I sincerely hope that everyone had a great holiday season and will have a fantastic 2004!!! There are numerous initiatives at the Chapter, Regional & National level and I call on all members and supporters to find time in their schedules to react to requests for information timely so that 2004 will be a banner year for our association. The National Office realizes that we are all volunteers in our endeavors to preserve the legacy of the Original Montford Pointers and without your support we could not begin to accomplish our goals and we thank all who have worked long, arduous hours in this effort.
In my November update I failed to mentioned that Former National President, Dr. Herman Rhett and his lovely wife Mary, President of MPMA #6, Ladies Auxiliary, were present at the DC Ball as well as Dr. Shirley Plater (PhDEd), President MPMA Ladies Auxiliary. My apologies for the omission. Again the DC Ball was a super event that just gets bigger and bigger each year and I encourage all to plan ahead for next year.
As we begin the New Year it saddens me to report that the Marine Corps has lost another African American General officer due to retirement. Major General Leo V. Williams III officially retired on 1 January. General Williams and I have made many official trips together over the last 7 years or so to help support the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and Equal Opportunity Branch on diversity issues. The General never tired of meeting people and informing them about the legacy of the Montford Pointers and others that allowed him to achieve two stars for his flag. General Williams is planning a small ceremony in the April timeframe at Annapolis and we will ensure there is a Montford Point presence at his ceremony. We all would like to wish General Williams and his wife Joann, the very best in his retirement. I know we can continue to count on his support in his retirement. Semper Fidelis General Williams!!!!!!
All Chapters should have received their compliment of Queens Contest Raffle Tickets by now. The National Queens contest is the premier fundraiser event for the Association for the year. Tickets come in books of 25 and sell for $1.00 per ticket. Chapters are required to raise a minimum of $500.00 to keep their chapter in good standings. If you are interested in purchasing a book, I will personally fill out the name and address stub for you. Please email me separately and let me know how many books you need.
Members are reminded that Association Award recommendations are due at the time of the Spring Council. Awards are listed in the National By-laws. Also, Chapter Presidents, Regional & National Officers are reminded that their reports are also due at the Spring Council. Please ensure that you have enough copies for the Executive Council Members. Spring Council dates are 1-4 April 2004 and National Convention Dates are; 21-25 July 2004. The Spring Council will be at the Crystal City Marriott, 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA. 703-413-5500. The National Convention will be at the Crystal Gateway Marriott located at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA Phone 703-920-3230. Please continue to visit the National Website at: www.montfordpointmarines.com or the DC Chapter #6 website at www.mpmachp6.org for more information on both the Spring Council and the National Convention.
Finney Greggs, Director Montford Point Museum, has submitted a very detailed report on the Museum’s activities from August-October 2003. The Museum continues to grow in scope and visitors. Anyone visiting the Jacksonville/Camp Lejeune area is encouraged to contact Director Greggs to set up a tour of the facilities. Finney and his staff have put in long hours to ensure the Museum is a place where you would be proud to visit. Finney may be contacted at 910-450-1340.
Louisville Chapter and Regional Vice President, Charles Stallard continues to inform all in is region about the legacy of Montford Pointers. In a recent “Courier Journal” newspaper article, Louisville Chapter members were featured in a ceremony that added 22 names to the Patriots Peace Memorial in Louisville. Charles Stallard has been on the committee that established this memorial since its inception. An electronic copy of this article can be found at: http://www.courier-journal.com/features/2003/11/20031111.html Keep up the great work Charles!!!!!
Jet Magazine (27 October 2003) reported that Vincent T Cullers, Founder of First Black-Owed Ad Agency had recently died. Mr. Cullers was a Chicago Native and a Montford Point Marine. Mr. Cullers served as a combat artist in the South Pacific during WWII. According to Jet. “For many years, Vince Cullers Advertising Inc. served as a training ground for many young, promising Black Professional seeking their first exposure to the advertising industry”. For the Chicago Chapter members now would be a great time to reach out to his family and let them know of our existence and possibly inquire if there are artifacts that the family would like to donate to the museum.
I would be remised if I did not provide a continuing plea for all to become current in their membership dues. Membership is the foundation that allows our organization to continue to function. EVERY MEMBERSHIP DOLLAR COUNTS! Please become current in both your local chapter and the National office. If you need any information about becoming current, email me separately.
Thanks to all you who ensure that this newsletter and many like it are distributed to the masses. Special thanks to James Stewart, Chapter President, Maryland #28, who posts this news letter very timely on his chapter’s site at; www.mpma28.com.
Finally, thank you to all who have continued to support our organization year after year. Your work is not going unnoticed! You are the bedrock that the original Montford Pointers depend on to preserve their legacy! I wish all of you a very Happy and Prosperous 2004!!!!
National Vice President
Montford Point Marine Association Joe Geeter III 27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468