I will also mention Len Hoops who is deceased. He was commodore in 1972 when the club had its first commissioning at Mystic Seaport, due to the efforts of Tom Russell & Ralph Lathrop. With his booming voice & keen sense of humor, he was commodore, Chaplin & was on many race committees. I mention Len Hoops because other honorary members said he was a great commodore and had an influence on them. He was a commodore who got people into their boats and onto the water.
Pat Papineau was commodore in 1966. He was the first recipient of the Hunter Corinthian trophy and is proud of that accomplishment. Pat is an avid racer like Len Hoops and is in his 50th year of Off Soundings. I met Pat over 20 years ago on the Columbus Day Connecticut River Cruise. He has provided me with a wealth of information regarding historical events.
Ken O’Dell was commodore in 1967. When I met him in the late 80’s & early 90’s he was sailing a Non-Such. Ken talks about setting up the Baldwin Labor Day Invitational Race and forgetting to invite the power boats. He also got Baldwin into ECYRA in 1968. The “oldest” Ski Patroller in Jackson Hole, who sails his new Nike in the Bahamas & Maine in summer, says he would rather be a nobody & 40 years younger.
Neal O’Connell is one of the people I have called when I wanted information, history or advice. He is very patient. Neal won the Family Trophy twice. He served the club not only as commodore but treasurer and has been on the Board of Governors several times. Neal always gives credit to Alice and said she was responsible for the success of many parties.
Neal brought in Dick Magovern and a host of other people from the Mystic area. Dick was commodore in 1979. Dick was also awarded the Family Trophy twice. Like the other honorary members, Dick enjoyed the camaraderie & yachting expertise of Baldwin. He said it was a great place to bring his family. He stressed that when he was commodore, it was easier to run things & recruit volunteers. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. On several Baldwin cruises, Dick & Doris opened their house to Baldwin members & made Westport a memorable stop. Dick moved the Winter Rendezvous from Woodstock to Sugarbush. Although there were blizzard conditions, 125 of the 140 who made reservations showed up. These Baldwin skiers were racers and they did not let weather change their plans.
Ron Walker who was commodore in 1981 is another person I often turned to for information. He is proud that he was the 1st recipient of the Baldwin Family Trophy. Ron was commodore when the club was having growing pains. It was harder to run events. With 30-40 boats arriving at a sight, cruising was difficult. He resolved it. It was Joyce’s grandmother’s sourdough that was used for years in the pancake breakfasts. Ron is a great source of information but he has joined “Baldwin South” in Florida. Until now he had only missed one commissioning.
Paul D’Arcy, who was commodore in 1992, joined Baldwin because it was “a great group of people and there are diehard sailors”. At 91, owning his 2nd company, Paul is happy to be able to go to work, even if he is in a wheelchair. This 2-time winner of the Bermuda Race is now restricted to power, last year he did his cruising in the islands by helicopter. Paul changed the office of secretary to secretary and events secretary, as at that time the secretary was inundated with work.
We are sorry to lose Ed Smith as Chaplin but poor health prevented it this year. Ed has been in the club 32 years. In the 90’s he led the club on 4 cruises – each memorable. There are several places on the Cape I would not have traveled if Ed did not lead the way. When Len Hoops could no longer attend the commissioning ceremonies, Ed jumped in as Chaplin and gave some moving invocations.
These men are dedicated boaters enjoying the comradeship of others saying Baldwin was a great place to bring up their families. As Arlene Blau said, in (62) years “the things that really count do not change much”.