RI Yacht Club opens season at 144th Commissioning Ceremony
Bright skies and the bay’s sparkling blue waters greeted Rhode Island Yacht Club members and Cranston officials Saturday as the historic waterfront group celebrated its 144th Commissioning Ceremony.
The Pawtuxet Rangers presented the colors and led the way as the club’s 2019 slate of officers and board of directors marched from Fort Street down Ocean Avenue to the facility’s lawn.
The Cranston, Rhode Island and American flags were raised ahead of the raising of the Burgee and fleet captain Michael Katz’s pronouncement of the season as open.
The commodores of the Bristol, Tiverton and Jamestown yacht clubs were among those in attendance, along with Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Warwick Rep. Joseph McNamara and Cranston Ward 1 Councilwoman Lammis Vargas.
Fung presented David Tessitore, the club’s 91st commodore, with a citation from the city.
“For so many years, you’ve been such an important part of not just Cranston, but Warwick and our Ocean State,” he told those present.
McNamara drew laughs with an anecdote about a club member who for years prioritized his boat above his family obligations – leading to his widow taking out a newspaper obituary stating simply, “Gordon died. Boat for sale.”
“Sometimes we get individuals that get overly preoccupied with their boats … Please take care of your families and your boats,” he told the club members.
Tessitore said he will have “large shoes to fill” as he succeeds John Cappelli in the commodore’s role.
“I can’t be proud enough to be standing here … the list of people to thank is right in front of us. It’s all of you,” he said. “The prosperity and vitality for which our club is known comes from you, our members.”
After the ceremony, a toast and reception were held in the club’s Commodore Room.
Joining Tessitore on the club’s 2019 slate of officers are vice commodore Sue Tolland, rear commodore Dean Scanlon, secretary Mark Gallagher and treasurer Phil Perut.