THE 69TH REUNION LOG OF THE CREW OF THE S.S. FELLOWSHIP
With the announcement of "Gentlemen start your engines" the 69th Crew Meeting of year 2005, Daytona Beach, got off to a roaring start.
Under the leadership of Mate Eric Seidel, Chairman, and his excellent committee, combined with the assistance of committee wives attending, another successful annual meeting of THE CREW brought together Mates and their spouses to enjoy the fellowship of the Reunion.
Special credit should be given to Mate Bob Lindholm, Keeper of The Log and host of the Hospitality Suite and his Reunion Crew, consisting of Mates Tom Donnelly, Wayne Field, Bob Goetz, Kim Newlin, Ken and Sharon Miller, Don Antonette, and George C. Fraser II, AND wives attending.
Financial contributions to the Crew Meeting were generous and our thanks go to Platinimum Sponsors Servotronics, Inc and eAutoclaims.com Inc, and all the individual Sponsors who participated. With their financial assistance the meeting was a success!
Early arrivals were invited to the U.S.Jaycees Thursday Night Casino Cruise, and transportation was provided to and from the ship.
Registration handled by Mates Ken and Sharon Miller started Friday morning, and then Mates and their wives were invited to the evening's traditional "Welcome Aboard" Reception in THE CREW HOSPITALITY SUITE decorated with posters and memorabelia and food - food - food! There was also some adult beverages.
Following the Honors Breakfast Saturday Morning, the Morning Program was moderated by Mate George C. Fraser II. At the Breakfast meeting, Past National President and 69th Reunion chairman, Mate Eric Seidel, welcomed THE CREW to Florida and thanked his committee for their wonderful assistance. Unfortunately, the speaker scheduled, Mate and Honorary Reunion Chairman J.L. McMullen, was unable to attend due to the sudden hospitalization of his wife Kitty. Mate J.L. joined the Jaycees in 1938 and was President of the Florida JCC from 1942- 1943. He later spoke to us by phone during the Sunday Morning Prayer Breakfast.
The morning session was held in a round table fashion, which allowed all the Mates to speak and participate in the program. The meeting was opened by Mate Bob Lindholm who also introduced Mate Bob Goetz, who is Chairman of The US Jaycees Foundation. Mate Bob Goetz outlined the purpose of the Foundation and the work done with Jaycee archives, sponsoring of Jaycee projects, and the importance of the Jaycees Hall of Leadership. Members of THE CREW were encouraged to continue their contributions to the Foundation. Mate Mike Sawyer was then introduced, and he spoke of the importance of donating old Jaycee records and memorabelia to the Archives and Exhibition Hall at Jaycee Headquarters in Tulsa.
The theme of the Morning Session was entitled "I Was There", but moderator Mate George also included the theme "The Way We Were", which was the theme of the USJCC 75th Anniversary meeting in St Louis some years back. In addition to honoring "Pioneers of the Jaycee movement", Jaycees of "The Greatest Generation" were recognized.
Our first speaker was Mate William L. Weiss, who at age 92, was the oldest Mate attending. One of the original members of the St. Louis Junior Chamber (1931), Mate Bill was its Vice President before entering the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lt, serving on active duty from 1941- 1946. Mate Bill later served as President of the Jaycees in St.
Louis. An attorney all of his life, Colonel Bill Weiss, USAR (JAG)was Judge Advocate General of the St Louis Chapter of the Military Order of The World Wars; and practiced before the Missouri State Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court, Korean Supreme Court (1945), and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was Legal Officer D-4 in Okinawa and Korea. He was also John Armbruster's attorney for many years. This member of the original St Louis chapter participated in the entire meeting and recalled experiences and events long forgotten. We were honored to have been the recipients of Jaycee history by this outstanding man and his presence at our meeting.
The "Greatest Generation" that morning was also represented by Mate Len Newton. Len served in the Army Air Corps in China from 1944- 1946, flying "The Hump" over India and Burma. Following his service, Mate Len joined the Princeton, N.J. Jaycees and served as local and state president. During his year as State President, New Jersey extended 25 new chapters, doubled the membership, and led Jew Jersey to march 1st in the Parade of States in 1961. Mate Len is a graduate of MIT's Sloan School and his business has led him to conduct MIT Businessmen's Tours to China, since China opened its doors to the world in 1980. Mate Len and Ruby just returned from a visit to China.
