The Queen Mary’s 50th Anniversary of Arriving into Long Beach

Wow!  The Queen Mary did a fabulous job with all of the commemorating events on the weekend of December 9, 2017.  It was an all-around fantastic weekend with dear friends and fellow ship enthusiasts as we celebrated 50 years of the ship’s arrival to Long Beach. In addition to the Mary’s weekend events, our “Clan Mary” group had its “Finished with Engines” party so eloquently hosted by ultimate party planner Joe Bertoldo in his mini suite on A Deck. (A175).  Much thanks to James Brandmueller and Betsy Samson-Andrews for also helping Joe with arranging this joyful party.  It really is amazing to have such a close-knit family of fellow lovers of ocean liners. It was an honor to meet Felix Klos, author of Churchill’s Last Stand and hear some amazing presentations by other noted guests. On Friday night, we all met for the Churchill gala and scrumptious dinner in the Verandah Grill.  We were able to see a screening of the “Last Great Cruise” and enjoy Jennie Churchill’s presentation just prior to her and the ship GM cutting the red ribbon officiating the opening of “Their Darkest Hour” Churchill exhibit aboard.  This exhibit is mind-blowing and I was honored to be among the first wave of guests to see it. On Saturday at 11:00, we all gathered on the Sun Deck’s starboard aft side to witness the wreath laying ceremony in honor of all the servicemen who sailed aboard the Queen Mary during WWII.  It was an event that brought tears to many peoples’ eyes. Furthermore, it was amazing to meet former crew and passengers, such as Dave Smith of the Queen Mary Association.  Dave and I have kept in touch via e-mail and over the phone and it was an honor to finally meet with him aboard the ship.  I also enjoyed meeting Tony Strublic and his mom who hail from Wisconsin.  Tony creates breathtaking pencil artwork of ships and I am so honored to have one of his pieces proudly hanging on my wall.  Of course, it was just wonderful to see June Allen again and give her a hug.  She was a war bride who sailed aboard the Queen Mary after WWII. On Sunday, our group met in the former First Class Restaurant and enjoyed the prized Sunday buffet and champagne.  Always so delectable! This weekend will go down in the memory banks for eternity!!! Here are some photographs from this wonderful event:  

A portion of the decorations in Joe Bertoldo’s A175 mini suite for the “Finished with Engines” