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The rest followed quickly: the foundations, the skeleton structure, and the nipa roof. Then a typhoon came and blew the roof away, so they started again. An affiliation with the American Legion got them furniture from the recently closed Clark Air Base. Bonnie Sison donated more furniture after his club in Angeles City, The Captain's Table , was destroyed by volcanic ash from Mount Pinatubo.

The opening ceremony coincided with Bonnie Sison's birthday, just before Christmas 1991, almost one year after first commencing work.

Wally straightens up. "And that is the story of the Saigon Queen."

Bob Jackson comes over. He is an ex-boxer with a muscular, aggressive build. He sits down and orders a hamburger. "We've come a long way," he says.

Today the San Fabian Yacht Club has a kitchen, an office, and a library. It has its own flagpole and pennant, and even has its own generator. The staff, all recruited locally, are eager and friendly. The beer is cold and the food is good, and while waiting (the menu says to allow 20 minutes) you can watch fishermen cast their nets against a backdrop of Mount Santo Tomas to the north east.

Mount Santo Tomas rises 7,400 feet and most club members live within its shadow. Most are Filipinos, but many are expatriates. "Folk like San Fabian," says Bob. "It's a friendly place, and, well . . . you couldn't dynamite 'em out of here."
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