Report on the Norfolk District Chapter
CW & WO Association

Norfolk District Chapter Chief Warrant
& Warrant Officer Association
United States Coast Guard
4000 Coast Guard Blvd
Portsmouth, VA. 23703

Installation Dinner

Members and their guests began arriving at 6:00 PM right on schedule. The Portside room was warm and nicely arranged in red, white and blue napkins, and white tablecloths with a flower centerpiece. The fruit assortment, relish and cheese trays were very beautifully arranged. Meeting and greeting took place until 7:00 PM. It was nice to see such a big turnout with temperatures outside being in the low forties and raining. 

At 7:00 PM, President Harry Huggins banged the gavel to get every ones attention and start the festivities. Past Presidents Bill Ambrose, John Hearn, Lenny Leonardson, Will Wathan, Ron Wright, and Buddy Husky were recognized, and distinguished members Buddy Husky and Harry Huggins recognized. 

Randy Cornell (National President) and his lovely wife Barbara were introduced. Randy came to administer the oath of office for the new administration. Iím sure you were sorry to miss Billís departure from the White House. 

A moment of silence was observed for all those who passed over the bar in the past year

Ed Ard graciously and eloquently blessed our meal, asked for remembrances of all those who were ill and not able to attend, for those who have had rough times during the year, and traveling mercies for those who were facing long drives after the activities tonight. Thank you Ed for such a beautiful and meaningful blessing.

It was on to dinner next. The buffet line formed behind Barbara Cornell and Judy Stearns, who were closely followed by their husbands. Thanks Harry, Hobey usually makes me wait. As usual we all started the line at the vegetables and rolls. Our lovely Chef Julie Heselton straightened us out by having us start in the other direction. Thatís OK Julie; the President-elect will take the hit for that. I donít know about anyone else, but whenever I get in line for food it reminds me of the days aboard ship. Only difference is Iím not strapped in to the table hanging on to my plate, silverware, glass, and whatever else was on the table at the time while green water is rushing over the focsle. Retirement, itís great.

At 8:00 PM President Harry called the meeting of the Norfolk District Chapter CW & WO Association to order, and thanked everyone for his or her support over the past two years. Harry also added a special thanks to Bill Ambrose for all his help and leadership he personally provided to him, and all that he had done for the betterment of the Chapter. Harry then asked Randy Cornell to give us an update on happenings in Washington. 

Randy said the winds were starting to blow in our direction. Membership was slow, but getting a little better as of late. A letter addressing Warrant Officer time in grade till next higher rank (3 Vs 4), and Warrant Officer continuation past 30 years. Both these initiatives were discussed at the last National Meeting in Yorktown. These initiatives are to reward our Warrant Officers for their high performance and leadership, and fill shortfalls in the officer corp due to the major loss of junior officerís to the civilian workforce. The initiatives were reviewed by Comdt., and were deemed unfavorable. However, there are chances for deep selection from W2 to W3 by being selected at the 2 year mark and advancing on your third anniversary, and so on for W3 to W4. These and other issues will be re-visited at the next National meeting in Seattle this spring. Thank you for the update Randy.

As Randy Cornell stood by, President Harry Huggins summoned the newly elected officers to the front. Harry introduced everyone and Randy Cornell administered the oath of office. The venerable Henry Domme (chapter historian) took pictures of the new officerís. Your new officerís for 2001 are: President, Hobey Stearns; Vice-President, Buddy Moore; Secretary, Bill Gasperetti; and Treasurer, David Sterling. Harry then said a few parting words and handed the gavel over to Hobey.

Hobey then stepped to the podium and identified all the past presidents and distinguished members, Randy and Barbara Cornell, and the active duty members in attendance. Hobey also thanked Harry for the leadership and direction he provided our Chapter over the last two years. Well-done Harry.

Hobey also apologized for the errors made in past newsletters, spelling of some names, and thanked his wife Judy for assisting him in stamping and folding hundreds of newsletters for the U. S. Mail. Only to be destroyed before delivery. In the future newsletters will be sent in envelopes.


Hobey then invited Paul Hamaker, past president (and current vice-president) of the Coalition of Retired Military Veterans to the podium to talk about resent gains in healthcare for retirees. Paul stressed that we lost healthcare coverage over a period of time, and hopefully most will return with time. With a new President things may change. Currently long-term care is a problem for retirees, and he stressed to us that we should look into insurance in this area. This could possibly be an agenda item for the next National meeting. Thank you Paul for your efforts in this area. And as a reminder to all, this is a "donation supported" organization.

David Sterling won the $100.00 50/50 raffle. Dave donated $50.00 back to the Chapter. Thanks for being so generous Dave.

John Oberlander won the beautiful lamp.

Thanks to everyone who provided gifts for the ladies. It is important to take care of our spouses, after all, would we really be here if it was not for them being there for us. Thank you spouses.

I also want to thank Brian and Julie Heselton for setting up the room, Julie preparing a great tasting steamship round and fixings, and to all Julies help who waited on tables. Everyone was very polite and helpful. Thank you all for making this a joyful occasion. 

Attendance was 88 members including guests, and it looked as though everyone had a wonderful time. Nobody went away hungry. The chapter only lost a total of $7.00 for the entire affair.

CHAPTER BUSINESS: Our next business meeting is a very important one. Please attend so your voice can be heard. We will be selecting new committee members, and putting together our slate of social functions for the year 2001. Your support is needed to man the telephone, membership, entertainment, and by-laws committees so please attend.

Next business meeting will be:
Date: 22 February 01
Time: 6:00 PM to roughly 8:30 PM if all goes well
Place: Consolidated Club on ISC Portsmouth

Cost: Cost will be between $5 and $7

The Club manager will provide finger foods. Wings, lumpia, desert, carrots & celery etc.

Again, this is the most important meeting of the year. If you plan to attend, call Buddy Moore @ 421-4439, Will Wathen @ 430-0028, or Hobey Stearns @ 465-5366 no later than 19 February.

Notable events: Reunions are being scheduled for the Absecon (WAVP-374) and the Chincoteague (WAVP-375). For more information call John Peters @ 479-0000 or Harry Huggins @ 484-3700.

Payment of dues can be mailed to the address above, or paid at the next business meeting or social event. All of the dues monies are used for mailings of newsletters, cards, and other correspondence required to run the club. 

I am very honored and moved having been selected as your president. I have some big shoes to fill. For this reason I will need your continued support. After all, we are all family, and here to help each other. I have seen and received nothing but love and respect since being a part of this Chapter. Itís a wonderful feeling, and Iím looking forward to a great year. Thanks again to all in attendance for the installation ceremony.

  Hobey Stearns

Chapter President