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 President's Corner

Published in the January 2006 Ragged Irregular

Hope all of you wonderful 91sters and friends had some delightful holidays and are now preparing for a glorious 2006. We look towards moving our Association into the era when more responsibility will be assumed by our dedicated younger members. Please read the proposed changes to the By-Laws and participate in the voting for our new set of officers during this year.

Plans are developing nicely for Reunion 2006 in Colorado Springs on Wed. 13 Sep thru Sat. 16 Sep 06. Looks like we will receive excellent support from the local Visitors' Bureau as we did for Reunion 2002 in Tacoma. Please check the details elsewhere in The Ragged Irregular and start planning your visit. I hope to see many of you at the "Not-so-gala Reception"  on Wednesday from 5 to 7+ since the price is right - free; Mick Hanou will be our Hospitality Room manager.

Your officers participated in our quarterly Conference Call on 12 November. We are still planning for closer contact with the 91st Space Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota and I will probably be visiting their "open house" in August; any interest in a Rally Round? Earl Pate reported on the progress at WPAFB in restoration of The Memphis Belle and his efforts to get the Memphis media to appeal for return of any of the parts that may have been removed. We reviewed the final draft of proposed changes to the By-Laws. We discussed some serious problems that occurred in the PX complicated by all the hurricane warnings and hits and, as you may have seen on the web site (or elsewhere in this RI), have had to cancel orders placed prior to 1 Oct 05; please be patient with the attempt to reconstruct orders and get shipments out. Note that arrangements have been made to offer the 2006 calendars directly from the publisher.

Since the Conference Call we have had some interesting contacts with some of the organizations which support the 91st BGMA. Vince Hemmings continues to donate generously of his time and abilities in England and recently sent an update on the Priory Gardens and Museum at Royston as many of you noted on "The Ring." The EAAS (East Anglia Aviation Society) recently held an election to - among other things - choose a successor to Ray Jude who has been the able interim President after the untimely death of Peter Roberts; they are still working to overcome the problems of radium contamination at the Tower Museum. Jake Howland recently donated to the Tower Museum some of his CD's for sale to help them raise funds. We continue to explore possibilities that the restoration of the Memphis Belle at the Museum at WPAFB may afford. The Museum may be interested in being a permanent repository of the 91st BGMA historical records; I have the details on the Museum's policy.

This would in no way conflict with our cooperation with Chino in California nor the 91st Space Wing at Minot AFB, ND, to develop display of unit history. I have encouraged the Museum to use the display of the Belle as an opportunity to highlight the significance of the Four Horsemen - 91st, 303rd, 305th and 306th - as the beginning of the Eighth Air Force and have been supported by the 303rd in a letter to the Director.

Include your officers in your prayers. We need it. God bless you one and all.

Pres. Ed