How we started
Back in the spring of 1968 all USPS members who resided primarily in Middlesex County received a short letter. It stated that if you were or might be interested in forming a new squadron to cover the area between Watchung Power Squadron (Union County) to the north and Shrewsbury Power Squadron (Monmouth County) to the south; to come to a meeting to be held at the Robert E. Lee Inn which was located at the Route 35 bridge over the Cheesequake Creek in Morgan, NJ. (The Robert E. Lee Inn burned to the ground years later.) This letter was sent out by P/C Meinrad (Mike) J. Kupper, AP of Barnegat Power Squadron to see if there were enough USPS members interested in starting a squadron to fill this geographical area.
About 50 men showed up that night from at least 5 different squadrons, District 4 and National. From them came the 23 members, who at the next meeting, became the Officers and Charter members of Raritan Bay Power Squadron. Immediately we started planning for our first Piloting Class (today it s called the Boating Class) to be held in September of 1968. With and under the guidance of Shrewsbury Power Squadron, who agreed to be our “Mother” or sponsoring squadron until we received our actual charter.
Mike Kupper had been very active in USPS since joining in 1955; and since he was already a Past Commander of Barnegat Power Squadron and had belonged to Northern New Jersey Power Squadron and Shrewsbury Power Squadron; he knew many members in both our District 4 and National headquarters which were located right here in North Jersey at the time. Because of his association with these people and the proper committees, he knew how and to whom to get the correct information to in order to quickly form a new squadron and thus we received our charter on December 6, 1968.
Most new squadrons are generally a break off of one squadron. Since our 23 Charter Members came from 5 different ones (Barnegat, Northern New Jersey, Shrewsbury, Staten Island and Watchung); most of us didn’t know each other even though we may have been in the same squadron. Therefore, in the early years we were known as the “Maverick” squadron; but with Mike Kupper at the helm we proved to District 4 and National that we could keep up with the best in all parts of squadron life; and we are still doing so 45 years later.