Squadron celebrates 50 years of boating success

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Nansemond River Power Squadron recognized one of its members for nearly half a century of dedication.

Jack Stroud, 87, received his 50-year membership certificate and pin on Sunday. His son, Walter Stroud, accepted the award on his behalf because the elder Stroud had been admitted to Sentara Obici Hospital for pneumonia. The younger Stroud said his father was stable as of Monday.

Friends and fellow NRPS members gathered in the hospital parking lot to present the award to Stroud’s family. The certificate and pin were then brought to his hospital room.

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“We were able to get a smile out of him,” Stroud said in a phone interview.

NRPS Commander Frank Brown explained in a phone interview how rare it is for any member of the national organization to reach this milestone.

“Maybe in a year — in our whole organization — there will be 15 of these out of our 40,000 members, so it’s pretty rare,” Brown said.

Jack Stroud, or “Captain Jack” as his grandchildren and others call him, joined the NRPS on Christmas Eve 1968, according to Brown. He was commander from 1986 to 1987.

He was a vessel examiner for safety checks and an instructor for boating classes. He earned 34 merit marks during his tenure, each awarded for substantial personal effort.

Brown described him as a committed sailor and boatman. Members went back and forth on Sunday recalling stories about “Captain Jack.”

“It was like going down memory lane,” he said.

Walter Stroud said the NRPS was a big boating family when he was growing up. Members would bring their families for boating courses and summer parties. There were weeklong cruises with about a dozen boats stopping at various marinas along the Chesapeake Bay, Stroud said.

Stroud, his 15-year-old son and his sisters, Betsy Barkley and Mary Davies, still keep the family tradition going.

“My son has a boat, I have a boat and when we go on vacation, it’s centered on the boat,” he said. “That’s what we did growing up, and we can continue to do that to this day.”