Thank you for reading our history.  Our club has touched so many people over the years and we are always searching for pictures and stories to be included here.  If you have any history of the club or it’s members, please reach out to!

**We have done our best to properly credit photos and content where applicable.  If we have not properly credited a photo or content, please send an email to so we can make the appropriate updates.  

50’s The Early Years

1954-1960 – The Early Years


DOB: Jan 1, 1954


1954-1955: The Nipmuc Water Ski Club was established in the Winter of 1954 on the shores of Webster Lake. The ski club was organized by seven water ski enthusiasts – they were Gerry Bernier, Ray Blair, Gerald “Tate” Dion, George Hekowycz, Andy Hoenig, Gretchen Hoenig, and Roger Lavoie. In the winter of 1954 an opening meeting was held at Jesse White’s Marina. Two ski shows were held at Birch Island Pavilion and donations from these shows, totaling $132.00, were used to build the club’s first jump. Andy Hoeing was made chairman of the Jump Building Committee.


First President: Gerry Bernier

Vice President: Hank Bernier

Secretary: Joyce Bayer

Treasurer: Ed McGeary


Total Membership: 32

Dues: $5




1955-1956: Several water ski shows were held during the season and were enthusiastically received by hundreds of spectators from all over. With the help of donations the ski club was able to purchase equipment. Members gathered twice a month on Tuesdays at Snug Harbor. The season ended with a banquet for members and guests at Snug Harbor.


President: Ray Blair

Vice President: George Hekowycz

Secretary: Priscilla Teslof

Treasurer: Gerry Bernier


Total Membership: 40

Dues: $5, $8 for new members.


1956-1957: With increased membership and legal responsibilities, the club was incorporated. During the past three years the club had progressed greatly and had been the greatest single factor in promoting and exhibiting the sport of water skiing in the Southern Worcester County area.

Several ski shows were held at various public and private areas and all were a huge success. Social events for members during the season and a year end banquet at Snug Harbor concluded a busy year.


President: George Hekowycz

Vice President: Roger Lavoie

Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig

Treasurer: Andy Hoenig


Total Membership: 40

Dues: $5, $8 for new members


1957-1958: Dave Lapierre and Yvette Raciot were the first Junior Directors instituted. In addition to regular ski shows, several younger members entered the Mass. Open Water Ski tournament at Lake Lashaway.

Jim Barker finished 5th in Boy’s Slalom and Howie Tryba 3rd in Boy’s Jumping.

On July 20th, 1958 the club hosted its first tournament – The Bay State Open at Memorial Beach with an estimated 5,000 spectators. Irv Piehler placed 2nd in Boy’s Jumping.

Dick Seraphin, Irv Piehler, Howie Tryba, Jim Barker, Dave Lapierre, Paul Vajcovec, Jim Kindler, and alan Roy slalom skied the 21 miles from Norwalk, Connecticut to Easton Neck, Long Island to win membership in the “Long Island and Back Club”.

At the Burch Island annual show, Alan Roy was the first member to perform the amazing stunt of water-skiing barefoot The annual banquet was held at the Colonial Club with Laval Leboeuf receiving Honorary Life Membership.


President: Roger Lavoie

Vice President: Gerry Dion

Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig

Treasurer: Andy Hoenig


Total Membership: 51

Dues: $7, $10 for new members



1958-1959: During this season, the first out-of-town ski show was held at Cedar Lake in Sturbridge; all proceeds were donated to the Jimmy Fund. The season continued with outstanding shows at Birch Island and Snug Harbor.

The club hosted its second area tournament, the successful Mass. Open.

Club members competed in tournaments at Lake Placid, Fort Meadow Lake and Greenwood Lake where Irv Piehler was the first club member to win first place in an AWSA sanctioned tournament and held the Eastern Boy’s Jumping Record at 84 feet.

President: Roger Lavoie

Vice President: Gerry Dion

Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig

Treasurer: Andy Hoenig


Total Membership: 75

Dues: $7, $10 for new members









1959-1960: The skiing season opened with show practice, tournament practice and general skiing. The first Eastern Regional Tournament was held at Memorial Beach under the direction of Andy Hornig. The winners in the mixed doubles event were club members Dave Lapierre and Ursie Bonczek. Following the tournament the club unanimously voted to pay their expenses to the 1960 Nationals in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


One of the highlights of the First Eastern Regional tournament was Gerry Seraphin demonstrating his one-foot barefoot and receiving a standing ovation. This was the first time anyone had accomplished this in the Eastern Region.


