Editor’s Note: The events featured in this column occurred before New Orleans forced masks inside.
Pillars of Scouting
The Boy Scouts of America from the Southeast Louisiana Council hosted their 2021 Scout Pillars Luncheon in the Audubon Tea Room. Five men were greeted. Last year, Jim Letten and Charles W. Nelson were to be greeted at lunch, but that did not happen. So, they’ve been combined with the 2021 Pillars to make a nice number five. Robert H. Merrick, Lieutenant Governor Billy N. Nungesser and Garry Winchester were recognized as the star trio of 2021.
After the initial mix and conversation, the participants proceeded to their tables for the program. The start was Jeff Crouere, master of ceremonies. Then came the Opening Flag and Local Scout Oath, Jeff Crouere’s opening comments and the invocation by Dr Paul Grégoire. Lunch followed and consisted of a salad (with delicious dressing), a chicken main course, and dessert. Set in a “silver” Revere bowl, a pretty centerpiece of colorful flowers, including roses and daisies, adorned each table.
Then the chairman of the board Bill Metcalf, who asked for a minute’s silence to remember the recently deceased 2017 Laureate James “Jimmy” Fitzmorris, as Ken pickering and Frank B. Stewart Jr. Metcalf, who for years co-chaired the lunch with Patricia “Pat” Denechaud, spoke about his love of Scouting and everything it gave him as a child. “It’s such an honor for me,” Pat Denechaud began of his connection to Scouting and his association with the five deserving laureates.
Next, lunch co-chairs Bill (a 2018 co-honored with Joe exnicios) and Pat, with Torrey Hayden of the SLC, presented the five prizes to MM. Merrick, President and CEO of Latter + Blum Inc .; Nungesser, 54th Lieutenant Governor of the State of Louisiana; Winchester, longtime Boy Scout and Boy Scout board member; Letten, lawyer at the law firm Butler Snow LLP and just after the Southeast Louisiana Council, president of the Boy Scouts of America; and Nelson, President of Waldemar S. Nelson and Company Inc., and another former Chairman of the Board. Everyone expressed their gratitude and support for Scouting.
Before Dr Grégoire gave the blessing to close the program, Torrey Hayden spoke briefly about Scouting in our area (“It’s all about the kids”) and sent a host of “thank you”.
Around and around were members of the lunch committee who numbered 45 and included some of the aforementioned, as well as Boysie Bollinger, a 2019 co-honored with Bill Oliver, who passed away in June 2019; Bitsy Metcalf, daughter of Bill Metcalf; and Marian Wallis. To make rounds among the many was Muffin L. Adriance, who has been credited in the program as an Investor Scout. Her allegiance was obvious: she was dressed in a scout outfit.
The Bertel brigade
On a recent Wednesday, dozens of people marched to the Armstrong Ballroom at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel for the presentation of the C. Alvin Bertel Award. The World Trade Center New Orleans hosted the event. Always a prestigious honor, the laurels 2021 have fallen Paul G. Aucoin, Executive Director of the Port of South Louisiana, a position he has held since 2013. His undergraduate and law degrees are both from Loyola University.
Among the many spectators who applauded him were his two daughters, Shelley winters and Lea Regard.
Stephen C. Hanemann, President and Chairman of the WTC, gave the welcome, thanks and closing remarks, while William S. App Jr. has been exploited for the invocation, the oath of allegiance and special remarks (with John H. “Jack” Bertel). J. Edwin Webb, the CEO of the World Trade Center, made tribute remarks and Paul Murray III, Commissioner-Treasurer of the Port of South Louisiana, stepped forward for the award ceremony. The Honorable Aucoin accepted with great kindness and gratitude.
There were many sponsors for the awards luncheon, including Associated Terminals LLC and Ochsner Health. WTC leaders (in addition to President and President Hanemann) include the Vice President and Treasurer Christophe Sullivan and secretary Kristiann app. Paul Aucoin, Brandy D. Christian, Eddie Compass IV, Robert DiCianni, Todd Fuller, Vince Hayward, Michael Hecht, Tim Hemphill, Heather Hohensee, Michael Olivier, Dolph Parro, Greg Rusovich, Brenda Stelly, Drew Tessier and Beth walker serve as directors.
Highlights of the midday activity were the set, production of the video Tribute (with colleagues from Aucoin and former Bertel Prize winners) and production of the Bertel Prize lunch by Martin Management; planning by McCausland Event Management (who also did the white daisy flower arrangements); and the Sheraton New Orleans menu. Lunch started with chicken and okra with andouille and ended with a cheesecake with berry coulis.
Notables – and there were scores, all with relevant titles – included most of the above, as well as Michelle Ganon, Mark Wright, Pete Dufresne, Bernard Charbonnet, Drew Heaphy, Gary Blossman, Jay Hardman, and Patricia “Pat” Denechaud.
All recognized Paul Aucoin for his significant contributions to the Port of Louisiana and to the maritime community. Glory!