News From Fort Schuyler

February 15, 2010 - Volume 10, No. 5

DESERVING OF HOOPLA - The Maritime College basketball team is compiling an enviable record this year with a 17-5 record as of February 13. Their next game, at SUNY Farmingdale, will be played on Tuesday, Feb 16 at 7PM. You can listen to a live play-by-play broadcast of this game on Privateer Radio Network:

SCISSORBILLS FOREVER - This past October some 21 classmates, spouses and special guests of the Class of 1947 gathered at the Long Boat Key Club in Sarasota to mark their 62nd reunion. According to a report sent by ROBERT BARR the reunion lasted three days for some early birds. On the second day, "'all hands mustered in the hospitality suite to exchange greetings and sea stories, a cocktail party, complete with entertainment, hosted by classmate BOB FRANZBLAU" The next evening "'. we gathered for our banquet. Master of Ceremonies, BOB BARR, opened the program with a moment of silence then DAVE LAMBERT struck eight bells in remembrance of our departed classmates. As we listened to the adventures and remembrances of Cadets SY HYMAN, BERNIE KOVITZ, PHIL SCHLUSSEL, BOB PRESTON, MARTY ZURN, JOE TILEM and BOB BARR, it was evident to all hands that the bonds formed during those 27 months many years ago, were as strong as ever. The evening ended with Marty Zurn leading the Scissorbills in a stirring rendition of our alma mater, 'The Bells of St. Mary's.' Happy memories and broad smiles were the order of the day. The following morning, good friend RHODA GERSON, hosted a farewell brunch in memory of two Scissorbills, her father, JOE GERSON, and DENNIS COUGHLIN."

ESPN MEISTER - This past week GARY JOBSON '73, called the 33rd Americas Cup races from Valencia, Spain for ESPN. The US racing team, sailing the BMW Oracle US-17 for the Golden Gate Yacht Club, brought back the America's Cup fifteen years after its loss to Team New Zealand. The second, and deciding race, was won by the BMW Oracle team on Sunday, February 14th. A replay of the EPSN broadcasts of the two races with Gary's commentary should be available at the US Sailing website ( ) - go there and click on the "General News" tab.

Gary, ESPN's sailing commentator since 1985, also serves as the president of US SAILING (formerly the North American Yacht Racing Union). He has done it all in competitive sailing: three-time Collegiate All-American Sailor, two-time College Sailor of the Year, participant in the America's Cup, Fastnet and other ocean races, and author of 16 books of sailing. He has also maintained close ties with Fort Schuyler as Chairman of the Waterfront Committee and last year was the recipient of the college's first Alumni Service Award. According to the Spring 2009 issue of the Maritime College publication, 'Navigator,' Gary produced, narrated and directed a 30-minute documentary about the history, culture and campus life. (There is a at 7' minute excerpt of "State University of New York Maritime College - A Living History" at: )

SELL OUT - There was a full house at Bridgewaters Restaurant at South Street Seaport for the 2010 Alumni of the Year Awards Dinner. 350 members of the Fort Schuyler Maritime Alumni Association gathered to honor this year's awardees: BRIAN McALLISTER '56 (President of McAllister Towing and Transportation) - GHULAM SUHRAWARDI '73 (President of NMCI, Inc.) - JOSPEH BYRNE '89 (Turner Construction Company's Project Executive for the building of the new $1.2 billion Yankee Stadium.) In addition, after serving two years as President of the Alumni Association, DICK BRACKEN '56 turned the gavel over to JOHN BRADLEY '83. [Bravo Zulu to one and all.]

HOME FOR A HERO - The need for handicap-accessible housing for severely wounded war veterans continues even though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no longer front and center on the news programs. This year the Windermere Country Club is sponsoring another disabled veteran, Sgt. Joel Tavera, and raising funds to build him a mortgage-free house. According to information provided by JOE GUSTAFSON '65, Sgt. Tavera is one of the most severely injured veterans to have survived, having "'lost sight in both eyes, his right leg, and four fingers on this left had. He also suffered serious head trauma and critical burns to 60% of his body." Want to help? You can play at the February 23rd tournament, make a donation, or buy a $200 raffle ticket for a Nissan Altima. For all the details go to their website

STYLE GUIDE FOR SEAGOING AUTHORS - "I wish graduates of SUNYMC would stop using the expression, 'I ran into him the other day' or 'we met by accident,' comments CAPT JOHN R. GONZALES '55. "Remember the industry we are associated with and that we are often manning or piloting large merchant vessels." (John is a retired St. Lawrence Seaway Pilot and Miami Harbor Pilot.)