President: Andy Hoenig

Vice President: Ron Cardin

Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig

Treasurer: Roger Lavoie


Total Membership: 100+

Dues: $7, $10 for new members




1960-1969 – Nationals Come to Webster!

Club News:


1960-1961: This season was devoted almost entirely to developing new talent amongst the club members. Competition practice occurred during morning hours while instruction for new members and show practice was an evening affair.


Ski Shows were booked in Framingham, Ashland, Indian Ranch, and the Annual Jimmy fund show at Snug Harbor. A portable jump for road shows was built for $225.00. Many members participated in tournaments in the Eastern Region and added many trophies to the club’s rapidly growing collection


The club now has 105 active skiers!!


President: Gerry Dion

Vice President: Ron Cardin

Secretary: Yvette Dwyer

Treasurer: Roger Lavoie

Ast. Treasurer: Steve Keenan


Total Membership: 135

Dues: $7, $10 for new members.


1961-1962: The club’s bid for the 1962 Eastern’s was sanctioned by the AWSA. A tournament committee was organized to run the tournament without conflicting with normal club activities. This Committee consisted of:

General Chairman: Andy Hoenig

Ass ‘t Chairman: Gerry Dion

Secretary: Gretchen Hoenig

Treasurer: Roger Lavoie


The 1962 Eastern’s was a great success with many club members comparing and bringing home trophies. Jackie Lynch qualified to go to the Nationals in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Howie Tryba jumped 107 feet to qualify for the Century Club. The club treasury realized a $1,000 profit. Six shows were enthusiastically received in Holliston, Glen Echo Ski Club in Charlton, The Jimmy Fund show at Snug Harbor, the Singletary Rod & Gun Show, and two shows at Indian Ranch. If all of this isn’t enough, a trip to Ocean Beach was enjoyed by members on August 20.


Glen Echo Ski Club and Menard Glass donated a glass-enclosed bulletin board to the Nipmuc Ski Club as a token of their appreciation for our club.


President: Ron Cardin

Vice President: Walt Downarowicz

Secretary: Yvette Dwyer

Ast. Secretary: Ursie Bonczek

.Treasurer: Dick Seraphin


Total Membership: 145

Dues: $7, $10 for new members.


1962-1963: Shows were held at Indian Ranch on August 10th and August 24th. The Jimmy Fund Show as Snug Harbor on August 25th and the Singletary Show on September 9th. No tournaments were hosted by the Nipmuckers this year buy many skiers practiced and competed in many other tournaments throughout the Eastern Region. Seven skiers brought back trophies from the Eastern’s in Bridgeport, Maine and eight skiers were awarded the overall team trophy in Elkton, Maryland.


Ron Cardin, representing the club and Bob Harris, representing the Chamber of Commerce went to Long Beach, California to bid the Nationals in Webster before the AWSA tournament committee.


President: Dick Seraphin

Vice President: Wally Downarowicz

Secretary: Betty Conrad

Treasurer: Ron Cardin



Top row, left to right: Gerry Bernier, Gerry “Tate” Dion, Ray Blair. Front row: Roger Lavoie, George Heckowicz, Andy Hoenig.

Total Membership: 153

Dues: $7, $10 for new members.


1963-1964: The club hosted the National Water Ski Tournament at Memorial Beach. Ron Cardin an Bob Harris were co-chairmen of the Host Committee. Ray Blair was Tournament Director. The town renamed Ben’s Cove to Nipmuc Cove in honor of the club.







Pictured are Raymond E. Piehler and Richard Guerin

with the jumping skis used by Jimmy “the Flea” Jackson,

winner of Men’s Jumping at the 1964 National Ski Tournament held at the lake.

The skis were displayed at Snug Harbor until 1968 when the business

closed due to land taking for Route 52 (now Route 395). Photo from

A cavalcade was used to promote the tournament and traveled all over New England. A new Century Resorter was raffled ff to help defray expenses. This was the first AWSA sponsored national tournament that made a profit. Jackie Lynch was a member competing in this tournament.




