1954-1960 – The Early Years

Club News:

1954-1955: The Nipmuc Water Ski Club was established in the Winter of 1954 on the shores of Webster Lake. The ski club was organized by seven water ski enthusiasts – they were Gerry Bernier, Ray Blair, Gerald “Tate” Dion, George Hekowycz, Andy Hoenig, Gretchen Hoenig, and Roger Lavoie. In the winter of 1954 an opening meeting was held at Jesse White’s Marina. Two ski shows were held at Birch Island Pavilion and donations from these shows, totaling $132.00, were used to build the club’s first jump. Andy Hoeing was made chairman of the Jump Building Committee.

First President: Gerry Bernier
Vice President: Hank Bernier
Secretary: Joyce Bayer
Treasurer: Ed McGeary

Total Membership: 32
Dues: $5

1955-1956: Several water ski shows were held during the season and were enthusiastically received by hundreds of spectators from all over. With the help of donations the ski club was able to purchase equipment. Members gathered twice a month on Tuesdays at Snug Harbor. The season ended with a banquet for members and guests at Snug Harbor.

President: Ray Blair
Vice President: George Hekowycz
Secretary: Priscilla Teslof
Treasurer: Gerry Bernier

Total Membership: 40
Dues: $5, $8 for new members.

1956-1957: With increased membership and legal responsibilities, the club was incorporated. During the past three years the club had progressed greatly and had been the greatest single factor in promoting and exhibiting the sport of water skiing in the Southern Worcester County area.
Several ski shows were held at various public and private areas and all were a huge success. Social events for members during the season and a year end banquet at Snug Harbor concluded a busy year.

President: George Hekowycz
Vice President: Roger Lavoie
Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig
Treasurer: Andy Hoenig

Total Membership: 40
Dues: $5, $8 for new members

1957-1958: Dave Lapierre and Yvette Raciot were the first Junior Directors instituted. In addition to regular ski shows, several younger members entered the Mass. Open Water Ski tournament at Lake Lashaway.
Jim Barker finished 5th in Boy’s Slalom and Howie Tryba 3rd in Boy’s Jumping.
On July 20th, 1958 the club hosted its first tournament – The Bay State Open at Memorial Beach with an estimated 5,000 spectators. Irv Piehler placed 2nd in Boy’s Jumping.
Dick Seraphin, Irv Piehler, Howie Tryba, Jim Barker, Dave Lapierre, Paul Vajcovec, Jim Kindler, and alan Roy slalom skied the 21 miles from Norwalk, Connecticut to Easton Neck, Long Island to win membership in the “Long Island and Back Club”.
At the Burch Island annual show, Alan Roy was the first member to perform the amazing stunt of water-skiing barefoot The annual banquet was held at the Colonial Club with Laval Leboeuf receiving Honorary Life Membership.

President: Roger Lavoie
Vice President: Gerry Dion
Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig
Treasurer: Andy Hoenig

Total Membership: 51
Dues: $7, $10 for new members

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1958-1959: During this season, the first out-of-town ski show was held at Cedar Lake in Sturbridge; all proceeds were donated to the Jimmy Fund. The season continued with outstanding shows at Birch Island and Snug Harbor.
The club hosted its second area tournament, the successful Mass. Open.
Club members competed in tournaments at Lake Placid, Fort Meadow Lake and Greenwood Lake where Irv Piehler was the first club member to win first place in an AWSA sanctioned tournament and held the Eastern Boy’s Jumping Record at 84 feet.

President: Roger Lavoie
Vice President: Gerry Dion
Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig
Treasurer: Andy Hoenig

Total Membership: 75
Dues: $7, $10 for new members

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1959-1960: The skiing season opened with show practice, tournament practice and general skiing. The first Eastern Regional Tournament was held at Memorial Beach under the direction of Andy Hornig. The winners in the mixed doubles event were club members Dave Lapierre and Ursie Bonczek. Following the tournament the club unanimously voted to pay their expenses to the 1960 Nationals in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

One of the highlights of the First Eastern Regional tournament was Gerry Seraphin demonstrating his one-foot barefoot and receiving a standing ovation. This was the first time anyone had accomplished this in the Eastern Region.

President: Andy Hoenig
Vice President: Ron Cardin
Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig
Treasurer: Roger Lavoie

Total Membership: 100+
Dues: $7, $10 for new members

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1960-1969 – Nationals Come to Webster!

Club News:

1960-1961: This season was devoted almost entirely to developing new talent amongst the club members. Competition practice occurred during morning hours while instruction for new members and show practice was an evening affair.

