Robert Chipman Memorial Garden
Bob Chipman envisioned the charmed property that became The Dock on the Bay in 1979. Many of Bob’s close friends had vacationed for years together – often on Longboat Key. The idea of a place of their own was discussed often.
Then Bob discovered Fields’ Yachting and Tennis Resort! Originally created by Herb Field – one of the town’s founders – as his own retirement destination, the property featured Herb’s wonderful home at the south end of the property. Herb had intended to live in this home, surrounded by a small resort and marina with the resort staff to assist his life style as well as run the resort. The theme of the resort was nautical with overtones of pirates – similar to the Bucanneer Inn at the north end of the key – another of Herb’s developments.
Bob immediately foresaw the possibility of occupying the main house, with the surrounding four units in the hands of Bob and Sheila’s four children. The perfect family enclave for their loving family!
Soon the property changed hands, and Bob engaged his many friends and resources to convert the rudimentary bungalows into stylish units suitable for vacation homes for his friends. Some units were demolished and rebuilt, some rehabbed into the current structures. Every unit had been spoken for by friends. The property never went onto the open market!
Bob loved foliage and flowers, and enjoyed gardening and pruning the lush tropical greenery. Ever tasteful, the rustic old Florida flavor was maintained – enhanced by Sue Smith’s most excellent taste and design sense.
The Dock on the Bay community flourished with Bob’s discrete guidance. Bob’s philosophy of living became the normal way of life throughout the property. The Dock on the Bay never had to post rules of behavior! Unlike so many condominiums, anyone who spent any time in this enchanted place naturally showed kindness, respect and consideration. Annual condo meetings were mostly love-fests, everyone appreciating the quality of the community they had created.
As the years passed, there were scarcely any unit turnovers. As families grew, children and then grandchildren all spent time enjoying the delicious quality of their days at the Dock on the Bay. Bob and Sheila’s family continued to expand, and maintain the flavor. When the first unit was sold, the community welcomed the newcomers who spoke of the warmth of the community as a major reason for their decision to buy! And the same has held true with subsequent turnovers. Every new family enhances the community with ideas, energy, and caring.
Remarks dedicating this garden
Robert M. Chipman Memorial Gathering …. Dock on The Bay ….. April 6, 2014
Spoken by Susan Smith:
Bill and I had the privilege of attending Bob Chipman’s memorial mass in Winnipeg this past year. Jeoff, Susan, Steve, Mark and Bob planned and orchestrated the occasion as beautiful and meaningful as the example set by Bob’ s life. It was an extraordinary experience. Everyone told me after the service that they came away saying it made them want to be better human beings. Bill and I felt the same way.
It was obvious that Bob made a huge difference in the lives of so many. All of us here today would not be at Dock on The Bay without Bob. He had many visions, but luckily for us, one of them was to create the community called The Dock on The Bay. He bought the property in 1979 and developed it as a condominium in 1980 and it was truly a love project where he, Sheila, and his friends could vacation and share their friendship. It worked, and has grown to include so many more people. Bob’ s number one criteria was that we have a gathering of nice people. He succeeded in his goal and I think he would be so pleased to see that his dream lives on in all of our hearts and we have the same love for the property and community that he did.
Doreen would like to say something in Bob’s honor ….. Doreen ….. .
Poem written and recited by Doreen Rouse:
“There once was a man with a vision true
to build a place for me and for you
A place where we could laugh and play and see one another every day
A place where children could wander and roam and marvel at nature in this place they call home
The geckos, the bugs, the birds and the flowers and curious George who watches us for hours
We thank you Bob for your vision so true and future generations will thank you too.
God bless you forever you are back with your bride
Perhaps we will meet again on the other side”
Bob lived by 12 precepts that he recited to himself each day, often on his walks. Jeoff is kind enough to share them with us at this time.
Jeoff. ….. .
“The winners in the world are those that give ...
It seems to me that at an early age we gain a sense that there is reward for those that give. It happens at Christmas, birthdays, on special occasions -as we observe the joy that occurs as a result of our gift. It causes within us a good feeling. This is our city -we want to be proud of it. We all need to contribute to making it an increasingly better community. We need to respond as best we can to the calls for support, whether it be financial or contributing our time and skill resources. When we do this we feel better about ourselves. There is an inner elation that we have taken the extra step in a worthy cause. The United Way had a thoughtful slogan a few years back, “The Giving Hand is Never Poor”.
