Imperials make a comeback

by Kelly Bitter, DCW editor

Pembroke Imperials
Photo by Moe Knox

This year marks the rebirth of the Pembroke Imperials, a nationally ranked corps that hailed from Pembroke, MA, between 1965 and 1982.

The Imperials re-formation committee elected a new board of directors October 18. Members include president John Stark, vice president Bill Cullity, secretary/treasurer Susan (Arseneau) Chapman and board members Paul Millette, Roberta (Blades) Sawtelle and David Rockett.

Stark said the corps is still deciding where it will be from.

“Although Pembroke was the original community the corps was based out of and is the sentimental namesake, we will probably be officially from the South Shore of Massachusetts,” he said. “We feel in this day and age we need regional support to thrive.”

Stark said what type of corps the new Imperials will be has not been officially voted upon.

“Right now we are very much aiming for a competitive DCA corps with the possibility of an alumni corps in the interim just to do parades and raise money until we can recruit to be a fine DCA competitor,” he said. “I envision us striving to be a corps not unlike the Hurricanes or the Bushwackers. We feel, with the DCI Boston Crusaders and East Coast Jazz filling (the junior corps) needs, we could fill a niche in Massachusetts for DCA, since there is none at the present.”

Stark said the corps intends to take things as slowly as necessary to raise money. He said it could take as long as three years before the corps has sufficient funds to field a competing unit.

“I want to do it the right way and make it contemporary and a group of high quality,” he said. “This will require that we hire the best staff we can, and all in due time.”

For the rest of this article, including a history of the Imperials by Fred and Jean Moulton and John Stark, subscribe to Drum Corps World!