January 7, 2016

Minutes of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Meeting of January 7, 2016

Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 12:15 by club president Robby McClure. Jan Endfinger offered the invocation and Gordon Korb led the overflow crowd in song accompanied by Bill Oppenheimer on the piano. Tom Martenstein welcomed member’s guests and a visiting Rotarian.

Student Guest: Branna Hokanson, a senior at Mary G. Montgomery High School, was introduced by her school’s principal. She plans to attend the University of South Alabama and major in physical therapy. She was awarded the club’s Youth Merit Award after discussing her experience in serving others.

New Member: Helene Hassell introduced Mimi Lyons Bell, Executive Director of the Providence Hospital Foundation, as our newest Rotarian.

Club Elections: Robby announced that elections will take place during next week’s meeting.

Cart Fund: Rob Hackbarth reminded members to donate to CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) using the blue tubs found at each table.

Program: Master Chief Jon Port, U.S.N.

Patrick McWilliams introduced Master Chief Jon Port who has served in the United States Navy for three decades. He gave a brief history outlining the importance of the Navy to this nation starting with the War of 1812 and bringing the subject up to the present day.

Port told his audience that the Navy protects the seas which carry some 98% of international trade for this country which he termed “a maritime nation.” Currently though, the Navy has shrunk to the size it was during World War I. While improvements to ships have resulted in their needing smaller crews he said that many of the ships are in need of repairs and that newer ships are needed.

He stressed a pressing need for more modern submarines to offset those being produced in China and North Korea which could hold nuclear missiles. Port thanked his audience for their support of the U.S. military personnel and its future.

After answering a number of questions, Master Chief Port received a standing ovation. Robby McClure thanked him and said that in his honor a donation has been made to the Dumas Wesley Center. The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.

Tom McGehee