The mike was then passed to each attending Crew member and each told of their Jaycee involvement and the importance it has been in their post Jaycee lives. Other "Greatest Generation" Mates were Mate Hunk Henderson who was to speak that evening, Mate Wayne Field who served in the Army in Burma, modestly commenting that all he did was "climb telephone poles", and Mate Bob Lindholm who flew missions off Iwo Jima as a Navy Air Crewman, later transferring to the Marine Corps and still later retiring from the USMC as a LtCol. The stories told were inspirational and made you realize the value of the training and experience gained as a Junior Chamber member.
Among the Mates attending the Reunion were Mate Gordy and Blanche Lowry, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada. Mate Gordy has been a loyal and frequent attendee of U.S. Crew meetings, and we were pleased to have our Canadian friends with us again. Mate Gordy is Past National President, Canada, and he and Blanche drove from Ottowa over 1400 miles one way, to be with us. Gordy is also the Canadian President of the "Grey Foxes". He invited all of us to attend the Canadian Crew Meeting in Calgary, May 20-22, 2005.
Our Past Presidents Luncheon was attended by five former U.S. Jaycee Presidents, and a Past President of JC International, Bruce Rector. The current President of the USJCC, Mate Dr. Julie Metzger and current Junior Chamber International President Kevin Cullinane (Ireland), along with Immediate Past USJCC President Lon Fox, all spoke to THE CREW following lunch. The Past President's Luncheon, now a permanent event at our reunion, was a "Star studded" affair!
Friday night we had the honor of hearing an address by Past USJCC President (1952-53) Horace E. (Hunky) Henderson; his topic "The Greatest Generation". A native of Williamsburg, VA, Mate Hunk studied at William and Mary and Yale before entering the Army during WWII. He enlisted as a Private and rose to the rank of Captain, serving from Omaha Beach to Berlin. He organized the Williamsburg Jaycees in 1947 and was later elected President of the Virginia Jaycees, then President of the US Jaycees in 1952. In 1953-54, working on a grant from the Heritage Foundation, Mate Hunk founded Jaycee organizations in 19 countries and was named "Outstanding Jaycee of The World" in 1964. Hunk is presently Chairman of The World Peace Treaty Campaign, and spoke to that subject. He is also the author of three books, and at the end of his remarks, presented Mate Bob Lindholm with an autographed copy of his latest book "The Final Word on War and Peace". He and his wife Vera recently moved back to Virginia (Lynchburg)and he has promised the current President of the Virginia Jaycees that he would restart a Jaycee Chapter in his new home town.
Mate Hunk welcomes the help of any Mate with connections in Lynchburg.
Following the Crew Dinner Saturday night, Mate Bob Goetz arranged to seat THE CREW in the 1st three rows of the Year End Installation Ceremony of the US Jaycees, where Speaker and World President Kevin Cullinane addressed the convention attendees. All Mates who were past USJCC Presidents took part in the Ceremony. A private reception was held later, and THE CREW was invited.
Sunday morning, Program Chairman Mate Tom Donnelly opened the Fellowship/Prayer Breakfast with a prayer, recognizing deceased Mates and other Mates who, because of illness or other commitments, could not be with us this year. Palm Sunday readings from the Bible were given by Mates Kim Newlin and Bob Lindholm, then Mate Tom introduced our speaker, Sam Gornto, who gave a wonderful and inspirational talk.
A former World Champion Surfer and a member of The Surfer's Hall Of Fame, Sam went on to build a very successful Petroleum and Convenience Store business headquartered in Melbourne, FL.
A highlight of the program was when Mates Bob Goetz and Kim Newlin got Mate J.L.McMullen on the phone, and through the room's speaker system, Mate J.L. was able to talk to us and make some very special remarks. All in the room gave him a standing ovation when he concluded, and we told him that we had missed him. After that successful connection, Mates Bob and Kim got 100 year old Mate Benson Skelton (President, Tallahassee, FL JCC 1942-43) on the phone, and he told us story after story about the old days. What a special treat to have these two Florida Jaycee Pioneers with us in spirit AND voice!
Following the Prayer Breakfast, we stopped by THE CREW Hospitality Suite for a final "Farewell", until we meet again at the 70th Reunion in Myrtle Beach, March 10-12, 2006. This year's Reunion was well organized and well attended, with an inspirational program.
Our facilities at The Hilton Hotel were excellent. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!
Mate George C. Fraser II.
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