Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Update February 2006
Greetings supporters and members! We are right in the middle of Black History Month and a lot of our Chapters have already celebrated their events as well as supported events in their communities. I have been fortunate to attend a few Chapter events so far this month and I still have a few to attend in the coming weeks.
Quantico Chapter #32 celebrated their very first Black History Month Heritage Ball in a big fashion. Retired Lieutenant General Frank Petersen was the guest speaker. In attendance were Major General Walter Gaskin, Major General select Ronald Coleman, Major General retired Clifford Stanley and Brigadier General select Ron Bailey. This may very well have been the first MPMA Chapter event were five African American General Officers (or General selects) have attended, The sold out crowd of at least 250 enjoyed a great meal, African Story Telling and a remarkable (no notes) speech by General Peterson. General Petersen also revealed that his book, Into the Tiger’s Jaw, will finally be on the Commandant’s reading list. The General patiently signed dozens of copies of his book and posed for pictures with Chapter members. Many other MPMA Chapter members were on hand to support Quantico #32 in their first major event. MPMA Hall-of-Fame member Joe Davis made the trip from the New York Chapter. Past National President Sam Saxton and his wife, Past Ladies Auxiliary President Sylvia, represented Maryland #22. MPMA Museum Director Finney Greggs and his lovely wife Louise, of Chapter #10 Jacksonville made the trek from North Carolina. Also in attendance were Marine Corps Association President Major General retired Leslie Palm and MCA Assistant Director of Professional Development retired Sergeant Major Ron Featherson. Quantico also had the very first Marine African American Female Pilot Captain Vernice Armour and her Mom in attendance. Captain Armour is a Southside of Chicago Native and flies the Marine Corps AH-1W Cobra Attack Helicopter. Many guests became members for the first time at this event. The Quantico Chapter members all were in the MPMA uniform and the entire event was professionally organized and executed. Congratulations to Chapter President CWO-3 James Averhart and his officers and members for a spectacular event!
The Quantico Chapter will partner with the Quantico Chapter of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) for their Spring Golf Tournament. Tournament is scheduled for March 24 with an 8:00 AM shotgun start. Tournament will be held aboard MCB Quantico at the Medal of Honor Golf Course. Tourney fee is $60.00 and covers 18 holes, lunch, beverages, goodie bag and many raffles. To reserve a player/team slot, contact Mr Charles Latimer (MPMA) at 540-729-8401 or Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Scott (NNOA) at 703-432-1449.
Metro-Missouri Chapter: I also attended the Metro-Missouri Chapter’s Chosen Few Banquet on 11 February at the St Louis Airport Marriott Hotel. Retired Admiral and current Senate Chaplin Barry C. Black was the featured speaker. Over 300 members and guests attended this event. Central Region Vice President and National Treasurer Charles Stallard and his wife Jane were in attendance. There was also a large contingent of Chicago Chapter #2 members including MPMA Hall-of-Fame members John Vanoy and Wendell Ferguson along with past National Queen Valerie Neal and her husband, Chicago Chapter webmaster Howard Neal. Also attending from Chicago was Essie Wilson and Housing Committee Chairman, Harry Hamilton. Representing the San Francisco Chapter was Percy Corke. There were many members from St. Louis Chapter #13 to include the Chapter President Anthony "Tony" Chestang and a group of members including past Chapter President Jack Frison.
Admiral Black, in his extremely elegant delivery (also with no notes), told of the perseverance of the Montford Pointers and elaborated on his simple message of "Never Quit". The Ladies Auxiliary’s National President Melcine "Daisy" Henderson attended with her husband, past National Treasurer Johnny, as well as many members of both the St Louis and Metro Missouri Chapters. Congratulations to William Washington Jr. and Chapter President Robert L. Hawthorne, II for a tremendous 9th Chosen Few Ball!
Camp Lejeune, Chapter #10: Will hold their Heritage Dance on Saturday, 25 February 2006 beginning with cocktails at 6:00 PM in their clubhouse. Camp Johnson (Montford Point) Commanding Officer, Colonel Grover Lewis will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $20.00 each and can be ordered by calling the clubhouse at 910-355-1900. The event regularly sells out so please call the clubhouse very soon for tickets and more information.
