Pat Collins arranged a bouquet of spring flowers and placed them on the buffet table. Earlier in the day she had cut them from her garden. Pat was the Host for the Commissioning of the TYC today and wanted the room to look festive for the members and visiting Commodores of neighboring Yacht Club Commodores.
Diane Kraft and Karen Corr brought plates of nibble foods to the table including trays of freshly cut fruits, cheeses and vegetables. A dish of Sushi sat next to a platter of Chinese Spring Rolls.
"Where's Hope?" I said to Natalie, the steward who handed a rose boutonniere to Claire who pinned it on my blue blazer.
"She's in London," Claire replied. "She'll be back to work here next month."
As I entered the second-floor function room, I saw nearly a hundred guests standing near the buffet table or the beverage bar. The officers and directors were all attired in blue blazers and khaki pants. Each blazer also sported a red rose. The ladies were all attired in light colored spring dresses. The smiles on all their faces reflected the festive mood of the first gathering of members since last autumn.
For the next hour most of the guests mingled in groups on the porch as the weather was simply perfect for last Saturday's talk event.
At six o'clock Commodore Phyllis Ibbotson began the formal Commissioning outside at the main walkway. Directors and guests were lined up in front of the north and south gardens facing the clubhouse where members stood on the deck and stairs.
Gregg Morash served as Master of Ceremonies. He introduced the guests and noted the deceased members who had died during the year. Teresa O'Connor rang a bell five times in memory.
Craig Rachupka, introduced the new members in attendance and also Father Shemek Lepak, the pastor of St. Christopher and St. Teresa's Churches who gave a very warm and meaningful invocation.
Commodore Phyllis Ibbotson gave an overview of the upcoming events for this active summer season. She invited all members to attend the weekly Thursday Night Pot Luck Suppers that have been so successful under the leadership of Lori Boivin, social chair. She introduced the Commodores of the Bristol, Newport and Rhode Island yacht clubs who were in attendance. After a grateful thanks to all who made this evening possible, she motioned to Ralph Padilla who fired off the Canon.
And the formal Commissioning was now ended.
During the next two hours guests continue to enjoy the ambience of the club as they shared stories of their winter adventures or hopes for this summer.
Tova Ibbotson, the head steward, told me about her first year at Brown University, Natalie was excited about becoming a senior in high school and Claire talked about her pursuing an engineering degree at URI beginning in the fall. Callie Moran was introduced as the new steward who began her first day of work that day.
"Last fall Jim and I went to France," Teresa Ryan began. "We took a cruise on the Seine, enjoyed Paris and was really touched when we visited Normandie. It was so emotional to see the battlefield and the graves of all our young men who died in World War II.
"In September we are going to spend 13 days in Russia."
"I'm sure you will also be enjoying that adventure," I smiled. "In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you both here this summer with your grandchildren."
When asked about his winter Marc Pffeifer replied that he didn't have to travel far as paradise lies within this area. He did note that the Coast Guard has provided the TYC with reflective stickers for paddleboards and kayaks as well as ID tags for boats. They will be available from the stewards as well as a safety book for all boaters.
It was good to see Amy and Rob Cooper at the party tonight. Amy had been membership chair for many years as well as being my able assistant for the Log Book and my summer stories.
"Our son, Cam, will be spending two weeks in Kenya next month," Amy began. "He and others from Moses Brown where he is a junior, will spend a service week in a community and then have a vacation week. He hopes to do white water rafting on the Nile river."
"And our son Kyle is a junior at URI where he is a creative writing major. He received the highest award for his poetry and is interested in writing dramatic plays."
"What great potential," I replied. "We wish both of them only the best. Tell Cam to send pictures of the Nile."
It was close to eight o'clock on this unseasonable warm spring evening. Guests were lingering on the deck where they were now ready to enjoy a magnificent sunset. The western sky began to shed the gold colors of the setting sun and change quickly into shades of pink and burgundies with streaks of bright reds coming forth from behind stratus clouds.
It was the ending of the Commissioning day but the beginning of the TYC events which will take place throughout the summer and fall months.
Next Saturday evening the annual Memorial Day Cocktail Party for adult members will take place at 6 pm. Polly Ney will host this event which brings together may members to celebrate the first summer holiday. Please check your email for particulars.
The first family function will be the Pizza Challenge which will take place on Friday, June 21. This is a fun event where cooking creativity is showcased, enjoyed by all and, maybe, win a prize if you are selected for the best pizza in your class. The pool will be open.
Pool games, however, will begin on Thursday, June 27, the day of the first Pot Luck Supper. The theme is Mexican and should be exciting. The Log Book will be published and available at that time.
Please continue to check our web site and emails for upcoming events.
See you soon!