1964 Club Members

1964 AWSA National Champions:


DIVISION             OVERALL              SLALOM               TRICKS  JUMP

MEN      Joker Osborn     Joker Osborn     Al Tyll    Jim Jackson

WOMEN              Dicksie Ann Hoyt              Janelle Kirtley    Dicksie Ann Hoyt              Barbara Clack

BOYS     Bill Spencer

GIRLS    Liz Allan                Weslie Walker   Liz Allan                Liz Allan

JR. BOYS               Kenny Dabbs      Frankie Dees      Ricky McCormick              Kenny Dabbs

JR. GIRLS              Linda Leavengood           Betsy Callaway  Maggie Jorden  Lorrie Hughes

SR. MEN               Harry Price          Don Roberson

SR. WOMEN       Artis Price            Bee Wineman

DOUBLES             Bill Pierce & Marilyn Shaw




Image 1 of 6

1964-1965: The Bay State Open at memorial Beach was held with Norma Morse and Mary Ann Magiera as Show Directors and Howie Tryba as Tournament Director. A Storage shed was constructed as Snug Harbor for storing our equipment at a cost of $200 and the club purchased their first parasail at a cost of $400.


Shows held this year were the Singletary Rod & Gun Club, Ashland and The Jimmy Fund show.


President: Dick Guerin

Vice President: Len Tremblay

Secretary: Betty Seraphin

Treasurer: Dick Seraphin


Total Membership: 160

Dues: $7, $10 for new members


1965-1966: The New England Open Water Ski Tournament was held with Howie Tryba as Tournament Director. Also, the Jimmy Fund Show at Snug Harbor netted $1,200-1,500 this year. Other shows were at Ashland, Indian Ranch, and the Singletary Show.


President: Len Tremblay

Vice President: Ernie Benoit

Secretary: Norma Morse

Treasurer: Dave Perry


Total Membership: 140-150

Dues: $7, $10 for new members


1966-1967: The Eastern Regional Tournament was held at Memorial Beach on August 4-6. The club held an inter-club Novice Tournament on August 27th. Other shows were at Ashland, Mass., The Jimmy Fund Show at Snug Harbor and Singletary Rod & Gun Club. The annual banquet was held at the Colonial Club.


President: Ernie Benoit

Vice President: Howie Tryba

Secretary: Arlene Benoit

Treasurer: Dave Perry

Show Director: Bill Graham

Co-Director: Fred Bonczek

Tournament Director: Howie Tryba


Total Membership: 99

Dues: $7, $10 for new members


1967-1968: The last show to be held at Snug Harbor was to benefit the Jimmy Fund. In the latter part of 1968 Snug Harbor, the official home of the Nipmuc Ski Club since 1956, was vacated and demolished to make way for Route 52 and a new access road to Union Point.


Steve Zemsky jumped 102 feet in the Eastern Regional Tournament, qualifying for the nationals in Canton, Ohio.


The Banquet was held at Point Breeze


President: Howie Tryba

Vice President: Len Tremblay

Secretary: Arlene Benoit

Treasurer: Mary Tryba

Tournament Director: Howie Tryba – Bay State Open

Show Director: Gail Paradis – Singletary Rod & Gun Club.


Total Membership: 75

Dues: $10, $15 for new members


1968-1969: Shows were held in Coventry, R.I, The Jimmy Fund Show at Nipmuc Cove and the Singletary Show. The Bay State Open was held at Memorial Beach.


The Present Club Site (at the corner of Thompson Road and Union Point) was acquired in 1969 through a cooperative effort of Mary Ann Magiera & Mary Tryba and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


The annual banquet was held at Point Breeze.


President: Howie Tryba

Vice President: Mary Ann Magiera

Secretary: Ed Greenbaum

Treasurer: Mary Tryba

Tournament Director: Howie Tryba

Show Director: Dennis Casaubon

Ast. Show Director: Gail Paradis


Total Membership: 55

Dues: $10, $15 for new members






1969-1970: The Jimmy Fund Show was held at Treasure Island and the Bay State Open Tournament was held at Memorial Beach.


President: Bill Graham

Vice President: Mary Ann Magiera

Secretary: Nancy Vear

Treasurer: Normen Kuszewski

Tournament Director: Steve Zemsky

Show Director: Gail Paradis


Total Membership: 28


Dues: $10, $15 for new members