Our 2010 sixth district convention was incredible. Those of you that attended know exactly what I mean. We had a truly dedicated support team assigned to each event. They ensured conference rooms were comfortable and equipped with everything needed for successful business meetings. Click the link to see our program: http://home.comcast.net/~SDPHS/PDF/Program.pdf
The Friday night meet / greet and concert was awesome. The night started off with 1940’s music and slide show. Hearing our survivors sing along and watching them point at the slides let me know we’d hit the mark. Next was our live concert. Raquel Bustos sang the old songs and soon had everyone getting up to dance. She really got the place jumping.
Our PHSA and SDPHS folks know how to have a good time. Many of them are still talking about much fun Raquel was and how much they appreciated her being there. We also had several active duty military folks and American Legion members stop by for a while. Let’s just say the soft-drink and snack machines didn’t make a lot of money over the weekend. The hotel did a great job. If we asked for something, we got it quickly with a smile. Real customer service, imagine that.
The PHSA business meeting went well. Bob Kerr was once again elected as the PHSA sixth district director. Go Bob! After the state reports were all finished, Bob Kerr led the candlelight remembrance ceremony honoring our fallen comrades. Each state chair saluted and put out their respective state’s candle. Deidre Kelly did the same for all our fallen SDPHS members. Click the link to see the meeting slides: http://home.comcast.net/~SDPHS/PDF/PHSA.pdf
The mighty ship USS Pearl Harbor also took part in our convention. While they had wanted to send us a special video, emergency rescue operations and other unforeseen circumstances had to take priority. However, they were able to send a very nice letter to our survivors. We’re very proud of the fine job being done by the men and women assigned to the USS Pearl Harbor. They carry our nation’s battle cry, “Remember Pearl Harbor”, around the world. We wish them fair winds and following seas. Click the link to see the letter: http://home.comcast.net/~SDPHS/PDF/LSD52.pdf
Following the meeting, the survivors and their guests were invited to a special WWII Veterans luncheon provided by the Macon Lyons Club and Bass Pro Shop. They had no idea they were going to be the luncheon VIPs. Bob Kerr was surprised once again to learn he would be one the event speakers. Having a SDPHS member (Ara White) that’s also a member of the Lyons club can be advantageous. Ara also Enterprise Car Rental to provide a fifteen passenger van at a discount so the group could ride together. Go Ara! Everyone had a great time. A few of our survivors even met old friends they hadn’t seen in several years. Click the link to see a news report from the Macon Telegraph: http://home.comcast.net/~SDPHS/PDF/Veterans.pdf
After lunch we had the SDPHS business meeting. Each state chair gave a state report and National Secretary Deidre Kelly gave a report of activities across the district. Some of the new ideas included the development of a sixth district website and newsletter. We also held an election for sixth district director which was led by Al Pomeroy, (GA State Chair). Deidre Kelly was the only member nominated. After the ballots were collected, Bob Kerr counted the votes and announced Deidre Kelly had won. She will be officially sworn into office on December 7th during the 2010 SDPHS national convention in Hawaii. Click the link to see the meeting slides: http://home.comcast.net/~SDPHS/PDF/sdphsmeeting.pdf
Everyone said holding the banquet at the Museum of Aviation was a great idea. We were surrounded by aircraft and equipment from every branch of our military. Many thanks to Judy McAlhany for finding such a great location. Bob Kerr served as master of ceremonies. The colors were presented by the Robins Air Force Base Honor Guard team while TAPS was being played by a member of Bugles Across America. Bob said the buffet looked very nice; however, those that know him will tell you Bob has special wish.
For many years, Bob has said he would would love to see the sons and daughters serve the survivors. Well, it finally happened. Each survivor was served by one of the sons and daughters like they were royalty. The look on their faces were priceless. Bob welcomed everyone and said a few nice words about our keynote speaker. We got a little ahead of schedule so Bob asked Jody Kerr to tell a few jokes. You need to ask Jody about Captain Midnight.
Our keynote speaker, 78th Air Base Vice Wing Commander Colonel David Southerland, USAF began by stressing the importance of core values and honoring our fallen military members. He then compared and contrasted modern and 1940’s military practices, personnel, missions, and abilities. Colonel Southerland reminded us that the world rightly calls WWII Veteran’s the greatest generation. “I hope that one day, people will look back and realize our military members now serving bravely around the world are also great.” He also spoke about the reduction in military members that has occurred and how it has affected operations. Colonel Southerland then presented Commander’s challenge coins to the oldest and youngest PHSA members. He also presented a coin to Bob Kerr. Afterwards, Al Pomeroy presented the Colonel with an appreciation plaque. Click the link to see the plaque: http://home.comcast.net/~SDPHS/PDF/plaque.pdf
Then came the cash prize drawing. Our $25 third prize winner was Lee Sandefer, (SDPHS National Treasurer). Our $50 second prize winner was a lady named Grace Phillips. Our $100 first place prize winner was Lee Sandefer, no kidding. We’re very happy to announce that Lee wanted any winnings from his donation tickets to be given back to the host GA SDPHS chapter. Many thanks to Lee. We can assure everyone the money will be put to good use.
You may not know it but Georgia State Chair Al Pomeroy is an Air Force veteran. Just as everyone was leaving, the Colonel presented Al with a Commander’s challenge coin in one of the oldest of Air Force traditions. He had hidden the coin in his hand so it couldn’t be seen and passed it to Al in a simple handshake. It was easy to see the Colonel had surprised him. Al accepted the coin on behalf of the entire convention team.
Thanks to all those who made the 2010 Sixth District Convention a great success!
May Gilmer, Bob Kerr, Kim Mosley, Ara White, Ian MacDonald, Al Pomeroy, Judy McAlhany, Betty Pomeroy, Sandra Mosley, J. Dixie Harris, Craig Evans, Louella Large, Deidra Kelley, Mary Purifoy, Margaret Goodson, Sandy Sikes and Garland Raiford.
The Museum of Aviation
USS Pearl Harbor, (LSD 52)
PHSA, Tri-State Chapter #2
Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
The City of Warner Robins, Georgia
PHSA, Greater Atlanta Chapter #1
Snellville American Legion, Post 232
Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Inc.
Enterprise Car Rental, (Atlanta Airport)
Warner Robins American Legion, Post 172
Chiles Restaurant, Milledgeville, Georgia
Comfort Inn and Suites at Robins Air Force Base
Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Inc.
SDPHS, Harry Robert Kerr Chapter, (Georgia Chapter #1)
Bugles Across America
Colonel David Southerland, USAF
Robins Air Force Base Honor Guard
We’ve posted the convention pictures in a PDF file below. This will enable you to download the file and show them at future meetings. It also frees up a lot of space. Here’s the link: http://home.comcast.net/~sdphs/PDF/Conv2010.pdf
See you in 2012