By Heidi Trottier, F275613
FMCA held its first national convention at Fort Ticonderoga in Ticonderoga, New York, in July 1964. Two months later, a group of motor-coach-owning friends from the six New England states, as well as New York, New Jersey, and Quebec, gathered at Ellis Haven Campground in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to discuss forming a regional chapter.
That weekend, September 18-20, they chose a chapter name: Northeastern. Frank Shaw, F405, agreed to be president. Dues were set at $2.
The next month, several of the friends met again to discuss a formal affiliation with FMCA. And when the first three FMCA chapters were chartered on April 10, 1965, Northeastern was one of them (along with Michigan Knights of the Highway and Midwest Coachmen). Also that day, 20 Northeastern members met at Grange Hall in Rockland, Massachusetts, for the chapter’s first official rally. The 69 original members included Bob Richter, F1; Hubert “Bud” Sharp, F2; and Howard “Bud” Stone, F3.
Exactly 51 years after that weekend gathering in Plymouth — September 18-20, 2015 — 25 coaches converged on the Elks Lodge in Wakefield, Massachusetts, for the Northeastern chapter’s 50th anniversary celebration. Special guests included Bob Mills, vice president of the Northeast Motorhome Association, and his wife, Lise; and past Northeastern chapter presidents Dick Parece (1970) and his wife, Nancy; William Griffin (1996-1999); George McGee (2000-2003); Peter Sarofeen (2006-2009); and Terry Trottier (2009-2013).
Current chapter president Steve Perry and vice president Robert Aquaro welcomed guests to an evening of dinner and dancing. Stories and pictures were shared by chapter members Vera Greene, Pat Snyder, Lori Snyder Reffue, Peter Sarofeen, and Heidi Trottier.
The late George Snyder’s “red coats” — FMCA jackets with every national and international FMCA badge sewn on, dating back to the early 1970s — were displayed. People also pored over many Polaroid pictures of the chapter’s earliest rallies, as well as old newspaper clippings devoted to “house buses.” Everyone enjoyed a slide show that spanned from 1964 to the present.
The Northeastern chapter has approximately 100 member families. For more information about the chapter and upcoming events, visit www.northeasternfmca.com or email [email protected]