How the Glacier Lakes Chapter Came to Being

he following information was provided by Frank Petran plus an earlier MACBA history account produced by Roland Rabe in 1979. If you have any history about the old MACBA, please forward to Jack Schneiberg .


January 24, to February 2, 1974: During the Milwaukee Marine Dealers’ Boat Show held at Wisconsin State Fair Park a meeting of several dealers and interested parties was held. In attendance were Show Director Tom Johnson, Court Conlee, David Hatch, Mr. and Mrs. William Richardson, Bill Richardson Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gage and Pat Johnson, Tom’s son. They discussed having an antique and classic boat exhibit at future shows and the possibility of outings as a club.

Prior to the 1975 Boat Show, an article appeared in the Milwaukee papers promoting that the Milwaukee Marine Dealers’ Show would feature a display of antique and classic boats and interested owners were invited to participate by contacting Tom Johnson. On December 3, 1975 a meeting was held at the Pabst Sternwirt Hall where 21 people from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin met for the purpose of organizing such a group. They decided the name would be MIDWEST ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC BOAT CLUB and the following were elected: Court Conlee, President; Bill Richardson Jr., Vice President; Tom Johnson, Secretary / Treasurer. (Frank Petran is looking for a roster of the first few years)

The 1975 and 1976 shows featured several member boats. A membership meeting was held during the show at the West Allis Inn. After discussing the merits of everyone’s boats, a small event schedule was made of which included a sell and swap meet. The club remained relatively inactive during the period 1976 to 1978.

In October of 1977, Roland Rabe was contacted by Tom Johnson to see if he knew the whereabouts of any unusual and as yet, unexhibited antique and classic boats. A diligent search turned up eight, which were shown at the 1978 Boat Show. David Stevens, his dad Brooks Stevens, David Marino, Jack Kinn, Walter Wilde and Roland Alt provided boats. Public Response was excellent and the 1978 Dealers’ Boat Show was a success for the club. Tom Johnson along with Roland Rabe put forth the idea to rename the club to be the “MIDWEST ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC BOAT ASSOCIATION”. During the show it was noted that 96 persons expressed an interest in the antique and classic boats from which several families joined with the existing Midwest Antique and Classic Boat Club members to form the charter membership of the ‘MIDWEST ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC BOAT ASSOCIATION. The original membership now was 25 members strong.

On April 19, 1978, at the American Legion Post No. 1 Clubhouse the following members were elected to
become officers and board members: Roland Rabe, Commodore; David Stevens, Vice Commodore; Nola Mae Osen, Yeoman; Roland Alt, Purser; Court Conlee, Past Commodore; Bob Chatterton, David Hatch, Francie Groth and Harry Stratton, Board Members. Appointments: Amil Reitman, Club Photographer, and Francis Groth, Activities Chairman and Roland Rabe was appointed Club Historian. Court Conlee was awarded the honor of Commodore Emeritus. Several weeks later at a meeting Bob and Shirley Chatterton offered to draw up a Constitution and a set of by-laws for the Association to adopt and submit to the State Of Wisconsin for approval of Incorporation. The “MIDWEST ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC BOAT ASSOCIATION” (MACBA) was granted corporation status in January of 1979. The Sell and Swap Meet, the First Annual Rendezvous at Gage Marine on Lake Geneva, along with several boating outings comprised the activities for the year. Later, Nola Mae Osen resigned from the office of Yeoman and Roland resigned for his office of Purser but remained on as Auditor for the Association. Francis Groth resigned as Activities Chairman and his duties were assumed by the Vice Commodore. A few years later, this arrangement of activities chairman became the duty of the Vice Commodore and continued in effect for the remainder of the Association’s existence.

