Twenty-three new generation APWU national, state, area local/local, auxiliary officers, family members, and guests signed in at the historic first APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter luncheon held in the Radisson Hotel Restaurant at Orlando, Fl. from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wed., May 8, 2002. Happy folders chock full of APWU history and Retiree Chapter plans for the future were handed out to everyone present at the event. Nine Chapter Executive Board motions were discussed and adopted laying out the Chapter priority agenda for the next two years until the next Retiree Chapter Convention in 2004.

Attendees included invited guest speaker, John R. Smith, Director, APWU Retiree Dept. from Washington, D.C.; APWU of Florida state officers, Martha Shunn-King, President from Sarasota; Jeff Pearlman, Sec.-Treas. from Tallahassee; Rusty Olsen, Legislative Director from Daytona Beach; and Wayne Wetherington, OWCP Director from Gainesville; APWU of Florida Auxiliary state officers, Betty Baker, President, and Eunice Butts, Secretary from Tampa; and new Auxiliary local officer, Berne Wetherington from Gainesville, Fl.

Leading the parade of APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter officers, members, and members-at-large at the luncheon were Beth Cramer, APWU Southern Regional Retiree Convention Delegate from Cape Coral; Jack Gose, President from South Pasadena; Valentine Serpico, Vice President from Ft. Lauderdale; John Sardin, Jr., Sec.-Treas. from St. Petersburg; Pedro Torres, Trustee from Miami; and members, Joe Mazzarelli from Daytona Beach and Edmund Woods from Lake Mary, Fl.

Also signing in at the luncheon were APWU local officers, Martina Cervantes, Treasurer from Cocoa; Iris Aeppel, Sec.-Treas., and Dave Bernstein, AFL-CIO CLC delegate, from Tampa; Bobby Pruitt, President, from Playground Area Local; and Tom Gilvey, Steward from Ft. Myers, Fl. Ann Milton, APWU local member from Laxahatchee (Palm Beach Area Local) also was present enjoying the festivities; Family members/guests, Steve Cramer from Cape Coral and Claudette Serpico from Ft. Lauderdale were welcomed as our special family guests.

President Martha Shunn-King opened our 1st APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter Convention at 1 p.m. in the Retiree reserved meeting room to a delighted group of national, state, area local/local, auxiliary officers, family members, and guests with welcoming remarks thanking the Retiree Chapter Executive Board officers for making this happen. She stated it is really terrific to see so much interest in APWU Retiree activities, and the APWU of Florida will support and encourage the formation of other APWU area local/local retiree chapters all around the state.

The Convention program was well designed with the Invocation Prayer given by Betty Baker, the Pledge of Allegiance given by Pedro Torres, and a Moment of Silence offered by the Chair to remember all our loved ones who need our help and lots of hugs. Jack Gose made introductions of our invited guest speakers, John R. Smith, Beth Cramer, and Betty Baker who each forecast a great future for the APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter in coming years.

The reading of the minutes of the organization meeting at Jacksonville on March 15 and approval by body preceded the Installation of Chapter Officers by John R. Smith. A National APWU Charter signed by Bill Burrus, President, and Bob Tunstall, Sec.-Treas., was presented to President Martha Shunn-King for the State Retiree Chapter by J. R. Smith, and another presentation will be made at the opening of the regular State Convention on Thursday, May 9.

Roll Call of Officers and Convention Call were given by John Sardin, Jr. The Rules Committee report given by Pedro Torres, and the Credentials Committee report and Treasurer’s report given by John Sardin, Jr. were approved unanimously by the APWU Chapter members present. A Legislative Committee report was given by Rusty Olsen, and copies of COPA annuity checkoff forms were included in all the Happy Folders.

Resolutions Committee report given by Valentine Serpico, Vice President, with all seven Retiree resolutions unanimously adopted after spirited discussion by the Retiree members. Constitution Committee report given by Charlie Redd, Trustee, with change to Chapter Constitution reference elected Chapter Convention and Conference Delegates was adopted unanimously. A separate change to the APWU of Florida Constitution and By-Laws reference recognition of APWU Retirees was adopted unanimously.

Under New Business copies of Chapter Executive Board motions approved today listing Retiree Chapter priority agenda items for the next two years were included in everyone’s Happy Folder to review. Sergeant-at-Arms report was given by Pedro Torres with twenty-five signing in at the Convention today. Joining our new generation at the business session were Richard Phillips, President from Tampa; Mike Hodge, President from Vero Beach; Harriet Richardson, President from Ft. Pierce; Ray Cole, President from Venice (South County AL); Terri Abbott from New Port Richey (Tampa AL); Lynne Cram, Editor from Naples (SWFAL); Rickey Mobley, Editor from Miami; Joe Messina, Past State President from Tampa; and Charlie Redd, President Emeritus from Cocoa who also headed up the Golf Tournament today.

Good of the Order called by Chair, and seventeen National APWU Convention bags dating back to 1st National APWU Convention held in New Orleans in 1972 donated by Chapter Retirees as Face Card Door Prizes were given to 17 lucky winners. Copies of 1970s and 1980s Florida Postal Workers, Proud to Be Union buttons, and APWU lanyards were also given to everyone present. Everyone in attendance seemed to have a ball, and the Retirees were really excited to be with new and old friends as we celebrated our first historic APWU of Florida Retiree Chapter Convention.

Chair Jack Gose promised the Convention we shall work with the APWU of Florida Executive Board officers, and try to have an APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter luncheon and meeting at the Florida State education seminars every six months. We shall also plan for our 2nd APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter Convention in 2004. All active and retired APWU dues paying members and their families, and the APWU Auxiliary members and their families are invited to attend all our State Retiree Chapter meetings, luncheons, and Conventions!

Joe Mazzarelli made a motion, “TO ADJOURN MEETING.” Motion concurred unanimously. 1st APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter Convention adjourned at 4:00 p.m., Sine Die. Thank you APWU of Florida! We love you!


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