity of the their combined efforts producing Waterlog it should be respected and preserved, so here we are.
There is general club business, discussion of the dive schedule, news, attempts at humour, articles, pictures and a wide variety of things in Waterlog including a lot of personal information about the members.
So what and why did I redact? Well, there are a few reasons. First, in this internet age, privacy is an import thing and who knows who may be reading these. I have redacted, or at least tried to redact all the personal information printed in the issues - with emphasis on the more recent rather than the content that 50 years old. Things like home addresses and personal phone numbers have been removed. I have also removed a few things which probably should not have been printed in a newsletter ... like bank account numbers ... seriously, I found bank account numbers in the newsletter .... I assure you however, that I did not redact anything of interest to anyone unless you are planning on creating a bus tour of the stars of CanSAC and were expecting to find the addresses of past executives. If this was your hope, well ... you are going to have to do that research on your own.
I hope that at least a few of you find these interesting and enjoy taking a walk into the past with some of our clubs history and you might even learn something.
I shudder to commit this to the page, but I will none the less ... If any of you out there find that I am missing some issues and you still have your copies, please get them to me and I will add them to the collection.
Thanks for your time and support, and enjoy ...
President and Training Director