1979 again found MACABA at the Dealers’ Show with a fine exhibit. February 3rd found the group meeting for the First Annual Dinner/Meeting at the Black Steer in West Allis, WI. Besides the election of officers, the
selection of the club logo and burgee from the signed drawings that were submitted by the members for the
reward of next years membership fee was on the agenda. Shirley Chatterton’s submission was the final
choice. No election of officers took place because of low attendance due to inclement weather.

con't -- It was agreed upon that the election should take place at the Annual Dinner/Meeting to be held on October to coinside with the corporation’s business year and to allow the new board time to plan the next years activities. Sterlingworth Motor Inn on the Lauderdale Lakes was chosen as the meeting site. At that meeting Shirley Chatterton was elected as Yeoman and Reva Reitman was elected as Purser. Brian Wilburn was appointed as Temporary Activities Chairman with the remainder of Officers retaining their positions.

1980 through 2000 saw the Association remain strong and viable with the membership hovering around 70
families. In 2001 the membership started to trail off. A lot of the families who started with the club now had
teenage or older children whose activities didn’t center around the Association and at the Annual Christmas
Party the last couple of years members were bringing their grandchildren. The Association was changing and
starting to fall apart. It became hard to hold boating outings or even find enough interested members to hold

In the summer of 2003 an outing/meeting was held at the home of Karl Johns on Okauchee Lake for the purpose to determine the future of MACBA. A meeting notice was sent a month earlier to determine what direction the Association should follow. There were three options presented. The 1st: continue as is; 2nd: join
The Antique and Classic Boat Society and 3rd: disband.  The idea of disbanding was not an option. It was decided that a questionnaire would be sent to all the members asking for their input. This would be the focus of the Annual Meeting along with the election of officers.  Also, Frank Petran would lead a steering committee to look into the formation of a chapter of The Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS). The committee consisted of Frank Petran, Ken Bourgeois, Bob Kuntzsch, Steve Bunda, John Steigerwald Jr., Wayne Chart, and Wil Vidal. In October of 2003, the Annual Dinner/Meeting was held at George’s Grecian Inn. The census was to
join as a chapter of ACBS. Frank Petran agreed to lead the effort to join ACBS. The ‘petition forms’ for joining
the ACBS were circulated around the room asking for signatures. A total of nineteen signatures of ACBS
members were obtained, which was a preliminary requirement for acceptance into ACBS.

The original name, Midwest Antique and Classic Boat Chapter was turned down by ACBS as being to close to
the international name. It was also felt by the committee that a new name was needed for the new chapter to signify a fresh new start. A number of names were battered around. Ken Bourgeois finally came up with the winner, “Glacier Lakes Chapter”. A number of requirements had to be fulfilled before the new group would be accepted into ACBS. Letters of support had to be written by surrounding chapters. They came from The
Blackhawk Chapter, Bob Speltz Chapter and the Michigan Chapter. Along with getting these letters,
Frank drew up a Constitution, and a set of By-laws. Ted Cartner of The Blackhawk Chapter and chairman of the ACBS Chapter Development Committee at the time, helped Frank through the process. A petition was drawn up and submitted to the ACBS Board for approval. The officers for the Chapter were Frank Petran, Commodore; Wil Vidal, Vice Commodore; Linda Allen, Secretary; Steve Bunda, Treasurer; John Steigerwald Jr., Ken Bourgeois and Bob Kuntzsch, as board members. The use of Flag Officers rather than business titles kept the boating theme alive.

On April 30, 2004 the Glacier Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society Inc., was granted a
charter. Their first full year, 2005, saw the chapter hosting the First Annual Pewaukee Lake Antique and Classic Boat Show at the Pewaukee Yacht Club. Two years later, 2006, the addition of the Annual Madison
Area Antique and Classic Boat Show on Lake Waubesa just outside of Madison Wisconsin was added to the
events listing. These two shows along with the Milwaukee Marine Dealers’ Show and several boating
outings each year, including the active support of the Wild Eagle Lodge Boat Show in June, make The Glacier
Lakes Chapter an up and coming group keeping antique & classic boating alive in Wisconsin.