Council History

PART I - Council History


Council highlights (obtained from bits and pieces in various files)

1955: The Massachusetts Bay Council was founded as the “Brockton Council”. Name later changed to “Southeastern Massachusetts Council”. The Council worked very closely with Naval Air Station, South Weymouth, presenting quarterly and annual awards, assisting with job hunting for spouses and those returning to civilian life. Sponsored Naval Sea/League Cadet units. Following the death of long time member and Treasurer, Elmer Coles, the council sponsored annual awards in his name to both junior officer and enlisted. There were also quarterly awards to enlisted personnel.

1968: Assisted hosting CEO/Asst SECNAV for Research, Engineering and Systems meeting.

1969-70: Council President William Rothermel and Secretary Betty Coombs started Coast Guard Mascot Program by presenting a Black Labrador Retriever (“Spar”) to the CG Pt. Allerton Station. For over twenty years, dogs were given to ships and stations from N.Y. to Maine, including Comm Sta, Boston, Castle Island, Block Island, Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, P. Judith, Cape Cod, Fire Island, Gloucester, St. Clair Flats, Detroit, San Juan/Lesser Antilles, CGC VIGOROUS, Gay Head, Portsmouth Harbor, NH, CGC THUNDER BAY, Southwest Harbor, and somewhere near Washington, D.C..

1970: Changed name to “Eastern Massachusetts Council”.

1973: Navy Birthday Dinner Guest Hon J. William Middendorf.

1975. Reception for visiting Russian warships at the home of Tom & Roz Morris. The Guided Missile Destroyers BOYKIY and ZHGUCHIY were permitted to arrive with only three days notice for the council to arrange a reception. About 200 guests, including VADM Stansfield Turner, USN, and RADM A.M. Kalinin, Soviet Navy, Russian officers (and KGB) and, Navy leaguers and others attended. This was the first exchange of ship visits with the Russians since the end of WWII, some thirty years before. Council “Welcome Aboard” reception for RADM James Stewart, First CG District.

1976: National Convention in Boston. (Rosamond Morris, General Chairman; Ivan Samuels, Council President). Early birds toured Lexington and Concord; and historic Boston. Welcome Aboard was pierside to USS CONSTITUTION; Navy League Night at Boston Pops with Arthur Fiedler conducting; reception at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Speaking at various events were Avi Nelson, Gov. Michael Dukakis, CNO ADM James Holloway III and SECNAV William Middendorf. Co-Sponsored with the First Region, NLUS, the “Navy Trophy” for winner of the New England Football Conference. Started Annual Toys for Tots Brunch at the Commandant’s House.

1977: Annual Meeting April 17, Commandant’s House.

1978: Assisted in obtaining (for the National Park Service) and, later, welcoming USS CASSIN YOUNG (DD 793). [N.B. How it came about: Chief Maynard Spekin, USNR, was a facilities supervisor at the Boston Navy Yard and stayed with the National Park Service following their acquisition. He was a member of Naval Reserve Surface Division 1-5(L); CDR Ivan R. Samuels, C.O. He called Samuels and said “What is a shipyard without a ship? How does the NPS go about getting one?” Samuels gave some advice and also one of the four DDs mothballed in Philadelphia. A member of the Reserve unit, LT Strafford Morse, had been stationed in Philadelphia at the time the DDs were mothballed and he said CASSIN YOUNG was in the best condition and NPS acted on that recommendation. In June, 1978, the ship was towed to Boston by an Army tug boat, the 69th Transportation Platoon (FC), and the council provided a reception. About 100 people attended. Later, Naval Reservists and Naval Sea Cadets assisted the NPS in cleaning and repairing the ship; followed by members of the USS CASSIN YOUNG Association; continuing for many years.

1979: Annual Meeting May 12 at CG ‘O’ Club. Presented REPOY Award. Navy Birthday Dinner. RADM Wayne Meyer, USN speaker.Chesterbrook Restaurant, Waltham. Reception at Commandant’s House for NATO Ships’ visit, 8/12.