Ski Shows were booked in Framingham, Ashland, Indian Ranch, and the Annual Jimmy fund show at Snug Harbor. A portable jump for road shows was built for $225.00. Many members participated in tournaments in the Eastern Region and added many trophies to the club’s rapidly growing collection

The club now has 105 active skiers!!

President: Gerry Dion
Vice President: Ron Cardin
Secretary: Yvette Dwyer
Treasurer: Roger Lavoie
Ast. Treasurer: Steve Keenan

Total Membership: 135
Dues: $7, $10 for new members.

1961-1962: The club’s bid for the 1962 Eastern’s was sanctioned by the AWSA. A tournament committee was organized to run the tournament without conflicting with normal club activities. This Committee consisted of:
General Chairman: Andy Hoenig
Ass ‘t Chairman: Gerry Dion
Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig
Treasurer: Roger Lavoie

The 1962 Eastern’s was a great success with many club members comparing and bringing home trophies. Jackie Lynch qualified to go to the Nationals in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Howie Tryba jumped 107 feet to qualify for the Century Club. The club treasury realized a $1,000 profit. Six shows were enthusiastically received in Holliston, Glen Echo Ski Club in Charlton, The Jimmy Fund show at Snug Harbor, the Singletary Rod & Gun Show, and two shows at Indian Ranch. If all of this isn’t enough, a trip to Ocean Beach was enjoyed by members on August 20.

Glen Echo Ski Club and Menard Glass donated a glass-enclosed bulletin board to the Nipmuc Ski Club as a token of their appreciation for our club.

President: Ron Cardin
Vice President: Walt Downarowicz
Secretary: Yvette Dwyer
Ast. Secretary: Ursie Bonczek
.Treasurer: Dick Seraphin

Total Membership: 145
Dues: $7, $10 for new members.

1962-1963: Shows were held at Indian Ranch on August 10th and August 24th. The Jimmy Fund Show as Snug Harbor on August 25th and the Singletary Show on September 9th. No tournaments were hosted by the Nipmuckers this year buy many skiers practiced and competed in many other tournaments throughout the Eastern Region. Seven skiers brought back trophies from the Eastern’s in Bridgeport, Maine and eight skiers were awarded the overall team trophy in Elkton, Maryland.

Ron Cardin, representing the club and Bob Harris, representing the Chamber of Commerce went to Long Beach, California to bid the Nationals in Webster before the AWSA tournament committee.

President: Dick Seraphin
Vice President: Wally Downarowicz
Secretary: Betty Conrad
Treasurer: Ron Cardin

Top row, left to right: Gerry Bernier, Gerry "Tate" Dion, Ray Blair. Front row: Roger Lavoie, George Heckowicz, Andy Hoenig.
Top row, left to right: Gerry Bernier, Gerry “Tate” Dion, Ray Blair. Front row: Roger Lavoie, George Heckowicz, Andy Hoenig.

Total Membership: 153
Dues: $7, $10 for new members.

1963-1964: The club hosted the National Water Ski Tournament at Memorial Beach. Ron Cardin an Bob Harris were co-chairmen of the Host Committee. Ray Blair was Tournament Director. The town renamed Ben’s Cove to Nipmuc Cove in honor of the club.

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Pictured are Raymond E. Piehler and Richard Guerin with the jumping skis used by Jimmy "the Flea" Jackson, winner of Men's Jumping at the 1964 National Ski Tournament held at the lake. The skis were displayed at Snug Harbor until 1968 when the business closed due to land taking for Route 52 (now Route 395). Photo from OldeWebster.com
Pictured are Raymond E. Piehler and Richard Guerin
with the jumping skis used by Jimmy “the Flea” Jackson,
winner of Men’s Jumping at the 1964 National Ski Tournament held at the lake.
The skis were displayed at Snug Harbor until 1968 when the business
closed due to land taking for Route 52 (now Route 395). Photo from OldeWebster.com

A cavalcade was used to promote the tournament and traveled all over New England. A new Century Resorter was raffled ff to help defray expenses. This was the first AWSA sponsored national tournament that made a profit. Jackie Lynch was a member competing in this tournament.

1964 Club Members
1964 Club Members

1964 AWSA National Champions:

DivisionOverallSlalomTricksJump
MENJoker OsbornJoker OsbornAl TyllJim Jackson
WOMENDicksie Ann HoytJanelle KirtleyDicksie Ann HoytBarbara Clack
BOYSBill Spencer
GIRLSLiz AllanWeslie WalkerLiz AllanLiz Allan
JR. BOYSKenny DabbsFrankie DeesRicky McCormickKenny Dabbs
JR. GIRLSLinda LeavengoodBetsy CallawayMaggie JordenLorrie Hughes
SR. MENHarry PriceDon Roberson
SR. WOMENArtis PriceBee Wineman
DOUBLESBill Pierce & Marilyn Shaw

1964-1965: The Bay State Open at memorial Beach was held with Norma Morse and Mary Ann Magiera as Show Directors and Howie Tryba as Tournament Director. A Storage shed was constructed as Snug Harbor for storing our equipment at a cost of $200 and the club purchased their first parasail at a cost of $400.

