A HISTORY OF THREE DECADES OF THE|
RICHARDSON BOAT OWNERS ASSOCIATION
The idea for what was to become the RBOA was formed during the period of the late 1960's when Bill Taylor, our founder who owned a Richardson Boat, discerned that several people he knew that owned Richardson's would like to get together and share their interests in preserving these magnificent old boats that were no longer being made.
In October and November of 1973, Bill, and several friends, including Jim Finn and Bob Castillano came together after a Kiwanis luncheon and began to meet regularly in what became the organizational phase of the RBOA. From time to time during the winter of 1973 and early 1974, other friends joined in these meetings, where they pooled their ideas and formulated plans. These friends included, Paul Stafford, Cody Greenwood, Dick Ashley, (currently the Editor of the CRUISABOUT), Bob Rogers and Dave Loew, who was at that time the Thousand Island reporter for the Syracuse area newspapers.
On February 10, 1974, in the Syracuse, New York, Sunday newspaper, Dave Loew broke the first publicity with a picture of WHITE CAP, and a story of the formation of our Association. Fliers were sent to national boating magazines, newspapers and other media. All through the spring of 1974 we received great publicity. Chuck Clemons of the Tonawanda, (Buffalo N.Y.) News had been our greatest supporter. Lists of known owners were compiled. Their help was elicited to "spread the word." The Thousand Islands Museum Antique Boat Auxiliary was informed and was delighted to become our home base.
The first general meeting was held on May 10, 1974, with members coming from the Buffalo area, Finger Lakes, and Canada. People came to find out what kind of an organization we were forming. They were pleased! Bill Taylor remembers that John Dubickas, (currently the RBOA Office Administrator) remarked that he "Wouldn't be interested in another country club social organization." We didn't become one!
Many people in addition to those mentioned above, worked hard to help us get started. Bob and Gladys Howard did so much in so many ways: John and Phyllis Dubickas, in the Bicentennial program, & Howard and Dorothy Poole for designing and procuring our original brass plaques, and on and on.
A book, called, The Richardson Story, by Bill Linquist has been written about the history of the Richardson Boat Company and its works, and the wealth of information, both tangible and intangible, along with the warm fellowship of the members continues to grow. Our Historian, David Ashley is currently engaged in a project to transfer much of our written and photographic archival material on to CD-ROM's. In this manner we can preserve many of the old documents, advertisements, flyers, notices and letters that are part of the Richardson heritage. We also can provide that information for those who want to learn more about their boats and the Richardson Company in general.
Through the efforts of many, many people we have seen the increase in membership beyond anything that the founders ever expected. This includes the formation of regional chapters which added to the strength of our national association. We are in contact with members in Bermuda and in England. We have had exciting and interesting rendezvous in many parts of New York and Ontario in Canada, and our membership continues to grow slowly but surely. We have gathered together a wealth of important and valuable historical material to preserve knowledge of the Richardson Boat Company and its fine products. This in turn has led to the creation of a membership category devoted to those who, although they do not own a Richardson, have joined with us in our ongoing passion for these beautiful artifacts that are the epitome of the boat right's trade.
Each year, following our historical pattern, we hold spring and fall meetings, and a summer rendezvous, generally in the province of Ontario, Canada, Central New York State, or other northeastern United States.