1980: Sponsored commissioning of USS SAMUEL ELIOT MORRISON (FFG 13) in Boston. Annual Meeting, Sunday Brunch, 4-13-80 at Radisson Ferncroft Country Club.

1981: Sponsored a ship’s patch contest among Boston school children for (to be commissioned) USS BOSTON (SSN 703). Black Lab “Smudge” presented to Base Woods Hole.

1983: Designated by NLUS as an “OUTSTANDING COUNCIL” and also runner-up for the U.S. Navy’s Sustained Superior Performance Award for "Outstanding Support to Navy Recruiting”.

1984: Changed name from “Eastern Massachusetts Council” to “Massachusetts Bay Council”. Co-sponsored Navy Birthday with USS Constitution Museum with a Champagne Brunch at Pier Four Restaurant. At NAS SOWEY, initiated the Sergeant Major Douglass Award (in addition to the Elmer Coles Award for Leadership).

1985: Presented Lab “Datum” to Boothbay Station, USCG. Eighth Annual “Christmas at the Commandant’s House”. Theme: A Victorian Christmas. Annual Meeting held at Natick Labs with ‘O’ Club Speaker Dr. Paul Holman, Naval War College on Soviet Strategy Today. Coast Guard birthday at CG Admiral’s House, Beverly. New England Football Conference “Navy” Trophy presented to Plymouth (NH) State College.

1986: Sponsored commissioning of USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52) (Wm C. Kelley, Jr., Chairman) in Boston.

1987: Assisted with commissioning USCGC SENECA (WMEC 906); and members cruised through Cape Cod Canal to New Bedford. Sponsored celebration of 200th Anniversary of signing of the Constitution; SECDEF Caspar Weinberger as speaker. Assisted City of Boston with contribution toward the Adopt-a- Statue Program maintaining the John Barry plaque on Boston Common. Near Tremont and Winter Streets.

1988: Initiated the Annual Maritime Symposium, a politico-military ‘war game’ for participation by college students (ROTC and other) held at Tufts Fletcher School. Commandant’s House Restoration Committee formed.Presented Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to RADM Joseph Paul Reason - Commander NAVBASE Seattle.

1989: Hosted CEOs/Navy flag meeting. ADM Trost Anthony’s Pier Four. At the Nat’l Convention, the MBC received the Meritorious Council Award and also the Navy Recruiting Honorable Mention Award. Presented the New England Football Conference Navy Trophy. Loaned $2300 (half the startup costs) to the First Coast Guard District Officers’ Association Bicentennial Blazer Button Project (later repayed). Toys for Tots Brunch contributed $1225 direct to TfT and $750 to Boston City Hospital childrens’ program. Presented Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to RADM Wendell N. Johnson - Commandant, Sixth Naval District.

1990: Feb. Annual Meeting speaker VADM Dunleavey, ACNO for Air Warfare. Marine and Navy Recruiters received awards. Held Second Annual Maritime Symposium at Tufts. Held Third Annual Black History Month Reception in the Hull Room. RADM Walter Davis, USN, recipient of Dalton Baugh Award.March trip to Naval War College.New England Region President Ivan Samuels presented Navy Recruiting District Boston large framed WWI Navy Recruiting poster. Presented lab retriever“Marlin Spike” to Station Portsmouth Harbor in office of RADM Rybacki, USCG. In Sept., members enjoyed a 3 hour cruise of Boston Harbor in USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907).

1991: Hosted a Black History Reception at the Hillcrest, Waltham. Presented the Elmer F. Coles Award for Leadership and Sailor of the Quarter Award at NAS SOWEY. Christmas Party at Boston City Hospital Childrens’ Ward. Toys for Tots Brunch. Presented Marlin Spike, a black Labrador retriever to Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor in the office of RADM Richard Rybacki, Commander First Coast Guard District. Twenty-two such dogs have been presented. Adopted USCGC GRAND ISLE (WPB1338). Presented the Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to CAPT Anthony J. Watson - Deputy Superintendent of Midshipmen, USNA.

