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Change of Watch Ceremony Welcomes
New Leadership to Lake Murray Power Squadron

By P/C Debra Allen, AP

Lake Murray Power Squadron (LMPS) celebrated the conclusion of the old watch year and the beginning of the new on Friday 4 November at the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. On hand to help swear-in our new leadership was District 26 Educational Officer Jan Wright, SN-IN of the Tybee Light Sail and Power Squadron.

Acting on behalf of District Commander John Ozols, AP-IN, Jan recalled her early days of membership and how Past District Commanders Archie Trawick and Eric Pearson, both of whom are Past Commanders of LMPS, had such a positive impact on her desire to become more involved in the United States Power Squadrons. As Archie had focused on the “Power of One” during his command year, she said John wanted to take a new approach to that national slogan to help squadrons and the district grow membership.

This is a volunteer organization and if each one of us reaches one or teaches one, whether it’s another member, friend, colleague or stranger – this reaching and retaining will help the organization grow successfully, Jan said.

For Lake Murray 2016 was a year of rebuilding under Commander Jerry Wise, SN who passed the helm to Janice Ayers, AP and her new bridge for 2017. Jan said she was excited to swear-in Lake Murray’s third female commander and to mark the occasion she presented Janice with a regulation black uniform jacket with the appropriate insignia. Lake Murray Past Commanders Debra Allen, AP and Elaine Price, SN helped place on Janice’s shoulders the visual mantle of authority represented by the jacket.

Jan also swore in Lake Murray’s 2017 Bridge:  Executive Officer Jeff Langlois, P; Educational Officer John Edwards, JN; Administrative Officer Edie Godfrey, S; Secretary Mike Kirk, AP; Treasurer Angela Cooper-Robinson; Assistant Treasurer Cyndi Langlois; and Member-at-Large Fred Ruinen, JN. Members-at-Large R.J. Becht and Bonnie McElveen were unable to attend.

Cdr Janice thanked everyone for their vote of confidence in her leadership, noting with laughter that Lake Murray has its third vertically challenged female commander in its 53-year history. On a more serious note, she observed that the bridge members who had rallied to her aid for 2017 are an impressive group with a total of 97 years of LMPS history and experience. “The mentors I have in this group are stellar and I’m so proud to be a part of an impending wave of organizational triumphs,” she said, recognizing the challenges that faced Lake Murray Power Squadron during the past year.

Going through challenges is like the wake behind a boat,” Janice said. It starts out as a huge wave that follows close behind you and is big enough to swamp and drown you if you suddenly stop moving forward. But if you do keep moving, the big wake will eventually dissipate. That’s what almost happened to us and Jerry Wise exited his observatory, stocked up on orange slices, and stepped up to the helm of LMPS, calming the churning waters and forward motion continued accomplishing a lot of good stuff.  With your help, I want to continue that forward motion and make more good things happen.”  

Janice announced that one of her primary goals for 2017 is a fundraising project, RAMP IT UP, to prepare for replacement of the ramp at Flotilla Island when the lake is drawn down toward the end of next year. “Our ramp at our island home is in desperate need of repair to retain, acquire and better serve our membership.” She encouraged all members to step up and lend a hand to members of the 2017 Bridge, who have taken an oath to lead Lake Murray Power Squadron. “Help them help you. One year equals 365 opportunities to do something.”

In conclusion, Janice said that one of her favorite quotes was by Albert Einstein. She quoted: “A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is not what it is built for.” She continued, “This means get off the dock or out of your recliner and enjoy this one life we’ve been given.  So, ‘anchors aweigh.’  We’re free and clear now to experience the journey” as the LMPS ship is officially underway for a new watch year together.

The Change of Watch celebration concluded with dessert, champagne toasts, and live music by 2 For The Road Band. Check out the photos below by clicking on the first one to open a larger format in which you will see Jan awarding Jerry his Past Commander Plaque and Past Commander Flag. Also during the meeting, LMPS Safety Officer Howard Pendley, SN was presented his Certificate of Educational Achievement.

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Updated 22 March 2017
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