Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Update November/December 2006
Fellow members and friends,
Welcome to the many new individuals on this update list. For the benefit of the first timers receiving this update, this email list is to be used exclusively for the passing of information concerning the Montford Point Marine Association. Please do not forward the names on this list for any other purpose. Please do forward this information to anyone you determine appropriate.
Montford Point Marine Documentary: The Documentary Film about the Montford Point Marines premiered on 14 November 2006 at the Fisher Student Center on the Main Campus of University of North Carolina Wilmington. In attendance with me were Museum Director Finney Greggs and his wife Louise, Mr. Louis Gossett Jr., who of course provided the voice over for our Documentary, Dr. Melton McLaurin of the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Dr. Clarence Willie from South Carolina State University along with nearly 2 dozen original Montford Pointers who traveled from as far as Rhode Island to see the finished product. Also in attendance was the author of the poem Montford Point Remembered, Glynis A. Harvey. The immediate plan is to get a copy of the Documentary into the hands of all Chapter Presidents and to release the film to Public Television. While there still is no definite date for public release, we are hoping it will be prior to Black History Month in February. I know and the powers that be know that the desire is great to obtain a copy of this film. We are continuing to ask that members be patient. As soon as public purchase information is available it will be passed to all. For the latest information about the documentary please visit the following website; http://library.uncw.edu/web/montford/index.html this website is constantly being updated with new information and video clips.
Lieutenant General Promotion: The promotion of Major General Ronald S. Coleman to Lieutenant General on Friday, 27 October at 3:00 PM at the Clubs of Quantico was a spectacular event! The crowd of 400 guests included over a dozen General Officers and many senior enlisted to include the current and immediate past Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeants Major John Estrada and Alford McMicheal respectively in attendance. Major General Walter Gaskin and retired Major Generals Arnold Fields and Clifford Stanley were there. Also a contingent of Original Montford Pointers from the DC Chapter witnessed only the 2d African American Officer in Marine Corps history have his three stars pinned on by his wife and famed Aviator Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen Jr. USMC retired. General Coleman’s promotion appears in the 4 December 2006 JET Magazine. We all wish Lieutenant General Coleman much success as he begins this historical chapter in his outstanding Marine Corps Career!!!!
Fall Council: The Fall Council was held on Saturday, 4 November. Nearly all the members of the National Executive Committee were on the call. Each one received their package of reports from the committee members and we have successfully closed the books on Association year 2005-2006. Past National President, National Convention Director and host Chapter President Nathaniel James reported over $10,000 in profit for this year’s convention!!!!
Thank you Nat and Chapter #10 for keeping the Association “in the black” as far as our National Accounts are concerned! I’d like to also thank all the officers from getting their reports into me and the National Recording Secretary Regina Lawrence for again setting up this conference call. This call has proven to be the most economical way to close the books on our year and to prepare for the Spring Council.
Spring Council: The Spring Council dates are 3-6 May with the 3rd and the 6th being travel days. The site of Convention 2007 will be Jacksonville, Florida. Both the Spring Council and the National Convention will be held at: The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront which offers 966 sleeping rooms with 110,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The Regency is located in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville along the St. Johns River. Adjacent to the Hyatt is the Jacksonville Landing, a riverfront festival marketplace and our city is surrounded by ocean & golf. Please visit their web-site at www.jacksonville.hyatt.com.
Convention 2007: The dates for our 2007 convention in Jacksonville, FLORIDA have been set. Convention will be from 25-29 July with the 25th and 29th as travel days. We envision the President’s reception once again being held on the Wednesday travel day. We also received three notifications of interests for Convention 2008 and we look forward to receiving additional information at the 2007 Spring Council.
Association Happenings: Past National President Gene Doughty attended an International Conference on World War II at the National WWII Museum located in New Orleans from November 16-19. As a Marine veteran and Combat survivor of the epic battle of Iwo Jima, PNP Doughty provided his vast knowledge and experience to the Conference. Many will remember that Gene was scheduled for this conference last year but Hurricane Katrina postponed this event.
Kudos: Original Montford Pointer and retired 1stSgt William “Jack” McDowell was honored with numerous awards by the City of Los Angeles and the NAACP at the NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Luncheon on November 11th, 2006. Also honored were Dave Culmer and original Montford Pointer Lowell Arnold. Congratulations Gentlemen!!!
To Author Yvonne Latty for getting the word out on how the Association feels about the missed opportunity to include Montford Point Marines in the movie Flags of Our Fathers. Yvonne wrote an editorial which was published in USA Today on November 3d 2006. http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2006/11/another_wwii_fi.html USA has a circulation of about 2.3 million. Despite some very negative emails to both Yvonne and me, many people now know that Montford Pointers served on Iwo Jima! Thank you for your courage Yvonne!!!
Philadelphia Chapter President Reverend Lawrence Brown’s (PhD) book, Kwanza King & Queen has been published and may be purchased by contacting Reverend Brown at email@example.com or www.Xlibris.com call: 1-888-795-4274. Book will be available at www.Amazom.com., Barnes & Noble and Borders in November.