1992: Presented the Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to RADM Mack C. Gaston, USN, Commander, Field Command Defense Nuclear Agency, Albuquerque, NM. Coast Guard Birthday luncheon. Toys for Tots Brunch. Presented Elmer F. Coles Leadership Award. Lab Retrievers presented to USCGC THUNDER BAY (WTB 108), CG Communications Station, Boston and Group Southwest Harbor. Celebrated CG Birthday and presented CG Reservist of the Year. Central Mass. Council disestablished and rolled into Mass. Bay. Toys for Tots Brunch benefit shared with Boston City Hospital Holiday Kids. The Navy Recuiting/Navy league Football Trophy and plaque was presented to Bridgewater State College, winner of the New England Conference, at the New England Football Writers Dinner.

1993: Black History Month Dinner. Speaker WO3 Corinthia Thoms, USN. Educational Symposium held at Tufts.Toys for Tots Brunch. Hosted a Christmas party, Childrens’ ward, Boston City Hospital. Adopted CGC GRAND ISLE (WPB 1338), Gloucester. CG Birthday there, cookout and ship ride. Hosted a reception for 100 U.S. and Russian officers from the cruiser MARSHAL USTINOV, destroyer ADMIRAL KHARLAMOV and supply ship DNESTR; and USS SPRAGUE, USS GETTYSBURG AND USS EMORY S LAND. Council received “Excellence in Recruiting Support Sustained Performance Award” from RADM J.J. Barr, Commander Navy Recruiting Command. Initiated the SAMUEL ELIOT MORISON ESSAY CONTEST.

1994: Celebrated Black History Month. Dalton L. Baugh Award presented to RADM Edward Moore, USN, Commandant, Naval District Washington. Initiated Samuel Eliot Morison Essay Contest

1995: Sponsored commissioning of USS RAMAGE (DDG 61) RADM Theodore Lockhart, USN(Ret) , Chairman). Held Sixth Annual Maritime Symposium (at B.U.). Presented the Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to RADM David L. Brewer III - Commander Naval Forces Marianas.

1996: 19th Annual Toys for Tots Brunch Dec.1, 1996. Donated $1150 + toys to NAS SOWEY for the Toys for Tots program. Please Don’t Come Luncheon raised $1,017.50 for Sea Cadets celebrated Coast Guard Birthday at Station Newburyport. Held Symposium at B.U., 2/24/96.

1997: National Convention in Boston (Ivan R. Samuels, General Chairman). $2500 net from council sponsored events contributed to NLUS Youth Programs Fund to help finance the Samuel Eliot Morison Essay Contest. Hosted a reception in the Constitution Museum for Russian and U.S. generals attending the Harvard U. JFK School of Government Executive Program.

1998: Celebrated Navy Birthday at Hanscom AFB. Speaker CAPT Tom Bush, USN, DD-21 Program Manager. Also celebrated Navy Birthday at Mass Maritime Academy, RADM Bernard Smith, speaker. Navy league booth at Air Show, Hanscom AFB. Coast Guard Birthday at Commander First CG District, Hospital Point Beverly. Presented REPOY award. Purchased draperies, etc. for Commandant’s House. Presented Navy Oceanographic Ship Name Contest State Winner certificates to Mapleshade Elementary School and Hingham H.S.

2000: Assumed Trusteeship for USS BOSTON Silver Service and placed in custody of National Park Service.

2002: Sponsored commissioning of USS PREBLE (DDG 88) (Ivan R Samuels, Chairman) in Boston. Absorbed Boston Council which was disestablished. Received NLUS Meritorious Council Award.

2003: Navy Birthday celebrated at Hanscom AFB. Contributed to commissioning of Maritime Safety and Security Team 91110. Received NLUS Meritorious Council Award.

2004: Received NLUS Meritorious Council Award.

2005: Presented the Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to CAPT Stephen N. Sentaio - Director, Naval Staff College, Newport, RI.

