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On The Bay: March 22, 2013

On a bitterly cold Sunday in late January, the Port Washington Yacht Club held its annual meeting, which included the installation of new officers. While this annual event at all yacht clubs is important for the future of each club, the one this past January at PWYC was significant. With a vote of total confidence, the members of the PWYC elected their first woman Commodore, Theresa Capoziello. She is the 50th Commodore of the club. The first Commodore was H.B. Rankin.

The PWYC has a long history in our area. The very first members numbered 16 businessmen who started the organization and called it The Cow Bay Skiff Club. The first real meeting, at which nineteen charter members were present, took place on April 26, 1905. At that time it was arranged to rent an old shack as a clubhouse located on the waterfront at what is now the north end of Bayview Colony. It is interesting to note that “the by-laws provided for no spirituous or malt liquors being sold by or for the club.” (PWYC website) The original Constitution of the club, 1905, stated, “The object of this Club shall be the encouragement and promotion of yachting and other recreational and social activities by its members and their families. “ In 1908, the club moved its headquarters to the present location at the end of Yacht Club Drive and had a permanent home for the next 40 years. In 1910, the club’s name changed to the Port Washington Yacht Club and President and Vice President titles changed to Commodore and Vice Commodore. In the late 40s, a Land Company was formed and stock was sold to club members. And on Dec. 22, 1951, the Land Company purchased the property, which is their present location.

PWYC Past Commodore Dr. Michael L. Fried, who appointed Theresa to expand, develop and run the junior activity program at the club, had this to say about the in-coming commodore, “Theresa took on the responsibility for all the junior activities. Over the next years, under Theresa’s able hands, the programs at the club continue to grow every year…. Hardly a day went by that Theresa was not at the club. This devotion to PWYC has continued through the years.”