INTERNATIONAL ORDER OF THE BLUE GAVEL (IOBG)
The IOBG is an international organization made up of Past Commodores of qualified yacht clubs.
The mission is to recognize Past Commodores of the international yachting community and to
unite them in order to promote the highest ideals of yachting and preserve its customs and
traditions through social, educational and humanitarian programs. We meet locally and
nationally in the true spirit of camaraderie as Past Commodores. We are governed by local
Chapters, Regional Districts and the International Board of Directors and each District is
represented by a District Director. All of Florida is District 8 where the current Director is P/C
Karen Shea from our GHYC. There are currently 239 members in District 8 and 24 Chapters. For
more information on our District 8 visit www.D8IOBG.org or for International visit
www.IOBG.org . Our 2017 GHYC Chapter board is President P/C Kathy Hockenberry, Vice
President P/C Peter Tafara, Treasurer P/C John Button and secretary P/C Karen Shea.
Our GHYC IOBG was chartered on October 10, 1982. Since that time, we have had three
Presidents of District 8 from GHYC, P/C John Snow, 1990, P/C John Button 2001, P/C Joe King
2005. P/C Button continued on as the District 8 Director in 2002 and 2003 and the South East
Vice President in 2004. P/C Karen Shea was the District 8 Director in 2016 and is again in 2017.
The Gulf Harbors YC Chapter (11 IOBG members) conducts monthly scheduled evening
meetings (except for June-August). The IOBG Chapter is responsible for the annual Change of
Watch, Member of the Year/Spring Social and the Commodore’s Ball which includes organizing
the entire event. At these three events, we always explain the mission of the IOBG including the
formal white uniform, and the summer or winter uniform the IOBG wears. In addition, we have
also put on other events like a Pig Roast, Fish Fry, Spaghetti Feast and assist with the Children’s
Christmas Party, Christmas Boat Parade, Blessing of the Fleet, Poker Run, Memorials and
Veterans Day. Our biggest mission is to ensure that our Yacht Club customs and traditions are
preserved for generations to come.