A large steel colored Schooner with a lavender drape reading TYC Commissioning at its base was the centerpiece of the buffet table at the entrance of the second floor of the clubhouse. Filled with bowls of freshly cut fruit and plates of cheeses, dips on the side, the table beckoned the nearly hundred club members who attended the first function of the new season. Large vases of cut flowers from the garden of Pat Collins decorated that and several other tables throughout the room.
Each of the guests was greeted by Tova Ibbotson, the TYC head steward and Clare Laroced, a Bishop Stang student, who is the new steward for this year. They wrote out name tags and pinned rose corsages onto the TYC directors' blazers. The other returning stewards are Natalie Boivin and Hope Sherman.
Dressed in blue blazers, khakis and nautical themed ties, the board of directors stood behind Commodore Phyllis Ibbotson as she opened the meeting shortly before seven pm. Members and guests, likewise dressed either sat on white folding chairs or milled near the serving bar toward the rear of the room.
In her remarks, Phyllis thanked the members for a good year last summer and invited all present and all members to continue to become involved in the many social and sailing activities planned for the summer. She introduced the eight new members who were here tonight including Peter McNally(and his wife), the brother of Brendan, the TYC treasurer, and Jennifer Hilton, the daughter of Jim (Nancy) Hilton, the Marina Chair. A moment of silence was observed for the TYC members who died during the year. They include: Ken Langley, Ruth Baker, Paula Doherty, Deborah Sanford, Bob Allcock - Past Commodore and Marjorie Humphrey.
Four new Honorary Members were announced: Polly Ney, Richard Toolin, Lani Goff and Peter Corr.
Phyllis introduced guests from other yacht clubs, the Vice Commodores of the Newport and Bristol yacht clubs.
Dr. Ralph Padilla did Colors, firing the cannon from the second floor deck, and Dr. Tim Flanagan, A Deacon from St. Christopher's, gave the Blessing.
The Commissioning of the TYC has now been completed for the 2018 summer season and all activities can now officially begin.
Although the weather forced all activities inside the clubhouse, it did not dampen the spirits of the guests. It was the night to renew friendships that, unfortunately, becomes separated by our long winters. Conversations between well-dressed guests often became spirited as members told each other their winter journeys.
Tom and Leslie Ryan spend five months on their boat in Florida and returned last week to live on their second boat moored at Brewers. John Brady went to Ireland with his family for St. Patrick's Day. Frank Mruk worked in Miami while Sue Kramers visited Iceland last Autumn.
“We just came back from Paris this month,” Sue Kramers continued. “ Talk to my husband, Dirk. He’s really been busy. He has just designed an all-electric boat that is fueled by solar panels. It looks like a Catamaran but has a red hull. It’s been cruising up and down the bay. You might see it soon.”
I didn’t see Dirk but did managed to talk to Mike Mills. He was announcing on his megaphone the date of the Sail Training Breakfast which is June 10 at the club. He was wearing a spiffy tie that featured dozens of small boats, the size of a sunfish, with multiple colored sails. I pointed to my pink tie with dozens of small blue anchors.
“Bet I have an anchor for each of your boats,” I smiled as I walked toward the deck where many members were now standing.
Joanne Reuther spoke to me about her son, Owen who is a Sail Instructor here. He finished his first year at URI and has spent the last month as a volunteer at the Volvo Race Events in Newport. He is majoring in Ocean Engineering.
A new venture that generated a lot of buzz tonight was the start of a TYC Book Club. Pat Collins is enthusiastically invited members to join. Details are here on the website calendar. Better, still, please contact Pat at email@example.com today.
Guests continued to mingle inside and on the deck as the intermittent rain let up after sunset. Conversations about the summer activities centered on the Sail Training program that has a full capacity enrollment of just under a hundred youngsters.
The first Cocktail Party of the season will be the Memorial Day Cocktail Party on Saturday, May 26. It will be hosted by Polly Ney who has served in this capacity for many years.
Three weeks later, the Pizza Challenge will be held on Friday, June 22. That's when the pool will be officially opened for the summer. The first Thursday Night Social is Thursday, June 28, Mexican Night at the TYC.
Committee chairs would welcome your help in this summers' events. Charlie Page and I could always need assistance with our pool and golf games every Thursday night as well as chaperones for the Junior Dance on July 13.
Please keep these opening dates in mind as we begin another busy summer season at the TYC. Thank you for your past support and look forward to seeing you soon.