Region One President’s Newsletter – September 2008

Published: September 7, 2008

By Franklin Sanders

Franklin Sanders, Region One President This newsletter includes a report on events at the 51st International Rally in Bozeman, MT, which otherwise would have been made by Bob Thompson, as the outgoing Region 1 President. (Please see below regarding his suspension.)

51st International Rally Bozeman, MT

Bozeman was a great place to visit this almost-past summer, with “interesting” weather. The Sanders and Melociks arrived on June 10th, just before and amidst a late winter snow squall which swept through the northern Rocky Mountains, coating Airstreams and the Montana State University campus with enough snow to challenge the early workers who continued diligently to install water and electric service. (Dan Dureiko has his own tale to tell about being marooned at Penn Wood Airstream Park while awaiting service of his tow vehicle.) Parking and electric and water connections were delayed enough to test our ingenuity! But, those trials were put behind us and all worked together to prepare for forthcoming caravan and single unit arrivals.
Weather during the rally proper was pleasant. While temperatures were quite warm, the low humidity and steady breezes made outdoor activities enjoyable.
All the U.S. units in Region 1 were represented at the rally, as well as at the Delegates Meeting, and many members contributed their time to the smooth operation of rally activities. Our units were represented in various competitions, earning awards and recognitions for their members’ efforts:

  • Directories, Loose Leaf (Charter Oak CT Unit)Richard Kushman – 1st Place Trophy
  • Directories, Bound (New England Unit)Mary Hickman – 2nd Place Ribbon
  • Unit Newsletter Black and White (New England Unit)Pam Bleakney – 3rd Place Ribbon
  • Art Show Drawing Youth (White Mountains NH Unit)Kathryn Hirak 3rd Place Ribbon

(Cape Cod MA Unit was dismayed to learn that its superb entry in the Directories competition was lost by the judges, but recovered after the judging had been completed.)

Proceedings of the International Board of Trustees Meetings on June 25th and July 5th, and of the Delegates Meeting on June 30th, were reported in the September issue of Blue Beret.

The Region 1 Luncheon was held on June 29th at Johnny Carino’s Italian Grille, and featured the installation of Russ Melocik as 1st VP by Past Region 1 President Anne Werth, and of Dan Dureiko as 2nd VP by Region 1 President Bob Thompson. Past Region 1 President Raynold Lemaire entertained all with his stand-up comedy routine. His gifts of stained glass western hats were a wonderful souvenir of the rally and of the luncheon.

Community Service?

Is Community Service your forté? We need a Chair for our Community Service Committee. This person should be committed to helping Airstreamers share with the communities we visit, working with the Community Service Chairs of our units to develop programs which bring our talents to the aid of our communities, and in assisting the unit hosting our Region 1 Rally to create programs which benefit the community in which we hold our annual region rally. If interested, please contact Franklin Sanders.

Past President Thompson Suspended

On August 1, 2008, the WBCCI International Executive Committee suspended for one year the membership of Region 1 Past President Bob Thompson, and his wife Harriett, in response to the recommendation of the WBCCI Ethics and Grievance Committee. The decision of the IBT Executive Committee has been appealed by the Thompsons.

Unfortunately, for reasons outside the control of the IBT Executive Committee, its action was not disclosed until August 13th, except by a certified letter sent to the Thompsons’ postal forwarding service which was returned marked “refused”. The timing of the suspension presented a significant challenge to the presentation of the Region 1 Rally 2008, in which Bob Thompson had a major planning and organizing role.

The action of the IBT Executive Committee was vigorously discussed at the Region 1 Rally 2008, with a substantial number of members present objecting strenuously to the suspension and its timing.

Region 1 Rally 2008

Region 1 held its 42nd Annual Rally at Bayside RV Campground, Oyster Bed Bridge, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The site was incomparable, the temperatures pleasantly warm by day, and cool at night, and the weather pleasantly variable, with memorably sunny days towards the end of the rally week.

Canadian Atlantic Unit, under the leadership of President Joan Drake and First Mate Stan, did a superb job of orchestrating the rally, taking over seamlessly upon the suspension of Past Region President Bob Thompson and his wife Harriett, which became known less than four days prior to arrival of caravans and other members.

