On Sunday, around 100 took part in SEA/SEIU Local 1984’s 75th Anniversary Celebration at Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham. The event, as promised, was a casual one, but that doesn’t mean there was nothing going on.
With upbeat music playing in the background, children played whiffle ball and decorated cookies while the adults joined in, played yard games or went kayaking on Pawtuckaway Lake. Among those in attendance were members and their families, along with some of our friends in the legislature. Some members showed up early and took advantage of all-day access to the park.
“We had gotten there a couple hours early and walked around,” said Katie Swango, a forensic scientist at the State Crime Lab and a member of Chapter 40. “The kids played at the playground, and we walked all over and checked out parts of the trails.”
Swango brought her parents and two young sons with her. She said she’d never been to Pawtuckaway before, so she was happy for the chance to spend some time there. Swango said she and her family found the crowd warm and welcoming.
“They had a really great time,” she said. “The kids and my parents very much liked it. There was all kinds of stuff for the kids to do and the food was great.”
Merith Deschene also brought her family with her to the event and praised the work volunteers put into it.
“It was incredibly well set up,” said Deschene, who works for the DOT and is a member of Chapter 17. “They had activities for all different age groups. The food was wonderful, and there was plenty of everything.”
She said she and her family enjoyed the whole park and felt right at home.
“It was very warm and welcoming,” she said. “Everyone in my group kept carrying on about how nice everyone was.”
Guests received a special SEA@75 cup as well as a copy of the commemorative 75th anniversary magazine, which was researched and produced by Union Histories. While Gov. Maggie Hassan was unable to attend due to another commitment, she did deliver the following commendation:
Whereas, The State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 was founded 75 years ago in march 1940 by state employees Harry E. Jackson, Mayland H. Morse, Winfield J. Phillips, and J. Harold Johnson; and
Whereas, State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 is culminating its year-long celebration of 75 years strong on September 25, 2016; and
Whereas, State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 has worked with 18 New Hampshire Governors and one acting Governor; and
Whereas, State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 has represented tens of thousands of workers over the years and membership still grows today; and
Whereas, State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 has been an integral part of the state’s strength and prosperity, representing public employees who provide critical services that help keep New Hampshire citizens and visitors safe and well; and
Whereas, State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 has forged a tradition of being a determined and forceful voice for New Hampshire public workers; and
Whereas, In addition to providing public service through its day-to-day operations, State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 has also provided holiday gifts for tens of thousands of at-risk New Hampshire children through its philanthropic program, Operation Santa Claus; and
Whereas, Members of State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 will continue to serve as leading citizens in our towns and municipalities;
Now, therefore, I Margaret Wood Hassan, Governor of the State of New Hampshire, do hereby commend the State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 for its members’ tireless service to strengthening New Hampshire and on a successful 75 years of helping to make our state an even better place to work, live, visit and raise a family.
We want to thank everyone who attended, especially the members and staff who worked hard to make this event happen: Ken and Jodi Roos, John Hattan, Jonathan Hallet, Corey Dearborn, Marie Morgan and Tracy Rousseau.
Here’s to another 75 years!