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Bay Terrace club marks off 50 years

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For 50 years, members of the Bay Terrace Country Club have spent their summers relaxing by the pool, overlooking the sailboats as they drift lazily in and out of Little Neck Bay propelled by cool summer breezes.

The club, which celebrates the anniversary with a golden jubilee this summer, began a major renovation in 2009 and new amenities include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, kiddie pool and playground. Earlier this year, the club was recognized by the Queens Chamber of Commerce with the Rehabilitation of Existing Structures Award.

“It’s one of Bayside’s best-kept secrets,” Vice President Lauren Lent said of the cooperatively owned, private swim club tucked away on three green acres at 217-14 24th Ave.

Lent said the club was chartered for 400 families in 1960 and opened the following year.

“We take pride in being family-oriented,” she said.

Cheryl Kahn and her husband, Arnold, are one of the original charter member families. Kahn said the area looked and felt much different back then.

“The majority of people lived in garden apartments. It was really like a small town — you seemed to know everybody,” she said.

The Kahns got on a long waiting list to join even before the pool was built and were called the winter before it opened and told they had been accepted.

“It overlooks the bay. It’s quite beautiful sitting on the deck — looking toward the bay is breathtaki­ng,” she said. “It’s like being in the country with an enormous pool.”

The club features a café and throughout the summer the schedule of events includes movie nights, live music and a carnival.

“We had two children and subsequently had two more. Our children grew up at the pool club,” Kahn said. Her family’s summer memories at the club include swim lessons, card games and sleep overs — all situated in a mini-oasis by the bay.

Kahn said her 51-year-old son Harlan still enjoys playing chess when he visits the club.

“We made very good friends there. Some still remain. Some have retired and moved to Florida,” she said.

The country club will be accepting applications for membership throughout the swim season, and Kahn said the new members bring to the club a feeling of rejuvenation.

“The new people joining are very young with young children. It’s like starting new again,” she said.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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