Lake Murray Power Squadron
Welcomes New Leadership
Janice Ayers opened her farewell remarks at the 3 November 2017 Change of Watch
by noting, "The watch year of your third vertically challenged female commander
has come back to the dock to exchange leaders. I told you at Change of Watch
last year that 'anchors aweigh' means that the anchors are clear of the bottom
and therefore the boat can be underway. We’ve been free and clear for a year to
experience the cruise or as David Allen says the next trip around the sun. And
did we ever make it happen through no breezes, howling winds, calm seas and
stormy seas but always found a safe haven in the company of friends."
Prior to D/Lt/C Jim Wilkins
swearing in Lake Murray's new commander and his bridge officers, now Past
Commander Ayers recalled the many activities that the squadron experienced
squadron's new community outreach for the year was helping the Lexington
Interfaith Community Services. The squadron promoted itself and the benefits of
membership at Columbia's annual
Boat Show and the Chapin Farmer’s Market. Members taught two boating
safety classes to the public this year, along with a boating safety class for
Ladies Day on the Lake at the request of the Lake Murray Association.
addition, the squadron hosted various events every month of the year for its
membership. Highlights included the squadron's infamous Mardi Gras
celebration in February and an oyster roast featuring 480 pounds of oysters and
80 pounds of shrimp during March. April featured the annual Shake 'N Break
cruise with Nautical Yard Sale and a Member Appreciation Luncheon with boat
trailer maintenance demonstration, fire extinguisher usage education, numerous
VSC’s and a very meaningful Blessing of the Fleet. A Wine & Dine event was added
this year and its success will likely make it an annual affair. July
featured a Pig Pickin’ -- just like old times -- and Oktoberfest saw some good
German food and craft beer. Regular dinner meetings were highlighted by
speakers such as Officer
Rhett Bickley, a recovery diver with S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and a
fantastic program by the LMPS Sea Scouts about their sailing adventure to Cuba.
One of the
highlights of 2017 was the visit from the Atlanta Sail & Power Squadron, she
said, noting that based on the thank you notes received, "we rocked hosting them
for the Eclipse Weekend." Precious thank you cards were received by the
squadron for hosting its annual Thornwell Children’s Day in July, while the Dam
Swim for Drew was another wonderful community outreach by the squadron.
And, still that was not all.
"Cruises from Beaufort,
N.C., to the Shrimp Festival in Beaufort, S.C., and tall ships in Charleston to
wooden boats in Georgetown, we kept the waters stirred up with activity along
with reference light checks and several small boat cruises. Social times were
alive and well during several Flotilla Fridays and our two annual Log Jams at No
Name Cove on Lake Murray," P/C Ayers recalled.
capped it year by becoming America’s Boating Club, P/C Ayers cited Lake Murray's
biggest accomplishment of the year as the fundraising for and actual
installation of a new launch ramp at Flotilla Island.
conclusion she said, "We captured every angle of the USPS triangle which are
education, fraternal and civic service. What a year! I told you 'A ship is always
safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.' We fired up the
blowers, left the shore and got things done. Some members were on board the
whole year. Some fell overboard. Some broke down and had to be towed back.
But, all in all, we made some accomplishment that I’m deeply proud of and
appreciate the support and guidance I’ve received this year. Please give R.J.
all that you have to make his year a success."
As P/C Ayers thanked everyone
for the opportunity to be at the helm of LMPS this past watch year, giving
special thanks to her husband Lee Ayers.
D/Lt/C Jim Wilkins, AP was on
hand to welcome Lake Murray's new bridge onboard and to give the oath of office.
Before beginning the formalities, he noted his appreciation at being invited and
congratulated the squadron on its turnout for the Change of Watch, stating it
was the largest squadron in District 26 and D/26 looked forward to Lake Murray
hosting its spring conference.
He said he wanted to create
the kind of joint activities within District 26 that Lake Murray had
successfully accomplished this past year with the Atlanta Sail and Power
Squadron, announcing that P/C Bert Baxter of Lake Hartwell had agreed to take on
this challenge as the D/26 Boating Activities Chairman. Many Lake Murray members
will recall that Bert's father, Bill Baxter, was a past commander of Lake Murray
and past district commander of District 26. Bert's mother, Liz Baxter, remains a
member of Lake Murray.
With his wife Debbie at his
side, R.J. Becht was sworn in as commander of Lake Murray Power Squadron, with
66 members and guests in attendance.
He encouraged everyone to
reflect on the moments that had brought them to Lake Murray Power Squadron, to
think of the wonderful moments they've experienced as members of Lake Murray and
look forward to creating new moments to share with new boating friends. He
challenged Lake Murray to continue its growth by having each member bring in a
new member and show them what LMPS is about. He then called to order the
first meeting of his executive committee to appoint Christine Royson to fill the
vacant position of secretary.
Cdr Becht concluded his
remarks by presenting P/C Ayers a plaque thanking her for her service to Lake
Murray. He announced the dedication of the new launch ramp at Flotilla would be
held on Saturday 4 November and invited everyone to remain for a champagne
toast. Click on the first thumbnail below for a slideshow of our
celebration of the watch year concluded and the new one that has begun!