<<<<< Spring 2014 Conference & Change of Watch >>>>>

 Commander’s Message

Thank you very much for electing me to be District Commander for the coming year. It is with much pride that I assume this office. We have formed many friendships over the 36 years I have been a squadron member. There is not a better group of people anywhere.
The theme I have picked is “ Don’t monkey with safety, Take a boating course.” Some of you have met Bruce, our 4 foot gorilla. He is based on a real gorilla named Koko, who learned sign language. She has a vocabulary of about five hundred words, and uses over 100 different ones daily. Three children’s books have been written about her life, adventures, and schooling.
Joyce and I first met “Koko” in a gift shop on vacation. We thought it would be fun to get him and take him to squadron parties, school, work, on the boat, etc. I named him Bruce, after my boss, Bruce, at that time, as they had the same shape, and both wore size 4 X shirts!
We are all familiar with the USPS Triangle - self education, civic service and fraternal boating club. Our squadrons continue to educate their members and the public . Many squadrons and individual members donate gifts and money to various charities, perform acts such as beach cleanup and vessel safety checks, participate in Safe Boating Week, coop charting, and work at boat shows. USPS members have joined liaisons with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Boy Scouts.
Anyone with money can buy a boat. But to maintain it and operate it legally and safely involves time and effort. USPS offers many varied courses to reach this goal. One can begin with the basic Boating Course and continue through to celestial navigation with many courses in between.
The third side of the triangle is labeled Fraternal Boating Club. This is the glue that binds us together. District 4 and individual squadrons offer numerous opportunities to meet and greet, socialize, mix and mingle and of course eat. Members are not limited to their own squadron’s activities. Other squadrons are usually open to visitors and guests. This is a wonderful way to make new friends, see how others work, and enjoy some delicious food, drinks, and desserts!
In addition to all the above mentioned benefits of USPS membership, there is a program open only to USPS members. It is wisely called, “Member Benefits.” Some of these include: travel benefits, goods and services, insurance, health, and marine discounts. Most offer a percentage off their product or service. More discounts are added often. Click on www.usps.org for the details on these benefits.
Joyce and I will try to attend as many functions as we can this year and beyond. Bruce will come with us, if he has no other plans.

D/C Bob Barkalow, AP

Commander Robert Barkalow 2014
D4 Bridge 2014 with USPS National Commander
D4 Commander Barkalow and National Commander