Saturday, June 18, 2016

2016 NMA General Membership Meeting

In one word: "Terrific."

That's how President Terry Chesson described the 2016 NMA reunion at this morning's General Membership Meeting. There was no objection from the floor.

Highlights of the meeting include reports from a few members of the Board of Directors:

David Blakeley, editor of Leger Lines, said that there's only one thing he loves more than getting promises to send him photos for publication in our newsletter: actually getting the photos.

Equipment Manager Leon Harris thanked members who wish to donate musical instruments to the NMA. He added usability and condition are important; we do need a good electric piano, but a contra-bass bassoon with a cracked barrel and its key rusted shut would not be particularly helpful.

Marshall Hawkins, manager of the NMA archives, offered his thanks for the help of Mike Beegle and Randy Fendrick and added that the search for a permanent home for the archives continues. Hawk concluded his remarks in less than 60 seconds, leaving us with the questions, "What happened to the real Marshall Hawkins?" and "Who was this impostor?"

When the floor was opened for comments from the membership, two things became clear.

-- Our new members were particularly grateful for the warm reception accorded by old-timers.

-- All members of the NMA are recruiters. Even in this high-tech world, many MUs still don't know about our organization. And some still believe that ours is a "retiree's" organization.

President Chesson concluded the meeting with the observation that the Navy Musicians is not an organization for retirees. It's not for officers. It's not for one-hitch MUs; the NMA is for one-hitchers and retirees and enlisted musicians and officers.

"Anyone who has worn the MU's lyre is eligible," he said. There being no objection, the meeting was adjourned with the hopes that next year's gathering in Virginia Beach will attract even more newcomers to the NMA.

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