“You cannot be too generous in praise of others “
‘Well done, good work, right on, super job, first rata effort, we’re proud of you· all have a nice ring to our co-workers, family members, team players and friends. Recognition for achievement is really important to all of us. It causes us to feel good about ourselves -it encourages us to pursue further successes.
“Stay the course –be circumspect.”
I believe we are best served if we have plans -a family plan, a good health plan, a business plan, a hobby plan and so on. Now and then the grass on the other side appears greener and we are tempted to change our course. It’s my observation it generally isn’t greener. Be cautious about important family or career changes. As we go through this world, we leam that life can be uneven. Family matters -business or professional careers can provide some setbacks. We might feel we are in a nasty storm. It seems to me that if we stay steady and resolute, our course will see us back to good weather.
“You can’t reclaim the past–focus on a good tomorrow. ”
We lose loved ones -it’s important to dwell on the good memories -feeling sorry for ourselves is negative and not a worthy option. Sometimes we regret decisions we’ve made, our behaviour -words we’ve said. What’s done is done! Active people are going to make some mistakes. What’s important is to learn from our errors. There’s an old expression: “Carpe Diem, seize the day: We should try to seize every day.
“Giving the benefit of the doubt is generally the right decision.”
Sometimes we’re puzzled or disappointed in an outcome, an action by friends or others; we’re upset by the results of a community development. However, there is peace of mind when we realize that most often the people involved have knowledge or information that’s not available to us. It’s quite possible, even probable, that if we had all their information we would agree with the result or outcome.
“Good health requires commitment.”
Wanting good health needs to convert to a program -a program that probably won’t be easy and requires discipline. Eating the right food, exercising daily, running, walking, cycling, etc. It also includes a curious, active, and positive mindset. As you grow older -you genuinely succeed to the rewards of taking care of yourself.
“Business success involves considerable risk. ”
To be well rewarded, there has to be an element of risk -an awareness that we can fail. Many people, as I did, opt for the opportunity to go into business for ourselves, or to enter into partnership arrangements. To be successful we have to carefully consider our proposed market place. Are we covering a need with our product or service? Are we covering a need? It’s essential that we are adequately capitalized. That we have the required skill and we recognize that our earty considerable efforts are going to be much greater than the initial rewards. We need to anticipate that there are going to be disappointments and unexpected adversities. However, if we have it right, persistence will provide us with success.
“Thoughtfulness is a core quality for personal success. “
Try every day to do something thoughtful. Be a good listener, be genuinely interested in others, remember birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrate the success of others. It’s important to make time for family members and friends.
“Be decisive –procrastination is a bad habit “
Life is so much easier when we make the daily decisions that are in front of us. Sometimes there’s a matter that’s difficult to deal with. We drift hoping that the decision task will go away or that delay will provide a solution. Generally, by drifting we magnify the problem.
“It’s easy to criticize –be careful.”
Our own performance should cause us to be careful about being critical. Looking for the good in people and in situations converts to positive results. It seems to me that people who see the glass half empty tend to be more critical in their ways. Chances to have happier life. I believe, are enhanced by seeing the glass half full.
“The daily pursuit of knowledge is important”
Read good newspapers, good magazine articles and good books. Search out information to be as well informed as possible. Smarter, wiser with each passing day is a worthwhile goal.
“A warm smile is a valuable attribute.”
The value of a smile is significant. Smiling begets civility, goodwill courtesy. Smiling people are ajoy to meet and to be with.
Now I would like to call on Paul Wood ….. Paul Paul talks about what a wonderful smile Bob had and then sings the song called “Smile”
As you know, Bob loved to garden and often spent time on the grounds planting, weeding and pruning his dear plants. I thought it would be fitting to honor our founder, Bob Chipman, with a memorial flower garden in the area where he loved to garden. I have ordered a small bronze plaque that will be placed here in the ground and will say: Robert Chipman Memorial Garden, Founder, Dock on The Bay.
Now Bill and I would like to read a short poem by Emerson regarding success that we believe is representative of Bob and how he lived his life.
Susan and Bill read the poem which follows :
To laugh often and much. To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty, to fmd the best in others: To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Susan continues: I want to thank all of you for coming out today to honor Bob. Let’s raise our glasses to toast Bob, a man we were all fortunate to have in our lives. To Bob!