Kena Shrine Yacht Club
The Kena Yacht Club sounds like a group that is solely interesting in boating. In actuality, only a few members have boats. It is the spirit of boating and the sea that attracts us. We embrace the carefree Bohemian lifestyle associated with sailing. We have derived the social essence of generations of sailors and Shriners into a club devoted to fun. The ladies of our members are always welcome to our meetings and actively participate at our functions. Kena Yacht Club is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Shrine Yacht Clubs (MAASYC). Although a club, we are competitive within MAASYC and we support our temple in parades and other functions. MAASYC also has many wonderful functions throughout the year that our members can attend.
We meet in our club room every 4th Thursday of the month. Typically our meetings are “pot luck.” Everyone brings something. The bar is always open! We have many activities during the year. The Yacht Club has barbeques & pool parties, wine tastings, karaoke, Halloween/Christmas/and other seasonal parties, Pirate’s & Mardi Gras Balls, and much more!
Kena Shrine Yacht Club History
Commodore Emeritus Andrew Tait, when asked questions about Kena Yacht Club that he was unable to answer would often refer a fellow yacht club noble or lady to Lady Eula Horsman. On almost any issue that pertained to the yacht club, Andy would state the "Eula is the font of all knowledge." With this in mind researching the history of Kena Yacht Club included an interview with Eula Horsman. Eula is the widow of our only other member with emeritus status, Treasurer Emeritus and Past Commodore for 1980 and 1986 Noble George T. Horsman. During the interview Eula stated that many of the club's older records were lost in a fire.
Our letterhead cites 22 October 1967 as the date Kena Yacht Club was organized. Our current records list Noble Thomas G. Crouch as commodore for 1967, 1968, and 1972.
Before going in to any more historical facts, an overview of our purpose and how we are organized needs to be discussed. First and foremost the members of Kena Yacht Club are Masons. There is a Masonic mariner’s pennant with our beloved square and compasses that many members display on their boats along with the burgee of Kena Yacht Club. One of these pennants was flown on the moon by astronaut Edward E. (Buzz) Aldrin during the first lunar landing July 20, 1969. This same pennant was flown on the North Pole by Robert E. Peary on the South Pole by Richard E. Byrd. As Shriners we have a special way of delivering the message of our children's hospitals and burn centers that will be discussed later. We are boaters that support safe and enjoyable boating. Our boats are based both on the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Boat ownership is not a requirement for membership and our ladies are involved in everything we do, including attending our regular business meetings.
We belong to the Mid-Atlantic Association of Shrine Yacht Clubs (MAASYC). Participation in MAASYC is the key. The MAASYC member yacht clubs hold commodore balls and the nobles and ladies from member yacht clubs attend one another's balls. (What a nice way to establish a circle of friends that extend from Pittsburgh, PA (Syria Shrine) to the Tidewater Area of Virginia (Khedive Shrine). In the summer MAASYC holds its annual rendezvous or cruise. All boaters who attend are encouraged to decorate their boats to an annual theme that promotes our children's hospitals. This is a competitive event and the decorations displayed are often quite creative. What is far more important is the powerful message this delivers to non-Shriners that are always close at hand at this event.
In 1997 the club was quite active and many of its members attended events on a regular basis. It was the first time Kena Temple sponsored a Shrine Circus and our members pitched in. It was also a year that was a bit controversial that is known to the membership as "Star Wars." Briefly, Star Wars was an effort that started in 1995 when the practice of wearing stars as a badge of rank by Shrine yacht club officers was challenged. Past Commodore Charles Glover (1990 & 1994) took the initiative and worked tirelessly to get this issue resolved. He was often met with opposition, even within the membership of Kena Yacht Club; however, this did not dissuade him. At the Imperial Convention, St. Louis, MO in July 1997 a resolution was introduced to allow the wearing of stars as a badge of rank on Shrine Yacht Club uniforms and passed thus ending an almost two year controversy. This was made possible by his hard work.
The year 1998 marks the last time our commodore's ball was held in Kena Temple honoring our commodore and his lady for that year Noble Larry Sullivan and his Lady Joy.
By the following year we no longer had the manpower to do the required setup and decorations and made a decision to move our ball to the Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge located a short distance from our temple. Our 1999 commodore, Noble John Hnat and his Lady Adeline hosted this event. The following year Commodore Bill Hammett and Lady Marlene hosted the ball from the same location. These two years were focused on sustaining our current membership. As we moved through 2000 there some early signs of recovery started to appear as new or soon to become new nobles showed interest in joining the club. Our 2001 Commodore's Ball was held in Annapolis, Maryland where we shared a hotel with approximately 200 Irish Wolfhounds that were in town for (what else) a dog show. By 2001 membership has shown some signs of being on the increase and there are other encouraging signs as well.
It would be remiss if the club's current treasurer, past commodore for 1996 and the newly elected treasurer for Kena Shrine were not included in this historical brief. This is of course Noble Dick McCord and his lady Mary. Dick is known for the unusual. In 1996 he arranged for the club members to attend a reception at the Embassy of Finland. Our host was the embassy's press secretary who briefed the club members and ladies on sport sailing in Finland's archipelagos. In 2001 Dick attended a temple event bringing with him the Ambassador from Madagascar as a guest. Dick and Mary have two extended families one of which is Bolivian and the other Arabic. Today, we have some of his extended family members as members of Kena Yacht Club. Our commodore for 2002, Noble Bassam Al-Kahouaji, a naturalized American citizen originally from Syria, is also a member of Dick's extended family.
Thomas G. Crouch 1967 1968 1982 Lawrence A. O’Brien 1987 1988
Andre H. Light 1969 Stanley J. Lowney 1989
Dorsey R. Frazee 1970 Charles W. Glover 1990 1994
Vinard L. Paris 1971 Michael M. Jelich 1991
Harold F. Brown 1972 1973 Victor Tabares 1992 1993
Harry W. Bendall 1974 1975 Eugene G. Brown 1995
Hamilton W. Shoop 1976 Richard B. McCord 1996
Roger H. Smith 1977 John Benn 1997
Andrew Tait 1978 1983 Larry E. Sullivan 1998
Arthur E. Davis 1979 John Hnat 1999
George T. Horsman 1980 1986 William J. Hammett 2000
Leo E. Ceaser 1981 Donald E. Reynolds 2001
Carl M. Medvad 1984 1985 Bassam Al-Kahouaji 2002