About Us - The Builders
If the question was asked, "who ever started the whole thing? the answer would have to be Gertrude Boddie. College graduate, mother of 15, wife of a leading local minister, she sparked the community into organizing first a Girl Scout troop and soon after a Boy Scout troop. Mrs. Boddie was responsible for getting Mr. Elmer Hall, a scout master in Providence, Rhode Island, to come to New Rochelle and get involved in scouting in town. He came, the troop was started followed closely by a fife, drum and bugle corps and the rest is a glorious history. To back her enthusiasm for the program Mrs. Boddie had four sons become members of the Troop and consequently the Corps.
Elmer C. Hall
Mr. Hall came to New Rochelle, New York in 1926 and promptly set about organizing a scout troop that was to be known as Troop 16. One year later he began working on a Fife, Drum and Bugle Corp which was the fore-runner of the Charles W. Dickerson Corps. Prior to coming to New Rochelle, Mr. Hall had started other Boy Scout Troops. Mr. Hall taught the fife, drum and bugle, which is why the current corps uses these instruments. He taught by rote but had no difficulty getting his music across to the extent that the corps gained popularity very quickly. Mr. Hall died on March 2, 1939 while a patient at New Rochelle Hospital. His spirit still lives in the corps he organized.
After serving as assistant to Mr. Hall for two years, Mr. Martin found himself Scout Master of Troop 16 and director of the Troop's Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps. He, along with his troop committeemen had a tough decision to make. In order to keep the corps going there was going to be a need for professional instruction. When Mr. Hall was Scoutmaster he was able to do the instructing but neither Mr. Martin nor any of his staff could fill this needed spot. Since Mr. Martin was a bass drummer in the corps, he definitely wanted to keep the thing going so he looked hard and long and finally came up with Sgt. Sanford A. "Gus" Moeller a renowned drummer, drum-maker and accomplished instructor. In leading the troop, Mr. Martin did even better. He saw three scouts become Eagles and many other win Star and Life Badges. He himself went on to win many, many awards as Scoutmaster and Siwanoy Councilman. His insistence on excellent behavior and achievement stayed and served well many of the hundreds of youngsters with whom he dealt. The Charles W. Dickerson Corps of today salutes him, as we do all of his committeemen whose decision and efforts helped to keep the corps going.