Association 2014 National Reunion.....
The 2014 Patrol Gunboat Association Reunion was held in Providence, Rhode Island.
The primary dates for the 2014 Patrol Gunboat Association Reunion were from Wednesday, August 06 through Sunday August 10, 2014. Our special group rate was $105.00 per night for single, double, triple quad. The rate included a hot buffet breakfast for up to two persons per room. This rate was good for up to three days before and three days after our reunion.
Providence is the capital and most populous city in Rhode Island. Founded in 1636, it is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is located in Providence County, and is the third largest city in the New England region. Providence has a city population of 182,042 and is part of the 37th largest metropolitan population in the country, with an estimated population of 1,600,856, exceeding that of Rhode Island by about 60%, as it extends into southern Massachusetts. This can be considered in turn to be part of the Greater Boston commuting area, which contains 7.6 million people. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River, at the head of Narragansett Bay. Providence was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of “God’s merciful Providence” which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle.
After being one of the first cities in the country to industrialize, Providence became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, the city of Providence is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which has shifted the city’s economy into service industries, though it still retains significant manufacturing activity. Once nicknamed the “Beehive of Industry,” Providence began rebranding itself as the “Creative Capital” in 2009 to emphasize its educational resources and arts community.
The Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel is located near T.F. Green Airport (PVD) and minutes from downtown Providence. When you touch down, the hotel is located less than one mile from the airport terminal. Once you reach the lower baggage claim level, locate the telephone bank to the left of baggage claim. Please locate Sheraton Providence Airport hotel telephone and we will be over to pick you up. The Sheraton has everything we need for our reunion including free Wi-Fi access and a Business Center. The hotel’s Bluefire Grill serves both a breakfast and lunch buffet and an a la carte dinner menu. They also have an indoor swimming pool and a Fitness Center.
Those attending their first Patrol Gunboat Reunion quickly found out that the Hospitality Room was the place to be anytime there was free time during the reunion. This is where they received their registration package, a schedule of tours and other events and meal and tour tickets for the events they signed up for when they registered. They also received their free 2014 Patrol Gunboat Association Reunion coffee mug and a chance to purchase tickets for the Saturday night raffle table and 50-50 drawing. Those who purchased in raffle table tickets also received a "Free" Ballcap. The hospitality room opened at noon on Wednesday and remained open until noon Sunday. Registration started at 3:00 on Wednesday and continued at various times throughout the reunion. As always, there was free snacks, soft drinks and beer available in the hospitality room throughout the reunion.
Arranging the tours was the biggest problem with setting up this years reunion. They finally came together and we could get the registration packages out to the membership. Thursday we left the hotel at 9:00 am and headed to Boston to visit the USS Constitution. Following lunch we will headed to Salem to do a walking tour of the town. The only major problem was the timing of the
Salem tour. It became obvious that we should have toured Salem first and ended the day at the Constitution. Major traffic problems also didn't help with the return trip to the hotel.
Friday morning found us heading out to Battleship Cove to see the mighty USS Massachusetts, the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., submarine USS Lionfish, and PT Boats from the South Pacific. After lunch we went on a guided tour of the city of Providence. We returned to the hotel at 4:30 in time to get ready for the buffet dinner.
Returning to the hotel after our Friday tour, most of us headed to the hotel banquet room for our Friday evening Buffet Dinner. Plenty of good food, many guests felt it was the best buffet dinner we have had in several reunions. Following dinner we will had a short open mike session for those who wanted to make comments or even tell a sea story or two. Following dinner, most of us headed back to the hospitality room to relax, chat and enjoy the company of shipmates.
Saturday morning we gathered in one of the hotel meeting rooms to discuss the future of the Association. Other topics included Association Finances and the location of the 2015 and 2016 Reunions. Macs decided to place a voting link on the website in the Next Reunion page following the reunion. You can go the the site and click on the Next Reunion page, then click on which location you want to register your vote. Your vote will then be sent via email.
The bar will open at 6:00. Everyone should be seated in the banquet room in time for us to start the opening ceremony promptly at 7:00. While we enjoy dinner we will draw the winning tickets for the 50-50 drawing. Following dinner we will hold the raffle table drawing for some really great prizes including free rooms at the 2015 reunion.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END
Sunday morning many of us met for one last time in the hotel lobby to share hugs and promise to meet again at the next annual Patrol Gunboat Association reunion. The hospitality room closed at noon.
Updated by Terry W. McManuels
Copyright © 2006 PGRA. All rights reserved. Revised: 09/08/14.