Remembering our past
April 30th thru May 3rd, 2007
Hotel Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Approximately 174 people, 62 of them former internees of Stalag XVIIB,
gathered in Tucson for their annual reunion co-chaired by Vince and Marge
Registration started on Monday, April 30th
along with the opening of the hospitality room. The majority of the people had registered that day and mingled with
friends at the large round tables enjoying snacks and drinks.
The lanyards that were given out which said Kriegie
Kids salute the Ex-Kriegies were donated with the manufacturer
paying half and Marti Burch paying the balance. The ditty bags that day were
filled by Connie Kyle and what she had brought to the reunion. Of
course Virginia Lehmann was there every day selling the fifty-fifty
tickets. Doris Jenks was there and helped many people with questions
that they had convincing one man he did not need a $200.00 a month
Monday night the Board of
Directors held their meeting and in keeping within the law set forth by the
Internal Revenue letter stating that 90 percent of the membership had to be
the veteran, in order to keep our 501 status, revised the bylaws so that
only actual internees will be members and have voting privileges. All
widows, next of kin and anyone interested, who is sponsored by an internee,
may upon contribution of $20.00 per year receive the newsletter and roster.
The following slate of officers were presented:
Commander: Edward Dostie,
Tuesday saw many people sitting
around the hospitality room chatting about old times. Annie Caruso
even though she could not make it, had sent the photo albums she had for all
to look at. Also Joe Mark Ortiz and Amy Gulseth had made
excellent copies of Kriegie Memories and gave them to any one who
wanted them. An excellent copy, clearer than some originals. Tuesday
evening was the reception for Commander.
Wednesday was more of the same
sitting and chatting with the memorial service held that afternoon. After
the service the men had their group picture taken and individual pictures of
those in different barracks. After the memorial service Doris Jenks gave a
very informational talk to all of the ladies in attendance as to what they
need to get their DIC and other pertinent information. Wednesday evening
(due to a fire at the theatre) our dinner theatre was held at the hotel with
dinner and the show being there. A delightful mystery theatre presentation.
Thursday morning was the annual
business meeting with the minutes of prior meeting, treasurer report and
board meeting minutes being read and accepted.
Tracy Jackson read a letter from
Janet Larocco about getting the men to send in a piece about their
service time and photos and that she would make a CD of it all. Anyone
interested should contact Tracy Jackson at 6002 Meade Court, Harrisburg, PA
17112-8532 or phone 717-526-4393. Thanks given to Doris Jenks and Les
Jackson for all they do for the POW’s. Letters were read that had been
received, with one being from Ned Handy with a donation of $500.00 to
the organization and one from Annie Caruso saying the photos would be
there even though she couldn’t. Motion made to pay Connie Kyle
$100.00 for her expenses in taking the many pictures and giving them to the
men and ladies. Motion passed and then Stoop Morrissey and Bob
Baker came forward and gave the $100.00 for her. Motion made to pay
Roy Livingstone $240.00 for the yearly website fee, motion passed.
(later that day Tina Geary (daughter of Joe Ortiz) donated the
$240.00 for that expense.)
Vice Commander: Joseph C. Ortiz, Adjutant/Treasurer: Lydia Dostie, Northeast
Vincent Pale, Southeast Director: Robert Hulsey, Northwest Director: Jack
Jones, Southwest Director: Lucien Bergez, Elected as presented.
Discussion on where to hold the reunion next year. It came down to between St.
Paul, MN and Tucson again. It will be held at the same place, Hotel Arizona
in Tucson as it was this year with Vince and Marge Pale co-chairs.
Thursday evening was
the banquet with Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Hoover as the speaker.
Honor Guard for posting of colors by four air force members from Davis
Monthan Air Force Base. During the evening drawings were made for the
fifty-fifty with the following seven people winning $100.00 each:
Rose Mary Teaford, C. Norman Gustafson, M. E. Bence, Tina Geary, Fred
Rosenkoff, Carl Hitchcock and Robert E. Baker. Tom Allen, son of Ed
and Shirley Allen, donated several beautiful silver clocks with the
wording Stalag XVII-B Ex-POW Reunion, Tucson, AZ, May 2007, and
some travel bags that were raffled off. The names drawn for the clocks were
only names of the XVIIB internees. And as always Ray Elias made his
usual donation, this year it was several pieces of jewelry that were given
away at the banquet.
Vince Pale had again this
year made the center pieces with eight American flags and the evening ended
with everyone raising their flags and singing of God Bless America.
During the convention the Kriegie
Kids kept the hospitality room filled with snacks and drinks. They did
all the running to the stores, and paying for whatever needed to be bought
over and above what was in the donation jar.
Another great reunion.
Thanks to all who helped in whatever way.
By our Adjutant, Lydia Dostie