2007: Sponsored commissioning of USS SAMPSON (DDG 102) (Ivan R. Samuels, Chairman) in Boston. USS JFK (CV67) final visit to Boston; special tours. New Sea Cadet unit, Massachusetts Bay Division launched. Eighteenth Annual Maritime Symposium held at B.U. Received Mackie Award for Council Newsletter.

2008: Navy Birthday speaker was VADM Kevin M. McCoy, USN, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. 30th Annual Sea Services Ball honored USMC veterans of WWII. Named as National Naval Sea Cadet Officer of the Year was LCDR James McLoughlin, NSCC, who is C.O., Gosnold Div., which our council sponsors. Members had tours of USS Dewert (FFG 45).

2009:. Highlight was participation with Sail Boston 2009. Volunteers were recruited by Ivan Samuels from the council and other sources to be ship Liaison Officers and Pier Guides. Members toured USS Freedom (LCS 1), first of class and first of her kind. Toured Coast Guard Cutter Seneca (WMEC 906) In October, Navy Birthday was celebrated in the Coast Guard All Hands Club with Special Guest Senator Scott Brown. The 31st Annual Sea Services Ball honored the U.S. Flag Merchant Marine. Special Guest and Honoree was Captain Richard Phillips, Master of the pirated ship MV Maersk Alabama. At Toys for Tots Brunch presented the Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to CAPT Kevin Scott, USN.

2010: Armed Forces Day Luncheon featured remarks from Maj. Craig Douglas, USMC, who discussed his experiences in Iraq. In October, Navy Birthday was celebrated in the Coast Guard All Hands Club with Special Guest Senator Scott Brown. The 31st Annual Sea Services Ball honored the U.S. Flag Merchant Marine.

2011: Sponsored Navy Nite at Boston Pops. Navy Birthday Luncheon Guest was CDR 'Tony' O'Brien, USN (Ret) who 's background includes Marine and Navy Seal experience. 33rd Sea Services Holiday Ball Honored USS Constitution. Runner-up for Mackie Award for Council Newsletter.

2012: Council volunteers were Ship Liaison and Pier Guides during OPSAIL 2012. Members toured USS Anzio (CG 68). Navy Birthday Guest of Honor was RADM 'Vic' Beck, USN, Vice Chief of Information. (A Reservist, he is a Member of our council). Sea Services Holiday Ball Guest was Colonel Mackubin Owens, USMC(Ret), A Silver Star recipient, Historian and Associate Dean at the Naval War College. Received NLUS Council Honorable Mention. Received Mackie Award for the Council Website.

2013:  The council hosted its 24th annual New England College Maritime Symposium with eighty-four students from eighteen colleges and universities participating in a political/military game involving the Pacific Rim nations. Armed Forces Day was celebrated at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Buzzards Bay.  Members exercised the new $2 million ship simulator and heard Admiral Richard Gurnon, USMS, stress the importance of strong sea services to our security and economic well-being.  The council was one of seven receiving a Honorable Mention Award for Council Activities. Coast Guard Birthday celebrated at the Custom House Maritime Museum, Newburyport.  The 34th Annual Sea Services Ball honored the U.S. Marine Corps.  Special Guest was Col Mackubin Owens, USMC (Ret), Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College.  The 36th Annual Toys for Tots Brunch at the Commandant’s House raised $3,000 plus toys for the program. Received Mackie Award for Council Newsletter.

2014: The 38th Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Brunch was held on Sunday, 7 December 2014 in the Commandant's House, Boston Navy Yard.  For the first time, it was combined with the Veterans’ Pearl Harbor Day remembrance and laying of a wreath in Boston Harbor.  A $2500 check plus about $500 worth of games and toys was donated to Toys for Tots.  The 36th Annual Sea Services Ball was held on Saturday, 6 December 2014. COAST GUARD BIRTHDAY celebration with ship tour aboard USCGC SPENCER (WMEC 905) was held on August 9, 2014. Special ship tour of USS OAK HILL (LSD 51) for Navy League was held on 5 July. ARMED FORCES DAY LUNCHEON was held Saturday, 17 May 2014, at the Center for Arts at the Armory in Somerville.

