Meet the Fleet attendees were pouring in and board member Richard Banks was stationed in the foyer, passing out name tags and chatting with arrivals.
He still remembers his first Meet the Fleet seven years ago when he attended with his sister-in-law and immediately became a member of the Fishermen’s Alliance. Soon he was spending many volunteer hours supporting the organization.
Banks has always loved the sea. When he was a teen he remembers recreational fishermen catching boatloads of fish, which left him wondering how that could continue.
Fast forward 50-plus years and it has become clear that fish are not limitless. “We support what the Fishermen’s Alliance is doing to foster, support and encourage sustainability,” Banks said. The organization’s belief system was much like his own. Take river herring for instance. Banks knows the big role the little fish play in the success of the peninsula. He supports the Fishermen’s Alliance’s efforts to ensure their success. Protect herring, protect the Cape, he says. “I feel a sense of community,” he said. “It’s very rewarding.”
Born in Montreal, Quebec, his family emigrated to Bedford, Mass. in the 1960s, and after a stint in the Navy he took advantage of the GI bill to earn a Masters from UMass Amherst. He worked for Miller Brewery and spent 30 years in Wisconsin, not only at Miller, where he did marketing to management, but for a much smaller company.
He often visited the Cape with his wife Kathleen, whose parents retired here. They finally got the chance to buy a house in Yarmouth eight years ago.
“The ocean just continuously called to us,” he said.