Local 1650 celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Saturday at Park Place Catering in Dearborn. The evening began with an hour of socializing between members, retirees, and guests. Two members of the 1966 group who chartered Local 1650 were in attendance Bill Hackett and Tom Shellberg. One retiree came all the way from Arizona to help us celebrate.
A program followed in which John McDonald introduce the trustees in attendance, Miriam Bazzi, Roxanne McDonald, and Michael Meade. Mayor O’Reilly presented a citation from the city honoring the Local and its members’ work supporting the community during the last 50 years. State Representative George Darany presented an acclamation from the State and a second honor, sponsored by Gary Woronchak, from Wayne County. U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell presented a plaque containing the text of a tribute entered into the Congressional Record on our behalf. AFT Michigan President David Hecker acknowledged the success of the Local, “[My job would be a lot easier] if every Local was Local 1650.” He also presented an award. AFT President Randi Weingarten was busy representing us elsewhere, but sent a video message recognizing the Local’s success.
Eric Rader, Betsy Cohn and Bill Hackett then spoke about John McDonald’s service over the years to the Local and presented him with an award symbolizing this. John has been a member of the Federation for 47 years and is serving his 20th term as president of Local 1650. John McDonald accepted graciously and pointed out that this was really a celebration of the union and that the union is its members, not its representative.
Dinner, prepared by Gary Kuhlman’s staff at Park Place, was delicious and after dinner further socialization followed. Special thanks are due to Angela Hathikhanivala for the decorations, including photos on each table. Sam Bazzi deserves credit for the slide show with even more historical photos of strikes, dinner dances and more. And Maureen Webster, who always keeps the solidarity events running smoothly also should receive kudos.
You can find pictures on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, by searching on the tag #1650at50.