Documentary Film: Art Holliday, Director of the Documentary film “Johnnie Be Good” which tells the story of Rock and Roll Pioneer and Original Montford Pointer Johnnie Johnson, is constantly updating his web page on the progress of this historical project. Please check the webpage at http://www.johnniebegood.net Art is also looking to contact anyone who served in the Marines with Johnnie during World War II. Art Holliday’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The projected completion date of "Johnnie Be Good" is late 2007 or 2008.
Marine Corps Ball Celebrations:
I was fortunate to attend six separate Marine Corps Birthday celebrations and was the guest speaker at two, but provided remarks at all six. My first ball of the year was 3 November 2006 at Chester High School near Philadelphia, PA. The Marine JROTC contingent there has over 100 cadets. This was there first Marine Crops celebration in the six year history of the program. I try to always speak on history, tradition and of course Montford Point at these events. Special thanks to instructors Gunnery Sergeant Freddie Reyes and 1stSgt Joseph G. Cipko for the invitation and reception I received at this event.
The very next day I flew to Mobile, Alabama for our recently established Mobile Chapter’s first ever Marine Corps Birthday celebration. Chapter President Rodney Lee picked me up from the airport and along with his members, put on a first class event at The Country Club of Mobile to which General Gary Cooper belongs. Beside General Cooper and the guest of honor General Frank Petersen, there was a who’s who of Mobile’s African American Community and supporters of the new chapter in Mobile. General Peterson fondly recalled the 45 year friendship he and General Cooper have enjoyed and the contributions made by the Montford Pointers that allowed for both he and General Cooper to achieved the success they had in and out of the Marine Corps.
I then presented the Chapter Charter to Chapter President Rodney Lee and his members at the banquet which featured five original Montford Pointers. I’d like to thank the Mobile chapter for taking great care of me from touchdown to lift off!
On November 9th I was the honored guest at the Philadelphia Naval Inventory Control Point’s birthday cake cutting ceremony and the guest speaker at their birthday luncheon. National Financial Secretary David Fortune was also in attendance. There were over 200 Navy, Marine Corps and civilian workers at the cake cutting event and 75 Marines, former Marines and supporters packed the lunchroom afterwards for lunch and remarks. Special thanks to Marine Lieutenant Colonel Steven Kelly for the invitation and to Marine Master Sergeant Paul Phillppe for the logistics of setting the day up.
On the Marine Corps Birthday I had three separate events. The first event was at my job at AmeriGas Propane where I am continuing the tradition of gathering the former Marines and families of Marines at work for a traditional cake cutting ceremony. Then I attended a small ceremony at a local American Legion and finished the day in Norristown, PA for a small gathering of former Marines at a local pub. AT each of these events I had the opportunity to speak briefly about the traditions and history of the Montford Pointers.
I closed out my ball celebrations at the DC Chapter 6 Ball on November 17th. I have attended this ball for the past 9 years and this was one of the best. Major General retired Leo V. Williams III was the guest of honor and Marine Major Michael Williams gave his oral presentation of the Montford Point Marine experience in World War II that received two standing ovations. There were supporters at this event from five different MPMA Chapters. Included in the audience were Major General Cornell Wilson, Past National Presidents Sam Saxton and Jerome Milburn. Past Ladies Auxiliary Presidents Clustie A. Ford and Sylvia Saxton. Ladies Auxiliary National Chaplin Jean Lawrence. Maryland Chapter #28 President and Museum Board of Director member James Stewart and Quantico Chapter President and newly appointed interim Southern Region Vice President James Averhart were also in attendance. James received his appointment letter at the ball and we shared that James has been recently selected for CWO-4 and command of the Camp Lejeune Brig. His Change of Command is scheduled for 19 February 2006. Approximately 9 Original Montford Pointers were in attendance including National Historian Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Carpenter and Past Southern Regional Vice President Reuben McNair. I like to especially thank DC 6 member Purnell Hudson and his crew for once again putting on a great Marine Corps Birthday Celebration!
Los Angeles Chapter #8: Our National Vice President Mike Johnson reports; “The Los Angeles Chapter #8 had their 41st Anniversary Birthday Ball on November 11, 2006, at 7 PM. In attendance was our guest speaker the Mayor of the City of Inglewood, Roosevelt Dorn, his wife Joyce and 100 other guests. Approximately 15 original Montford Pointers were given three standing ovations for Preserving the Legacy. San Diego Chapter members and Major John Collins USMC Ret. from Vancouver, Washington were special guests. All commented as to how nice the program went and they look forward to next year”.
Jacksonville Chapter #29: Western Region Vice President Nate Hosea attended Jacksonville’s Marine Corps Ball on Friday, 10 November 2006 and reported that the event also was very successful. Nate feels that the location for our convention will offer members all the amenities that they expect in a large city without traveling too far.
As always, please continue to check our official website for more information through the Association at www.montfordpointmarines.com or www.mpma28.com http://www.mpmalejeune10.org or http://www.mpmanyc.com or www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!
Joe Geeter Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired) National President Montford Point Marine Association 27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 email@example.com 610-495-3619