Shows held this year were the Singletary Rod & Gun Club, Ashland and The Jimmy Fund show.

President: Dick Guerin
Vice President: Len Tremblay
Secretary: Betty Seraphin
Treasurer: Dick Seraphin

Total Membership: 160
Dues: $7, $10 for new members

1965-1966: The New England Open Water Ski Tournament was held with Howie Tryba as Tournament Director. Also, the Jimmy Fund Show at Snug Harbor netted $1,200-1,500 this year. Other shows were at Ashland, Indian Ranch, and the Singletary Show.

President: Len Tremblay
Vice President: Ernie Benoit
Secretary: Norma Morse
Treasurer: Dave Perry

Total Membership: 140-150
Dues: $7, $10 for new members

1966-1967: The Eastern Regional Tournament was held at Memorial Beach on August 4-6. The club held an inter-club Novice Tournament on August 27th. Other shows were at Ashland, Mass., The Jimmy Fund Show at Snug Harbor and Singletary Rod & Gun Club. The annual banquet was held at the Colonial Club.

President: Ernie Benoit
Vice President: Howie Tryba
Secretary: Arlene Benoit
Treasurer: Dave Perry
Show Director: Bill Graham
Co-Director: Fred Bonczek
Tournament Director: Howie Tryba

Total Membership: 99
Dues: $7, $10 for new members

1967-1968: The last show to be held at Snug Harbor was to benefit the Jimmy Fund. In the latter part of 1968 Snug Harbor, the official home of the Nipmuc Ski Club since 1956, was vacated and demolished to make way for Route 52 and a new access road to Union Point.

Steve Zemsky jumped 102 feet in the Eastern Regional Tournament, qualifying for the nationals in Canton, Ohio.

The Banquet was held at Point Breeze

President: Howie Tryba
Vice President: Len Tremblay
Secretary: Arlene Benoit
Treasurer: Mary Tryba
Tournament Director: Howie Tryba – Bay State Open
Show Director: Gail Paradis – Singletary Rod & Gun Club.

Total Membership: 75
Dues: $10, $15 for new members

1968-1969: Shows were held in Coventry, R.I, The Jimmy Fund Show at Nipmuc Cove and the Singletary Show. The Bay State Open was held at Memorial Beach.

The Present Club Site (at the corner of Thompson Road and Union Point) was acquired in 1969 through a cooperative effort of Mary Ann Magiera & Mary Tryba and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The annual banquet was held at Point Breeze.

President: Howie Tryba
Vice President: Mary Ann Magiera
Secretary: Ed Greenbaum
Treasurer: Mary Tryba
Tournament Director: Howie Tryba
Show Director: Dennis Casaubon
Ast. Show Director: Gail Paradis

Total Membership: 55
Dues: $10, $15 for new members

1969-1970: The Jimmy Fund Show was held at Treasure Island and the Bay State Open Tournament was held at Memorial Beach.

President: Bill Graham
Vice President: Mary Ann Magiera
Secretary: Nancy Vear
Treasurer: Normen Kuszewski
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky
Show Director: Gail Paradis

Total Membership: 28
Dues: $10, $15 for new members

1970’s

1970-1971: Meetings were held at Mary Ann Magiera’s house and the first club-owned boat (a 1970 blue & white Ski Nautique) was purchased early in the 1971 season.

The Bay State open was held at Memorial Beach and there were ski shows in Lincoln, RI, Torrington, CT, Sharon, Mass, Boston’s “Summerthing” plus shows for the Jimmy Funs and Gino’s Pizza at Treasure Island.

President: Mary Ann Magiera
Vice President: Billy Graham
Secretary: Nancy Vear
Treasurer: Norman Kuszewski
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky
Show Director: Gail Paradis

Total Membership: 135
Dues: $10, $15 for new members.

1971-1972: A second boat was purchased by the club – a 1972 orange Ski Nautique. Shows included the Bay State Open, the Jamaica Plain Show, plus shows in Sharon, Mass., and Coventry, RI.

Tony Klunge was made an Honorary Member.

President: Gene Brisbois
Vice President: Steve Zemsky
Secretary: Nancy Vear
Treasurer: Betty Seraphin
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky – Bay State Open

Total Membership: 18
Dues: $15, $20 for new members.

