The Annapolis Power Squadron recently celebrated its 50th anniversary at its Founder's Day ball in the Calvert Room of the Annapolis Holiday Inn.
The squadron's actual founding was in April 1941, when a few local boaters came together to form a chapter of the U.S. Power Squadrons.
When the Annapolis Power Squadron was chartered, the national group was already 27 years old, having been formally established at the New York Yacht Club on Feb. 2, 1914.
It was conceived in 1911 by Roger Upton of the Boston Yacht Club.
The USPS was formed to promote boating through safety and increasing camaraderie among the boatingpublic.
The Annapolis Power Squadron has promoted boating safety in its Safe Boating courses, which introduce new and experienced boaters to the rudiments of boat handling in all kinds of weather, elementary charting, safety precautions, the use of a compass and the rulesof the road, including the different types and means of navigation.
The APS offers the courses in October and January. This year's January course began Jan. 30 in the Annapolis Middle School cafeteria.
In addition to promoting public boating education, the squadron promotes the further education of its members. Courses cover seamanship,piloting and celestial navigation, as well as technical courses on boat maintenance, electronics, weather and sailing.
The aim of the national organization is to make each member as knowledgeable and capable a boater as possible, under the theory that an educated boater is asafer boater who enjoys boating even more.
In addition to education, the Annapolis squadron promotes safer boating in cooperation withthe U.S. Coast Guard and its auxiliary and state and local public agencies.
The APS organizes several activities for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' annual Spring Safe Boating celebration, which this year takes place in May at Sandy Point State Park.
Since 1963, the local and other squadrons have carried on cooperative charting activities with the Coast Guard and the National Ocean Service.
APS members carefully note the status and location of various navigational aids as they travel in the bay and its tributaries. When members find discrepancies in the aids, they provide information so that repairs can be made and National Ocean Survey and Coast Guard publications can be updated.
In the cooperative charting year ending last September, four Annapolis members provided useful information to the NOS and the Guard.
Jerry Manning, for example, will help update the "Coast Pilot" publication and charts of the Severn River.
The Annapolis group meets the first Thursday of the month for both social and educational activities at the Annapolis Naval Sta
tion's Clipper Club. The social activities are wide and varied.
Three regular parties are scheduled -- Founder's Day in February, Change of Watch in March and the Christmas party in December.
During the boating season at least two, and usually more, rendezvous are conducted. Last summer the APS "fleet" gathered on the West River in May and in Shaw Bay on the Wye River in September. Other social activities include the annual fall oyster roast and a summer barbecue.
The national organization has more than 65,000 members and 450 squadrons in 12 districts in the United States.
The Annapolis squadron is in District 5, which encompasses Maryland, Delaware, Washington, Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
District 5 meets on water and on land. The next district activity will be the winter council meeting in College Park. At that time APS members and officers will meet with their counterparts to trade ideas for the year's upcoming activities.
In spring 1992, Joe Jacobs, Annapolis' squad commander in 1979, willbecome the District 5 commander.
The APS will have its Change of Watch on March 9, when the officers for 1991-1992 will be installed.
Squadron Commander Karrol R. Hudson will step down after two terms. The new commander, to be elected at the regular March meeting, willbecome the 40th person to hold the position.