Despite distances from population centers in New England, Québec, and Ontario, and 2008’s increased cost of fuel, 103 member RVs came to the rally, bringing 209 adults, 10 teenagers and 7 younger children.

Prince Edward Island, Canada’s “Green Province”, offered an endless array of things to do, places to see and restaurants to enjoy. Members and their offspring enjoyed bicycling, hiking, visiting the Anne of Green Gables National Historic Site, and just relaxing at the lovely campground owned by Canadian Atlantic Unit members Leonard Gibbins and Michael Creighton, who were deeply involved in all aspects of presenting a most successful rally on their campground.

Region 1 Annual Meeting

The 2008 Annual Meeting of the Region 1 Board of Directors took place Thursday, August 21st, at Bayside RV Campground. Unit Presidents or vice presidents were present from each unit. Unfortunately, minutes of the 2007 Annual Meeting were not available. Following officers’ and standing and special committee chairs’ reports, Franklin Sanders thanked all for their service in the prior two years.

The President announced appointments of officers and committee chairs as follows:

  • Officers:Parliamentarian: Larry Lamontagne

    Secretary: Cynthia Melocik

    Treasurer: Trevor Lake

  • Committee Chairs:Caravan: Rich & Dottie Walbridge

    Community Service: [to be appointed]

    Ethics & Grievance: Rich Walbridge

    Family and Youth: Region 1 Rally Host Unit Chair

    Florida Luncheons: Russ Melocik and Dan Dureiko

    Legislative (USA): Russ Melocik

    Legislative (Cda): Claude Boucher and Stan Drake

    Membership: Fran Eckels

    Photographer: Raynold Lemaire

    Public Relations: Pam Bleakney

    Region 1 Rally Host Unit’s Rally Chair: Rich Walbridge-2009

    RV Parks: Russ Fuller

    Webmaster: Nancy Platt

The Board of Directors confirmed the appointments of the Secretary and Treasurer at the request of the President.

The election of a Nominating Committee Chair followed. Franklin Sanders noted that the prior custom of electing the Immediate Past President as Chair of the Nominating Committee could not be followed due to the membership suspension of Bob Thompson. He further advised that Past Region 1 President Raynold Lemaire had consented to be a candidate for the position. Raynold Lemaire, Michelle Plunkett, of the New England Unit, and Bob Butler, President of the Cape Cod MA Unit were nominated for the position. A show of hands was requested for each candidate: Michelle Plunkett received five votes, a majority of those cast, and was declared elected.

Under New Business, Mr. Sanders recognized the recipients of awards in competitions at the 51st International Rally, as listed above, and announced winners of Unit Merit Awards for 2007: Joan Drake, President of the Canadian Atlantic Unit, and Ray Moniz, President of the Charter Oak CT Unit. Caravan Leaders’ plaques previously received by Rich & Dottie Walbridge for the Boston to Bozeman and Maritime Holiday Caravans were recognized, and a Co-Leaders Plaque was presented to Larry & Pat Lamontagne for their work on the Maritime Holiday Caravan.

Unit Presidents were reminded of the requirement to keep Unit Constitutions and Bylaws up-to-date, and of that updates were required by the Charter Oak CT and Québec Canada Units in 2008-2009.

The final item of formal business was a proposal to update the Region 1 Policies and Standard Operating Procedures. The proposed update was approved unanimously. One of the more important changes was inclusion of provisions for board meetings by e-mail or postal mail.

The meeting closed with announcements by members of the Region Board of Directors, and a round of applause in thanks to the Canadian Atlantic Unit, and President Joan Drake, for a superb rally and their special role in taking full responsibility for the rally upon very short notice.

Special Thanks to Vendors!

We want to recognize, in particular, the generosity of two outside/vendor organizations:

Valenti’s RV Legends, an Airstream dealer located in Waterbury, CT, contributed numerous and widely varied RV accessories as door prizes our members at the rally.

Wilbur Smith Associates, a full-service transportation of and infrastructure consulting firm, of which Raymond Richard of the Charter Oak CT Unit is Vice President, contributed Sommeliers’ Knives and Leatherbound Notepads, which also were handed out as door prizes.

We thank both organizations, and hope you will patronize them.