Enter content here

 

Newport Dealeys 2017 Reunion Limited Summary
(The actual summary and photos will be posted sometime in October)


 

DESA 2017  Convention/ Newport Dealeys Reunion
  Radisson Hotel, 205 Wolf Rd. Albany, NY 

 

  Our 2017 reunion was quite different this year due to the sudden closing of our reunion coordinators Premier Reunion Services / MLRS in December 2016. Upon hearing of our dilemma, DESA (Destroyer Escort Sailors Association) stepped up and offered the Newport Dealeys an invitation to hold our reunion in conjunction with their national convention and activities at the Radisson Hotel, Albany NY, under our own banner including our own hospitality room and banquet seating, while taking advantage of their tours and related activities. The committee agreed that utilizing this platform would allow us to meet once again and as a whole to discuss and decide how to proceed for 2018 and the Newport Dealeys future.
After a bit of pre-reunion jitters and a less than normal sign up, the post reunion general consensus among the attendees was that our Newport Dealeys 2017, Albany NY, reunion was different but a pleasant success and we still continued to have lots of fun and laughs again, even though Albany NY is not a good city for tours like we were use to. The tour highlight was a visit to the USS Slater, the only WW2 Destroyer Escort still a float. Thursday morning DESA accompanied by selected Newport Dealeys shipmates boarded the USS Slater and conducted a scheduled formal memorial service.

I personally found that DESA members and officers were very friendly as they recognized us as a separate group. As the days went on, I received comments such as "Wow, you guys seem to be a really friendly group". Remember DESA was conducting a national business convention.
At one of their meetings, since their membership is dropping off too, there was some mention that they would like to explore the possibility of changing their charter rules to allow groups like ours to join. Presently their organization is governed by a national charter under outdated rules, with chapters in each state. (some active, some not) At our business meeting Thursday afternoon, I polled each shipmate for their comments on the 2017 reunion experience. The consensus was that foremost, we want to keep our identity and do not want to merge as an organization with DESA., however, we would certainly be open to a similar arrangement in the coming years, with some minor details to be worked out by our committee. Of course future DESA convention cities and dates will still be a year to year consideration. They also felt that the reunion dates this year and shipmate health concerns had an impact on the attendance but are looking forward to 2018.. As of the banquet, Sept 7, DESA was still negotiating with several hotel locations for their 2018 convention. A site location should be announced in early fall.


Marc Arsenault

Newport Dealeys