2015:  Highlight in the year was council sponsorship on commissioning the newest National Security Cutter, USCGC JAMES ( WMSL 754), at the time of the Coast Guard Birthday in August.  Committee Chairman was Reid Oslin. Members were invited to tour the ship earlier in the week. On 14 March 2015, we toured the USS Arlington (LPD 24), one of the Navy's newest ships . At the Navy League Convention in Tampa in June, our own Eleanor Samuels was elected a National Vice President of the Navy League. She is responsible for new efforts to increase NL membership. In May, we celebrated Armed Forces Day with a luncheon. The Speaker was CDR B. E. Vandiver, C.O., Navy Operational Support Center, Quincy, who spoke about the Navy Reserve history through current use by call-ups and in their Reserve units. On 14 March 2015, we toured the USS Arlington (LPD 24), one of the Navy's newest ships.    October saw the Navy Birthday and Annual Meeting Luncheon. Guest speaker was CAPT Richard LaBranche, USN, Chairman Joint Military Operations and Director Maritime Advanced Warfighting School, U.S. Naval War College.  Election of Officers was also conducted.   The 39th Annual Toys for Tots Brunch was held on 14 December 2015 at the Commandant's House, Charlestown National Historical Park. A $1500 check and about $500 worth of toys and games were presented to two Marines from the 25th Regiment for distribution.

2016:  Tours and reception aboard USS McFaul (DDG 74) in March. Members attended the April 1st Christening of USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) at Bathe Iron Works. In May, had tour of drydock and USS Constitution with rare opportunity to touch her rudder and keel.  In June, toured the Mass. Maritime Training Ship Kennedy. With the Coast Guard, celebrated the Tri-centennial anniversary of Boston Light on Sept. 4th.  Had tours of the Coast Guard Port Operations Center. Several members attended SECNAV Ray Mabus naming two fleet oilers, Sojourner Truth and Lucy Stone.  In October, with Newport County Council, toured Joint Base Cape Cod.  The Annual Meeting and Dinner, Nov. 1, had as speaker VADM Richard Breckenridge, USN, Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.  The 40th Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Brunch was held Dec. 4 at the Commandant’s House and raised $2500 and some $500 worth of toys. At the Nat’l Convention, the council received the “Meritorious Council Award” for 2015.

2017: Tours and reception aboard USS San Jacinto (CG56) in March. Members were invited to the Hudner Mast Stepping ceremony.  For Armed Forces Day, toured the Museum of WWII. Aug. 8th, the Hudner Commissioning Committee sponsored a Sunset Cruise of Boston Harbor.  Some 250 attendees helped raising money for the commissioning. Celebrated Navy Birthday Oct. 17 at the Burlington Marriott.  Speaker was Capt., Joseph Tuite, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair, Bath, ME, who addressed ship construction and building USS Hudner.  On Dec. 3rd, held the 41st Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Brunch at the Commandant’s House.  Presented awards to NSCC cadets and leaders. Dec. 7, we sponsored the 35th Annual Sea Services Ball.

2018: Toys for Tots: Our 42nd Annual Toys for Tots (TFT) event was held on 09 December 2018 at the Commandant’s House, Boston Navy Yard. Attending were about one hundred Navy Leaguers, guests and Naval Sea Cadets, their leaders and families. USS THOMAS HUDNER (DDG 116) COMMISSIONING December 1:  Named for the Medal of Honor recipient and Member (now deceased) of our council. Check out and the website ​Navy Birthday Dinner October 18, 2018. CAPT James P. "Jamie" McGrath, USN, Military Professor, Joint Military Operations Department, Naval War College, Newport, RI addressed building toward a 355 ship Navy compared to the rebuilding of the US Navy in the 1930s. 

