Our History

Since 1947 Hempstead Bay has been able to effectively meet the needs of the boating community. We continue to offer quality education in our basic boating classes and advanced grades, as well as a full calendar of events.
Over the years, Hempstead Bay has been molded by the membership that she attracts, the Executive Committee that she elects, and the bridge that represents her. With that formula, hard work from our officers and members, and some luck, we will maintain the ability to exemplify what membership in USPS means.

A History of Hempstead Bay Power Squadron

As boating became increasingly more popular after World War II, and a need arose for the public to obtain more knowledge of piloting and boat handling, a group of South Shore Power Squadron members felt a local squadron in the vicinity of the Five Towns area and Debs Inlet was in order.

Plans were made and a meeting was held on 26 June 1947 at the Keystone Yacht Club. This meeting, the first for our squadron, was called to order by P/R/C Anthony A. Scimeca, who at that time was District Staff Captain, and through whom, by his untiring efforts, our Squadron’s keel was finally laid. 25 South Shore Power Squadron members attended the meeting and signed a petition for the new squadron charter. Also, at this meeting, our first officer, Commander Dan Bayliss, Lt. Arthur Fisher and Secretary Max Lebof were elected. The nucleus of our Squadron was formed.

Before our new ship was launched, however, it had to have a name. After lengthy discussion, it was unanimously decided to name her “HEMPSTEAD BAY POWER SQUADRON”.

By-laws were adopted and forwarded to National for inspection and approval. After corrections, our Charter was issued and signed by Chief Commander Charles F. Chapman on 08 September 1947. These were exciting times. On that day bread cost 13 cents, a gallon of gasoline was 23 cents, and a new Ford cost $1,300. A Dinner Dance at Koenig’s would have cost $6 a person.

Now that our ship was launched, we had to take her to sea. As in the case of all new craft, she had to have trial runs and a shakedown to determine how good a ship she was. Division Officers and crew were assigned to their first tasks in aiding her Bridge through the first year.

Monroe Apfelbaum served as Commander during 1954-1955 when our publication “Newsbuoy” was launched.
On 01 May 1955, George Marstaller submitted the prize winning design for our Squadron Burgee. District 3 and National gave approval for the official Hempstead Bay Power Squadron Red and Blue and the Life-Ring symbolizing “Safety at Sea”.

Ann Wellander became Hempstead Bay’s first woman Commander, serving in 1988-1989 and 1989-1990.
In 1989, Hempstead Bay deeded the “Robert R. Rachoi, N Memorial Award” to District 3 in memory of Bob. The award is based on participation in the Operations Training program.

During the years, Hempstead Bay has established awards for her members. These include the Eugene A. Sweet Memorial Award, P/C Arthur G. Miller, N Memorial Award, P/C Patrick J. Farrell, AP Memorial Award, P/Lt/C Eileen C. Rachoi, P Memorial Award, Squadron Education Award, and the Buoy Award.

Hempstead Bay continues to prosper, and under the leadership of the current bridge and committee chairpersons, will continue to set higher and higher standards in education, social life and community service.

Special thanks to the 50th Anniversary Committee for compiling our history as used here. -ca