EBB TIDE - The death of JOHN T. CASHIN, Jr. '53 on January 26, 2010 was forwarded to NFFS by DICK BRACKEN '56 with the note: "Another good man down. John Cashin was a First Classman when I was a Mug." According to a January 30 posting on the Hoboken Patch: "He was 78. Born in the Bronx, Cashin earned a degree in marine engineering from the New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler and a master's in mechanical engineering from CCNY. Cashin also did postgraduate work at Pace University, Stevens Institute of Technology and CCNY. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Cashin worked for various firms as an engineer, most recently with the Manhattan Transit Authority for more than 20 years. He was also a professional educator for the maritime union and a longtime member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Cashin also enjoyed playing the trombone and played in local marching bands around New Jersey."

A Domenet posting adds details to this narrative: "John was a teacher, both officially and unofficially. As the former he taught members of the maritime union those subject needed to upgrade their licenses. He had a curious mind and was happy to share his knowledge with others. His avocation was music, his primary instrument the trombone. As a teenager he assembled his own band. In later life he played with many New Jersey marching bands. His co-workers called him 'Jolly.' He was that and so much more. Loving, judicious, kind, witty, humorous, curious and smart. John served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Afterwards, he sailed the world as a marine engineer, achieving his Chief Engineer's license in both steam and motor and later adding nuclear power technology and a professional engineer's license to his list of credentials. Over the span of his career, he worked for several notable engineering firms, spending the last 20-plus with New York City Transit's Capital Program as a Mechanical Engineer." He was survived by his wife, Anna Mae, a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren.

On February 1, 2010, just months after attending his 62nd reunion, ROBERT G. HOLZMACHER '47 died at Beaufort Memorial Hospital in South Carolina. He was 82. According to an obituary in the Feb 4-11 issue of the Island Packet, he "'.was a prominent civil engineer, born in Bethpage, New York and was the founder of Holzmacher, McLendon & Murrell, P.C. the largest water supply consulting engineering firm on Long Island, as well as H2M Labs, which is the largest environmental laboratory in the northeastern United States '. A graduate of the New York Maritime Academy at Fort Schuyler, he was an avid pilot and sailor and was a past Commodore of the Dataw Island Yacht Club and had served as Fleet Captain of the South Bay Cruising Club. After moving to Dataw Island in 1994 he became active in politics and served a term as Chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party." Bob is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ardith, four children and eleven grandchildren.

According to a posting on the Alumni Association website CLEMENT SOUZA '66 died in Honolulu at the age of 65 on January 17, 2010. His classmate WILLIAM G HALL wrote: "Clem was one of those unforgettable 'good' characters that we meet on this journey through life, He will always be remembered for his laid back 'Aloha' attitude about life and his willingness to help any friend, no matter what. He was a good man: father, husband, son and a devout Catholic. Born in Honolulu, he was a retired marine engineer for Matson Lines." His immediate survivors include his companion, Geri Fernandez, son Travis, daughter Jackie, and a grandson." An obituary for CLEMENT KAUHI "BUTCH" SOUZA was also published in the January 21 issue of the 'Honolulu Star Bulletin.'

A graduate of the Class of 1988, WILLIAM J. BOCHNIK died suddenly at his home in White Plains, NY on January 24, 2010 at the age of 43. According to the Alumni Association posting, he was a dedicated IT professional who worked at Ciba Speciality Chemicals in Tarrytown for many years and then more recently for AllianceBernstein. "His son was the joy of William's life, and he was a dedicated father and an active volunteer for Matthew's soccer team and school." In a 2007 review of children's books which he posted on the website, he writes about books he loved as a child, The Mad Scientist Club series: "I ordered the series so that I can read them to him (he's almost 6) and then he can read them when he gets older. I can't wait, plus this will get him more into reading (which he does more than he wants to admit) and less into TV and visual things." William's immediate survivors include his son, Matthew, his parents, his ex-wife, and his brother, Jon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SUNY Maritime General Scholarship Fund in his name.

News of the death of JOHN MURPHY '61 on November 4 2009, was recently received by his classmate, DEREK RICHARDSON, who wrote: "He was battling lymphoma for a couple of years and finally lost the battle. His son told me that John was really looking forward to our 50th reunion." John had lived in Waterbury CT since 1973 and was a part-time resident of Sag Harbor. An obituary posted in the November 12th 'Sag Harbor Express' noted that John served in the Army during the Vietnam War and received a number of decorations, including the Bronze Star. "He remained in the U.S. Army Reserve following his discharge from active duty in 1973 and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel." He was the owner of Skipp Tortilla Products and retired as president of the company in 1996. His survivors include his wife of 38 years, Janice, and his son Bryan E. Murphy.