2019: Tour of the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) was conducted on 16 March 2019. Armed Forces Day Luncheon was held on 18 May 2019. The Guest Speaker was CAPT Eric J. Doucette, USCG, Captain of the Port and Commander of Coast Guard Sector Boston, who spoke of his experiences while serving as the U. S. Vice President's Special Advisor for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and also updated us on Boston Harbor construction activities, dredging, and security concerns. In June, at the National Convention, elected as National Directors from our council were Bill Kelley, Jr., David Samuels, Tom Hennessey and Eleanor Samuels. Dave Samuels was re-elected New England Region President. Also in June, the council helped the Coast Guard to host congressional staffers to learn more about Coast Guard missions. December saw our 43rd annual Toys for Tots benefit held at the Commandant's House. Boston Navy Yard. Included was awarding a number of Sea Cadet and Sea Cadet leader awards. Also in December, the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) was christened in Newport News, VA. She is scheduled for commissioning in 2022.

2020: Following our annual February appeal to fund our Youth Programs by the Please Don't Come Luncheon, the Covid-19 pandemic was taking its toll, and ship visits and usual events were cancelled. Board Meetings were held electronically. Our 44th Annual Toys for Tots (TFT) event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions but contributions were requested by mail and e-mail. Thanks to our generous members and bargain shopping, we were able to donate over Seven Thousand Dollars (retail value) worth of toys and games to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program.

2021: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were again held to using ZOOM for Board Meetings. Thanks to our generous members, the Please Don't Come Luncheon raised sufficient funds to support our youth programs. In March we had a ZOOM meeting with Commander John Benda, C.O., USS Constitution, for an evening covering subjects of interest about the ship, its crew and other matters. Our 45th year of supporting the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program resulted in our contributing 368 toys valued at about $7,000 (retail).

2022: We again held Board Meetings via Zoom. The Please Don't Come Luncheon not held in February raised sufficient funds to support youth programs. In May, we held a luncheon honoring LCDR Genevieve Guimond, NSCC, for her forty-two years of leadership and support of youth programs. In July, we presented the Dalton Baugh Award for Inspirational Leadership to LT Devin Moneiro, USCG. We also had a visit with USCG Sector Boston, visiting the Boston Command Center and had a ride aboard a 45 ft. Rescue Boat. USCGC Eagle visited Boston and special tours for Navy League and Sea Cadets were arranged. The council was asked to assist with the Commissioning of USCGC William Chadwick (WPC 1150) in November and a number of members attended. Released was the movie DEVOTION about Council Member Thomas Hudner's Medal of Honor heroics and relationship with wing mate Ens. Jesse Brown and his family. We held the traditional Toys for Tots drive in November/December and contributed 418 toys to the Marine Corps Reserve program.

2023: Another year of meetings via Zoom. The Please Don't Come Luncheon in February again raised funds to support our youth programs.

PART II. Council Presidents

1955-1960 ???

c. 1960: Richard Rome (dec)

?1963-66 ?

?1966-69 or 69-72: Thomas Morris (later Nat’l President) (dec)

?1969-73 or 72-73 William Rothermel (dec)

1973-74: Archie Snaddon (dec)

1974-76: Ivan Samuels (later a Nat'l VP)

1976-78: Raymond Couture (later a Nat'l VP)

1978-80: William O. Glass (dec)

1980-82: Larry Blethen

1982-83: William Kelley, Jr. (later Nat'l President)

1983-84: Edward Bryant (dec)

1984-85: Harold Learson (later a Nat'l VP)

1986-87: Daniel Gallagher (dec)

1988-89: Sanford Carlisle

1990-91: James P D Waters (dec)

1992-93: Kenneth Russell (dec)

1994-95: Robert Crowley (dec)

1996-97: Raymond Couture (later a Nat'l VP)

1997-98: David J. Gray (dec)

1999-00: Richard Keys

2001-02: Eric Lekberg

2003-04: Irv Gorman (dec)

2005-06: Herbert Hagele (dec)

2007-08: John Tata

2009-11: Eleanor Samuels (later a Nat'l VP)

2012-13: John Lind

2014-15: Thomas Rudden

2016-17: Thomas Hennessey Jr.

2018- 2021: Stephen Schnitzer

2022- : Thomas Hennessey Jr.