2008 Reunion Summary
14 May 2008 – 17 May 2008
The reunion events began May 14 as scheduled. Most shipmates and guests arrived on May 13
or earlier. In summary, there were 61
shipmates present with a total of 130 present including family and guests. We were pleased to have two small children at
this reunion. They were Madison Woods
(age 6) and Tyler Woods (age 4), the grandchildren of Karl Gettel who served in
1961 and 1962.
The first event scheduled on Wednesday, May 14 was a
whale-watching trip aboard the Captain John Boat out of Plymouth,
Several whales were observed surfacing.
As someone said, “We either saw a lot of whales a few times or a few
whales several times.” In any event
there were a lot surfacing to breathe and eat.
They were fascinating to watch.
The weather was great and 87 had a wonderful trip out to sea. We found that some apparently became
“landlubbers” over the years. Even
Dramamine didn’t work too well.
On Thursday, May
15, 94 boarded buses for a trip to Boston,
one of the nation’s oldest cities, with a history of over 350 years. There were so many highlights of this trip
that it would take too long to cover them all.
We saw many historical buildings in the city and stopped for lunch and
shopping at Quincy Market. There are
dozens of eateries where you can find food from just about anywhere in the
world and boutiques where you could purchase just about anything to wear or
decorate the home and yard.
On Friday, May 16,
109 bused to visit Battleship Cove, Fall River,
MA, where we boarded the USS MASSACHUSETTS
(BB59). The first order of day was to
conduct our Memorial Service on the fantail of the ship. We had 2 widows and 2 daughters of deceased
shipmates present. It is always an honor
to have the families of departed shipmates present at the reunion and Memorial
Service. After the Memorial Service we
were free to wander the Battleship and other vessels at the Cove. We had a great lunch in the Wardroom Mess on
the Battleship. One of the busses was
surprised to have Grace Kelly as the Tour Guide. She explained that she was not “the” Grace
Kelly of Hollywood fame though. She owed her name to her mother and father
who gave her the name Grace, and her husband who’s last name was Kelly. On the
trip to and from Battleship Cove we passed several cranberry bogs, something many
had not ever seen before.
Upon return to the Radisson, Plymouth Harbor Hotel the
business meeting was held to hear reports from the Committee for this reunion,
elect the Committee for the next reunion and to select 3 sites to be reviewed
for the next reunion in the fall of 2009.
Again, to report all discussed would take too long. Highlights are: Mike Pollack, Reunion Coordinator, reported
on the survey responses from shipmates about their likes, dislikes and things
they would like to do at future reunions.
Gene Blum, Secretary/Registrar reported that 42 shipmates were added to
the Active Roster, 52 were added to the Deceased Roster since the 2006 reunion
in San Antonio, TX
and several Newsletter renewal subscriptions have been received. Treasurer Frank Hawkins reported on Reunion
and SCOOP Newsletter receipts and expenditures.
Storekeeper Mike Kranack gave results on store
sales and requested input on what shipmates would like to see in the
store. Frank Chesla, new Webmaster for
the usssoley.org Website gave an update on the Website and advised that he was
going to look into using another Internet Service Provider (ISP) for the
Website. It was moved, seconded and
passed to authorize Frank to look into changes that would make the Website
easier to maintain, improve the site and reduce the cost.
Committee Members elected for the next reunion are as
Coordinator John Rhodes
Secretary/Registrar Gene Blum
Store Operator Mike
Ship’s Store Operator Mel
SCOOP Editor Bill
Webmaster Frank Chesla
Sixteen sites were nominated for the site of the next
reunion in the fall of 2009. Sites
included Savannah, GA;
Hawaii; Cruise out of Florida
over resting place of the SOLEY; Portland, ME;
San Diego, CA;
Pittsburgh, PA; Mobile, AL; Nashville,
WA and Chattanooga,
Voting on these sites reduced the number of desired sites
WA and Mobile,
It was moved, seconded and passed to make a donation to Tin
Can Sailors in the amount of $500.00.
The meeting was adjourned.
The Banquet was held on Saturday evening, May 17 at the Host
Hotel. 61 shipmates and a total of 116
enjoyed dinner with their choice of Broiled Scrod or Mayflower Chicken. Our Speaker for the evening was Terry Miller,
Executive Director and Editor of the Tin Can Sailors who provided information
about Tin Can Sailors, their objectives, what they do and how they can be of
service to the Tin Can Sailor members.
Upon completion of Terry Miller’s presentation we had a 50/50 drawing,
and drawings for raffle prizes and door prizes.
A great time was had by all and we all look forward to the next reunion
in the fall of 2009.
Gene Blum, Secretary/Registrar