1972-1973: The Green Hill Park Show was held along with the Bay State Open Tournament.

President: Gee Brisbois
Vice President: Lenny Lavallee
Secretary: Jane (Barrett) Mooney
Treasurer: Nancy Vear
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky

Total Membership: 27
Dues: $17, $20 for new members.

1973-1974: The Bay State Open at Memorial Beach was held this year along with a show at Green Hill Park in Worcester.

Co-Chairman: Lenny Lavallee
Co-Chairman: Steve Zemsky
Secretary: Jane (Barrett) Mooney
Treasurer: Sue Lavallee
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky – Bay State Open

Total Membership: 48
Dues: $17, $22 for new members.

1974-1975: The Bay State Open was held at Memorial Beach. Shows were also held at Green Hill Park in Worcester, at Keech Pond in Coventry RI, and at Cedar Lake in Sturbridge. There was a Bicentennial Show held at Nipmuc Cove in Webster.

Club members appeared in “Holiday on Wheels” – a promotional film for K.O.A. staring Rory Calhoun, George Montgomery and Gordon McRae. It was shown locally on channels 27 and 5.

President: Len Lavallee
Vice President: Gene Brisbois
Secretary: Jane (Barrett) Mooney
Treasurer: Sue Lavallee
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky – Bay State Open
Show Director: Gail (Paradis) Millette

Total Membership: 64
Dues: $22

1975-1976: There was a Bicentennial Show held at Sheraton-Sturbridge Inn on Cedar Lake and also a show at the Singletary Rod & Gun Club.

The Club bought a 1971 blue and white Ski Nautique by Correct-Craft for club skiing. A new parasail was purchased for the club by the Sheraton-Sturbridge Inn.

President: Russ Talisman
Vice President: David Pelletier
Secretary: Pat Pelletier
Treasurer: Richard Jolda
Show Director: Gail (Paradis) Millette

Total Membership: 27
Dues: $22, $25 for new members

1976-1977: A 4th of July show was held in Sharon, Mass., and the club also participated in the parade that same day. Shows were also held at the Sheraton-Sturbridge on Cedar Lake and at Singletary Rod & Gun Club.

Kerry Sterczala qualified for and competed in the Nationals at Berkley, California.

President: David Pelletier
Vice President: Gail (Paradis) Millette
Secretary: Pat Pelletier
Treasurer: Richard Jolda
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky – Bay State Open
Show Director: Joel Casaubon

Total Membership: 46
Dues: $22, $25 for new members

1977-1978: The Busch Bay State Open held at Memorial Beach in August, marked the first time the club has received sponsorship from a nationally known company.

There was also a show held at the Singletary Rod & Gun Club. The Motor in the club boat was not running and very little club skiing was done this year.

Kerry Sterczala qualified for and competed in the Nationals in Detroit, Michigan.

President: David Pelletier
Vice President: Nick Nickolopoulous
Secretary: Par Pelletier
Treasurer: Richard Jolda
Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky- Bay State Open
Show Director: Joel Casaubon

Total Membership: 27
Dues: $22, $25 for new members

1978-1979: The club boat was repaired over the winter months. General Skiing will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights and Sunday mornings.

The gas shortage had and effect on all of us this year, however no activities has to be cut back to members willing to use their own boats for club skiing.

Plans include a Jimmy Fund Show at Memorial Beach, the Busch Bay State Open Tournament and a show as Singletary Rod & gun Club.

Much Enthusiasm has returned to the club in this, our 25th year, with 56 paid members as of July 10th, 1979.

President: Joel Casaubon
Vice President: Len Tremblay
Secretary: Pat Pelletier
Treasurer: Mary Tryba
Tournament Director: Gene Brisbois

Total Membership: 56
Dues: $22, $25 for new members

2000’s

President: Ryan DesRoches
Vice President: Randy Wade
Secretary: Buzzie York
Treasurer: Norma Collins
Board of Directors: John Lacroix, Dan Desmaris, Leandra Manos, Dan Burns, Ron Kokernak  (outgoing president).
Jr. Board:   Adam Clark, Dean Abbott, Dan Abbott, Jamie Anderson

Highlights:

  • Club Membership:  40 members ( capped )
  • Club once again participated in the Lions Club Car Show selling food items as a fundraiser, selling out of all food!

