Gift Honors WWII Veteran and Career Educator
Barbara Wood’s dad the late Robert H. Wood, a WWII veteran and career educator, loved teaching and boating, and, so, she has donated his 1967 Evinrude Playmate runabout for New York Sea Grant’s award-winning Discover Clean and Safe Boating public education campaign.
“We gladly accept this gift from the Wood family in honor of their dad. His boat will be used to continue his educational legacy as it promotes boating safety, how non-boating passengers can handle a boat during an emergency, and how recreational boaters can help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species,” said Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign coordinator and New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist David G. White, Oswego.
Robert H. Wood was a career educator. Following service in World War II as a B-17 bomber pilot, he earned his education degree and taught school in the Marcellus School District before serving as a Principal with the Fabius School District. In 1982, he began 20 years of service with the Watertown City School District as superintendent in Watertown.
Barbara recalls that in his free time her dad also organized summer boating safety training on Otisco Lake for the local youth and believes he may have been first to do so. His vintage watercraft will now continue that mission statewide.
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary 9th Eastern Region, Division 2, Ithaca, a partner in the Discover Clean and Safe Boating educational campaign, facilitated the boat donation. Immediate Past Division 2 Commander Gene Little commented, “The Wood family donation demonstrates the importance of boating safety instruction to the public. It will be an honor to work alongside the Wood family boat and New York Sea Grant to reach people how to be safe on the water.”
Later this year, the boat will be featured as part of a multi-vessel New York State maritime history and boating safety information exhibit organized by New York Sea Grant for the 2019 Great New York State Fair in Syracuse.
To learn more about New York Sea Grant, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, visit www.nyseagrant.org. For more information on the New York Sea Grant Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign, visit https://seagrant.sunysb.edu/articles/t/great-lakes-boating-marine-trades.