Louisville Chapter #22 is hosting its 2ND Annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet and Dinner Show in honor of John T. Covington and John W. Hagas, founders of the Louisville Chapter of the MPMA. This formal event will take place Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 6:30 PM at Materson’s which is located at 1830 South Third Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40208. The guest speaker will be Colonel Kenneth Dunn USMC retired a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. The Dinner Show will be provided by International Jazz song stylist Ms. Janis Carter, both of whom are native Louisvillians. Tickets for this event are $50.00 each. For additional information for this event and ad information for their Journal, please contact Central Region Vice President Charles Stallard at 502-231-0132 or 502-550-2423 (cell) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Thomas Cork at 502-423-0040. As with most MPMA events, this will sell-out so get your tickets early!
Chicago Chapter #2 the following events will take place the Chicago Chapter clubhouse at 7011 South Vincennes in Chicago: February 18th – Salute to African American Veterans 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.Keynote Speaker will be Attorney William H. Hooks, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret), USMC
March 18th- Salute to Women in Defense of our Nation (ceremony and panel discussion) 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N., Ed.D, Major General (Ret) Panelist include – Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N., Ed.D, Major General (Ret) Command Sergeant Major Michele S. Jones Dr. Jeanne Douglas, Oak Park Vet Center Dr. Janet M. Kamer, PhD, Colonel, US Air Force Lane Knox, Program Manager, IDES
For more information, please contact Rochelle Crump at 312-814-2744.
Black History Month Program: The Association has the opportunity to send representatives to Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas to be recognized by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities during Black History Month the weekend of 24-25 February 2006. Events include a reception where HBCU Presidents, Senior Department of Defense Leaders and elected officials will convene and mingle. Scheduled to attend are original Montford Pointers, Lieutenant Colonel ret Joseph Carpenter, 1stSgt retired Barnett Person, Ellis Cunningham and 1stSgt retired Jack McDowell, retired Master Gunnery Sergeant Robert Reid and myself. Special thanks to Air Force Major Marvin R. Jordan, Deputy Director, Military Equal Opportunity, Office of the Deputy under Secretary of Defense for reaching out to the Association for participation.
Special thanks to Jerry Anderson wit the Secretary of Defense Office for thinking of the Montford Pointers. The very next day I will attend the below event sponsored by the Quantico Black History Month Committee. I will report on these events in March’s update.
Quantico Black History Month Dinner Program: Will be held on Saturday, 25 February 2006 at the Clubs of Quantico starting at 5:00 PM. This has proven to be the premier Black History Month event in the Greater DC area over the past 6 years. I have attended the past four events to present a gift from the Association to the Guest Speaker. Last year we had a major display and at least a dozen members at the event. Mrs. Betty Currie, Secretary to President William Jefferson Clinton, Retired Civil Service Employee and Political Activist, will be the featured speaker.
National Historian and MPMA Hall-of Fame member retired Lieutenant Colonel Joe Carpenter was the featured speaker at the United States Department of Justice’s Black History Month Program. US Assistant Attorney June Jefferies, who became aware of our Association during a visit to Detroit, made the following comments about their program
"Col. Carpenter and his colleagues came to the office today and did a wonderful presentation. People here really learned something about America's history. Thank you for your assistance in making this program happen".
Thank you June for thinking of the Montford Pointers!
As we continue through Black History Month please get our MPMA Chapters and individuals involved in not only Chapter events, but community events. Both the Quantico and Missouri Chapters proved that our motto "Working Together Works" is more than a motto, it’s our mantra.
Semper Fi For Life: Executive Director of the Semper Fi for Life Foundation (not to be confused with the Marine for Life) MPMA member and retired Lieutenant Colonel Charles "Charlie" Boyd would like to introduce his foundation to members. The Semper Fi foundation is a non-profit organization committed to helping Marines and veterans of all Services, re-enter, re-establish and re-claim their place in the civilian community. More information on this worthwhile program may be found at www.semperfiforlife.org or you can reach Lieutenant Colonel Boyd at email@example.com.