2001: 

President: Ryan DesRoches
Vice President: Randy Wade
Secretary: Buzzie York
Treasurer: Norma Collins
Board of Directors: Ron Kokernak, John Lacroix, Rhoda Kaczmarek

Highlights:

  • Dues: $40 plus a $2 per night ski fee.
  • A Bylaw committee was formed of Ryan DesRoches and Randy Wade to edit the existing club bylaws.  These new bylaws were ratified by the club.
  • Ron Kokernak organized the AWSA Learn To Ski Challenge.
  • The club enacted a ‘fee per ski’ policy as a trial run of $2 per night – this fee helped offset the cost of equipment repair.
  • Randy Wade organized an Ad campaign for the club to bring in new members.
  • The jump received a sandblasting and new coat of paint.
  • A new club website was launched.
  • The Club ended skiing in the third week of September.
  • Ron Kokernak set a new mens 6 national record for jumping at 98ft, winning the AWSA Men’s 6 National Jump Championship.
  • The Ski Club participated in the Lions Club Car Show as a food vendor and also in the Webster Lake Boat Parade, winning second place for most creative float.

2002: 

President: Randy Wade
Vice President: Ron Kokernak
Secretary: Buzzie York
Treasurer: Norma Collins
Board of Directors: Ryan DesRoches, John Lacroix, Dan Burns, Rhoda Kaczmarek

Highlights: 

  • The ad campaign organized by Randy Wade raised over $500 for the ski club.
  • The shack was officially renamed “Jimmy’s Place” after long time member and board of director, Jim Place
  • The Club participated in the Lions Club Car show at Commerce Insurance.

2003: 

President: Randy Wade
Vice President: Ron Kokernak
Secretary: Buzzie York
Treasurer: Norma Collins
Board of Directors: Ryan DesRoches, John Lacroix, Dan Burns, Rhoda Kaczmarek

Highlights:

  • A Summer Ski Show was held at Indian Ranch
  • The Club once again participated in the Lions Club Car Show as a food vendor.

2004: 

President: Ron Kokernak
Vice President: Rhoda Kaczmarek
Secretary: Buzzie York
Treasurer: Norma Collins
Board of Directors: 

  • The club participated in the Lions Club Car Show as a fundraiser, raising over $600
  • The club had a total of 49 members.
  • The Jim Place Memorial Plaque was put up at the club shack.
  • Jake Kaczmarek earned his WATERSKIING merit badge as a member of the Ski Club.
  • Jim Kokernak had a personal best 158 foot jump at AVON on Sept 6th
  • A ski show was discussed for July 4th for the town, but fell through due to logistics surrounding the fireworks.

2005: 

President: Ryan DesRoches
Vice President: Tammi Coady
Secretary: Randy Wade
Treasurer: Ron Kokernak
Board of Directors: Alan Peterson, Steve Garrity, Jim Kokernak, Robbie Green, Rhoda Kaczmarek.

  • The club participated in the Lions Club Car Show as a fundraiser.
  • Dues were raised to $60 for the 1st member, and $30 for each additional family member.
  • Annual Cookouts and Ice Cream Socials came into affect.
  • Membership was capped at 40 members per year
  • New docks were donated to the ski club.

2006:

President: Ryan DesRoches
Vice President: Tammi Coady
Secretary: Randy Wade
Treasurer: Ron Kokernak
Board of Directors: Alan Peterson, Steve Garrity, Jim Kokernak, Robbie Green, Rhoda Kaczmarek.

  • The board voted to cap the amount of members to 40 skiers in an effort to make sure that every skier can get at least one run in per night.
  • Dues were increased to $74 for the first member, and $50 for each additional family member.
  • New wakeboards and wakeboard were purchased for general club use.
  • New docks were donated to the ski club as well.
  • The club participated in the Lions Club Car Show and also installed docks as fund-raisers for the club.

2007:

President – Tammi Coady
VP – Ryan DesRoches
Treasurer – Ron Kokernak
Secretary – Randy Wade

Board Of Directors:  Christina Berry, Robbie Greene, Steve Garrity, Christine Francoeur, Susan Trirell
Junior Board: Ariel Pizarro, Courtney Wade, Joel Pizarro, Samantha Garrity, Randy Greene

  • Club dues were $85 for the first family member and $50 for each additional family member to a maximum of $200
  • Club Members: 55
  • The club participated in the Lions Club Car Show and also installed docks as fund-raisers for the club.

2008

President – Tammi Coady
VP – Ryan DesRoches
Treasurer – Ron Kokernak
Secretary – Randy Wade

Board Of Directors:  Christina Berry, Robbie Greene, Steve Garrity, Christine Francoeur,  George Panagiotou
Junior Board: Ariel Pizarro, Courtney Wade,  Chelsea Greene, Samantha Garrity, Ashleigh Panagiotou, Randy Greene, Joal Pizzarro

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