A busy week of activity for families attending 65th annual SWCM

The 65th annual Southwestern Convention Meeting was held in St. Louis, Mo. at the Marriott Pavilion Hotel from September 17-22, 2000. The convention was hosted by Jim Jackson and Roger King and members of their arrangements committee.

The busy week included a golf tournament, a trip to the Museum of Transportation, and a St. Louis Cardinals pennant-clinching baseball game. Speeches were delivered by several distinguished public servants, including: Jolene Molitoris, Administrator of the FRA; the late Mel Carnahan, U.S. Senate Candidate in Missouri; and Bob Holden, Democratic candidate for Governor of Missouri. In between these events were workshops for local chairmen, secretary-treasurers and legislative representatives. The SWCM Scholarship Committee also announced its annual scholarship winners.

Giving a presentation on highway-rail grade crossing safety is Locomotive Engineer Tom Armstrong, BLE Saskatchewan Provincial Legislative Board Chairman and Legislative Representative of Division 793 (Saskatoon). Brother Armstrong has been a locomotive engineer since 1977 and is a Representative of the National Committee for Operation Lifesaver for Direction 2006, a Transport Canada initiative to significantly reduce highway-rail grade crossing fatalities in Canada over the next five years. Personally affected by one of several collisions he endured behind the throttle, Brother Armstrong is dedicated to creating awareness of the dangers surrounding highway-rail grade crossings by participating in newspaper interviews, radio interviews, nationwide television commercials and television documentaries. He and his wife, Brenda, have four children. His two oldest sons are fourth-generation railroaders.

From left: Harold Downing, Local Chairman of Division 609 (Jefferson City, Mo.); Charlie Rightnowar, Union Pacific-Central Region General Chairman; and Mickey Gage, Chairman of the Missouri State Legislative Board and Legislative Representative of Division 609.

From left: First Vice-President McCoy; International President Emeritus Ronald P. McLaughlin; Retired General Chairman Gene Thompson (former Cotton Belt); and International President Dubroski. Brother McLaughlin was International President of the BLE from 1991 to 1996. These two distinguished retirees were presented with BLE membership pins at the convention. Brother McLaughlin received a 50-year pin and Brother Thompson received a 30-year pin.

From left: GIA International President Ruth E. Pillman-Windham; GIA First Vice-President Onita Wayland; GIA Canadian Representative Sherry McGunigal; and GIA Second Vice-President & U.S. National Legislative Representative Mabel Grotzinger.

From left: SWCM Co-Chairman King and Pat E. Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Iowa State Legislative Board and Legislative Representative of BLE Division 125 (Clinton, Iowa).

From left: Brad C. Thompson, Local Chairman and Legislative Representative of Division 442 (Scott City, Mo.), and Tim O. Young, Chairman of the Arkansas State Legislative Board.


2000 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers