2004 Reunion at NCTC, Sheperdstown, West Virginia

Well retirees, we did it again.  This time it was at the National Conservation Training Center at Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  Over 150 Fish and Wildlife Service retirees and spouses as well as current Service employees and guests, gathered on a late April Friday evening to renew old friendships and meet people whose name was only a mention during their working days. The weather cooperated to make a beautiful evening for the icebreaker social and barbeque on the outside deck of the Center’s Commons area. Many members of the Service Directorate attended the event including Director Steve Williams.  It was, according to one source, “A genuinely fun time.  Service retirees are just a fun group to be around.” 

Saturday seminars on changing and new benefits affecting Government retirees, a retiree business session with the presentation of the new Retirees Association, a presentation on a new Fishery program support effort by Peter Stine who introduced the new Fisheries Forever initiative, and, the SageWolves Team presented an Upward to Leadership project involving retiree mentoring of current Service employees.  There was a special showing of the movie Arctic Dance, a love story biography about Olaus and Mardy Murie, early pioneer scientists of the Biological Survey.  Also on the afternoon movie bill was a showing of the film Winged Migration, an incredible wildlife production using mini-cams on migrating waterfowl.  Tours of the archives and plenty of time for visiting filled the afternoon. 

The evening featured a banquet with Deputy Director Marshall Jones addressed the gathering and Karen Hollingsworth was a winner with her Lets Go Wild, a video presentation with music of her and her late husband John’s 18 years of photographing on National Wildlife Refuges.  The Friends of NCTC provided the dinner wine.

And to think this all started 5 years ago when 13 retirees gathered at the NCTC for a reunion weekend.  It wasn’t until 2002 at the Spearfish, ND, reunion that a breakout year of 200 retirees gathered followed in 2003 at Pelican Island, FL when nearly 200 retirees gathered.

In an earlier evening ceremony, the Service’s Heritage Committee presented its 2004 Heritage Award to the Booth Society, Inc. for its continuing work for the past 20 years helping to preserve fisheries history at the
D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery, Spearfish, SD.

Also, Edgar C. Fearnow presented two original patents awarded to his grandfather, former Chief of Distribution for the Bureau of Fisheries, to the fisheries archives at the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery, Spearfish, SD.  The patents were for “Containers for Transporting and
Storing Live Fish, Fish Fry, and Fish Eggs, November 14, 1922.”  The containers became known as Fearnow pails,
replacing milk cans as the favored shipping container and were widely used in fish culture around the country.  The second original patent, a fishway patent of January 13, 1925, was for a device to move fish around dams.  Mr. Fearnow was accompanied by his sisters Carol Purvis and Janice Didawick.

See the list of Registered Retirees and Guests at the 2004 Reunion

If you have photos or remembrances of this reunion, please contact us at web@FWSRetirees.org