History of the National Capital Pond

During the latter part of 1947, a number of Ganders, members of the Chesapeake Pond (Baltimore, Maryland), but domiciled in Washington, D.C., believed that due to the increase in fire insurance representatives in the National Capital, a local Pond should be established

Through the untiring efforts of Maurice May, Past Most Loyal Gander, and Bob Wiseman, Wielder of the Goose Quill, both of the Chesapeake Pond, and with the whole hearted endorsement of the Ganders of the Chesapeake Pond, a preliminary meeting was finally arranged at the Continental Hotel on April 9, 1948.  Fifteen Ganders attended the meeting and with Maurice May appointed Chairman, organized the National Capital Pond and elected the following officers:

Robert L. Wiseman Most Loyal Gander
Russell K. Davis, Jr. Supervisor of the Flock
C. Norman Dorphley Custodian of the Goslings
Gordon C. Piercy Guardian of the Pond
Fred R. Bunting Keeper of the Golden Goose Egg
Leslie H. Durloo Wielder of the Goose Quill


The National Capital Pond Charter given under the hand and seal the Grand Nest Officers and dated May 17, 1948, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin listed the names of seventy-two Ganders as Charter Members of the National Capital Pond.

In 1951, as a very young Pond, we were privileged to have one of our own Ganders, PMLG Robert L. Wiseman, elected to the Grand Nest.  Bob served in all the Offices of the Grand Nest and was the Most Loyal Grand Gander in 1956.  Our Pond is very proud of Bob who was a Past Most Loyal Grand Gander (1956), Life Member (1956), and a Fifty Year Member (1992).  Bob took his long last flight on August 18, 1994.

In 1953, our Pond published our first formal newsletter, named the “Honker” with PMLG James A. Wiley as the first editor.  Over the years our newsletter has won several awards presented by the Grand Nest Pond Publications Committee, and continues to be a vital communications link with all our members. Over the last 25 years the Honker editors have been PMLG Ken Morris, PMLG Tom Cattell, PMLG Rene Carter and our current editor is Donna Digman.

Normally, the 49th Grand Nest Meeting would have been held in Washington, D.C., and the National Capital Pond would have been the host pond, with our own Robert L. Wiseman, The Most Loyal Grand Gander presiding.  However, since 1956 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of Blue Goose, it was right and proper that this important milestone should be commemorated on the banks of the Wisconsin Pond, the Home Nest.  The National Capital Pond regretted not being the Host Pond, but cheerfully acknowledged its obligations to the Wisconsin Home Nest in assuming responsibility of the Grand Nest Meeting.

Since our inception, the National Capital Pond has been broad in charity.  Over the years, we have supported various charities, and in 1972 we elected to make Children’s Hospital our primary recipient.  Each year we hold a charity luncheon with a Washington Redskin as our guest speaker.  Since 1972 we have donated over $ 300,000 to Children’s Hospital (through 2011).  On September 16, 1993, the Pond voted to change the name of this event to The John Brenner Annual Charity Luncheon in honor of John Brenner, PMLG, who initiated our Pond’s first organized charities while serving as Most Loyal Gander in 1957. In 2011 the Washington DC Firefighters Burn Foundation was added as a second recipient to share donations from the Annual Charity Luncheon. The Pond also gives $500 donations to four charities as may be nominated by individual pond ganders and screened/approved by the Charity Committee.

In 1980, our Pond was again honored when PMLG David E. White was elected to the Grand Nest.  Dave moved up through the chairs of the Grand Nest officers and was the Most Loyal Grand Gander in 1985.  The 79th Grand Nest Convention was held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

In 1988, the National Capital Pond Ritual Team conducted the Model Initiation at the 82nd Grand Nest Convention hosted by the Ontario Pond in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In August 1995, Barry L. Snyder was elected to the Grand Nest at the 89th Grand Nest Convention in Rye, New York. Barry proceeded his way through the Grand Nest Officer positions and in August 1999, in Seattle, Washington, became the Most Loyal Grand Gander.  For the third time since the commencement of the Pond, National Capital Pond was privileged to host the 94th Grand Nest Convention in the year 2000.  This event was held at the Hyatt Hotel in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland.

August 6-10, 2000, the 94th Grand Nest Convention was held in that great American city growing and gleaming on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  A lively and diverse metropolis in the midst of a renaissance yet generally endowed with history and graciously blessed with charm.  Our motto was “Baltimore Carousin’ in 2000”.

In 2008, the National Capital Pond Ritual Team conducted the Model Initiation at the 101st Grand Nest Convention hosted by the Virginia Pond in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The National Capital Pond Ritual Team will also conduct the Model Initiation at the Grand Nest Convention hosted by the Utah Pond in 2014 in Salt Lake City.

PMLG William G. Olson is a current Grand Nest Officer and will be elected to the position of Most Loyal Grand Gander of HOBGI at the 2014 Grand Nest Convention.  At the end of his tenure as MLGG in July 2015, the National Capital Pond and HOBGI Eastern Region will host the 109th Grand Nest Convention on a cruise ship from New York City to Bermuda. This will be the fourth Grand Nest Convention hosted by National Capital Pond over the last 60 years.

The National Capital Pond will continue to grow in strength and spirit. Our progress will be limited only by the ability of our members to carry out the object of the Order: Character, Charity and Fellowship.


National Capital Pond Historian:  Bill Olson


Bill Olson
(443) 562-7250