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                                                              National Convention First-Timers-National Convention from an Old-Timer

I know that some of the First-Timers will be sharing some of their experiences/opinions of our National Convention, but I want to share with you and let them and the membership know how proud I was of their commitment, interest, and how much I appreciate the dedication they showed as a First Time Delegate. They first showed their interest by attending the First Timers Orientation Seminar on Monday Evening. They were observed asking questions and studying the Resolutions Handouts, marking and notating the good or the bad. They were very committed by being on time at every Business Session. It didn’t take long for them to realize the responsibility of being a Delegate! After about two days into the Convention one was overheard making the "statement", this is hard work.
This certainly brings back a lot of memories, as I think back to my First Nation Convention. It was in 1982 in Rapid City SD. When I left KY to go to the Conven-tion, I was an alternate delegate and had little hope of becoming a delegate. After the initial shock of making delegate, I was so scared, as to what I would be doing and hoping I would do everything right. Thanks to the State Sec./Treasure and some of the other Board Members who helped me and took the time and interest to make sure I knew what to do next.
I have been so blessed to be able to attend every National Convention since that time as a Delegate. Someone asked me how they have changed: In a way the business part hasn’t changed a lot. It is just better organized as a program and there has been a great improvement in the number of Seminars and how they were presented. As far as the technology, compare to today there was very little, but we did have microphones!
Like today there were always certain ones who shouted out "object" when we addressed the resolutions and there were plenty of heated discussions. Yes, the days and nights were long then as well. Caucuses night was always long and late as it was not as well organized as it is now. I will have to say; the best change has been the Convention being under one roof.
My challenge to all our Members and First Timers is to stay the course, continue to support our organization by being active at all levels. The best place to start is your own office, then your District and State Meetings. To our Retirees: Your support is always welcome, come and share your knowledge and be an example to our active members.
Thanks to all of you for the confidence you have shown me in these passed 37 years to represent you as a Delegate to the National Convention.