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Illinois boat club votes to accept female members

The Springfield (Ill.) Motor Boat Club now allows women to be members.

Members of the private Lake Springfield club last week approved bylaws changes granting women full membership rights, the State Journal-Register newspaper reported.

The vote reversed a prohibition against female members that had been in place since the club was formed in 1933, although wives of members were allowed to use club facilities.

““I am happy the membership overwhelmingly agreed with our recommendation to allow women into the general membership of the club,” club commodore Gene Hayes said in a statement. “New members with new ideas and varied backgrounds are key to the vitality of any organization, and I am confident this action will keep the Springfield Motor Boat Club successful for years to come.”

The club already has received applications from women to join, Hayes’ statement said.

Club members had been scheduled to vote on changing the rule in August, but postponed the vote because of procedural errors.

Days later, the city wrote the club to warn that a men-only policy may violate the terms of its lease. The club, like others around the lake, leases its property from City Water, Light and Power.

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