Spring Council: The dates for the Spring Council have been set. The Council will be held in Jacksonville, North Carolina April 6th-9th 2006 with the 6th and the 9th being travel days. Hotel information: 22 rooms have been reserved at the Conference Suites. The number is 910-346-8900 and the room rate is $71.00 plus taxes. Chapters are reminded that award recommendations are due at the Spring Council.
Convention 2006: Convention 2006 will also be in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Dates are July 26th through the 30th with the 26th and 30th as travel days. National Convention Director and Past President Nathaniel James and the members of Chapter #10 are working hard to finalize events. Along with the Conference Suites, the Holiday Inn, 910-347-1900 $85.00 plus taxes and the Innkeeper, 910-938-0800 $71.00 plus taxes have been reserved. Please make your reservations for both early.
Museum Director, Finney Greggs has announced that the premier of the Montford Point Documentary Film will be on Saturday, 29 July. More details will follow as they are received. Finney will send a special letter to Chapter Presidents encouraging Original Montford Point Marines to attend this much anticipated premier.
Convention 2007: We are still looking for a Convention site for Convention 2007. Chapters are asked to work together for a possible joint convention and to also look into non-chapter sites. It is important to have a site locked down at the Spring Council. If your Chapter is interested, please be prepared to present to the National Executive Council at the Spring Council.
National Quartermaster: National Quartermaster, Elijah Abram has the brand new 51st and 52d Defense Battalion coins for sale now. Coins are only $8.00 plus shipping and handling. Abe also has the official MPMA patch that can be either worn or displayed. Patches are $10.00 each. Additionally, Abe has the pullover golf shirts for $35.00 plus lettering and shipping. Abe has reduced the price of previously issued coins to $5.00 each.
Please contact Abe at 843-838-5475 or for more details. Coins make a great presentation to speakers and folks that have contributed to your Chapter’s mission.
National Chaplain: Reverend James Moore is asking Chapter Presidents or representatives to bring with them a list of members who have passed since our last Convention to the Spring Council so he may begin planning the memorial portion of the National Banquet. Reverend Moore also would like to remind us to contact him immediately after the death or serious illness of members so that he may provide prompt communication with the family. Reverend Moore may be reached at 843-846-0881 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Public Affairs Officer: Carmen Cordoba would like to thank all the chapters for continuing to send her the latest Chapter happenings. Look for a link to your chapter very soon on our official website.
National Recording Secretary: Regina Lawrence would like to remind Chapters to submit update rosters at a minimum of twice a year or when there are significant changes, especially after local elections. In order to save on postage, we need current addresses. Additionally it is requested that all requests for membership cards go through your local Chapter President to prevent duplicate mailings.
Special Thanks: To National Veterans Affairs Officer Leo Taylor, who regularly sends stamps to help me spread information to those who do not have E-mail. Thanks also to the first African American Female Marine Officer and the first African American Woman Marine to retire with 20 years service Annie Graham who, from time-to-time, also sends stamps to me. Stamps of any denomination are always welcomed.
Queens Tickets: Please see your chapter representative for your Queens Tickets. The Queens Contest is the National Office’s premier fundraiser for the year and funds our scholarship efforts as well as our operating costs. It is also an excellent opportunity for the local Chapters to raise money for their local initiatives. Just a few years ago Camp Lejeune Chapter #10 took home over $4,000.00 in rebates!!! Chapters are required by our National by-laws to raise a minimum of $500.00 to remain financial and to keep their voting rights at the National Convention. Tickets sale for $1.00 each or $25.00 for a book of 25. The raffle takes place at the National Convention and the winners need not be present. My offer to fill out the raffle tickets for those who purchase through me still stands.
NAACP National Convention: Will be held from 15-20 July 2006 in Washington, DC at the Washington Convention Center. More information will be passed as it is received. We scheduled our National Convention purposely not to conflict with the NAACP. To receive a registration for the Convention call 410-580-5780 and leave your full name and complete mailing address. Please visit www.naacp.org for the latest information with the NAACP.
As always, please continue to check our official website for more information throughout the Association at www.montfordpointmarines.com . Please also check chapter sites at: www.mpma28.com , http://www.mpmanyc.com and www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!
Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired)
National President, Montford Point Marine Association
27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 email@example.com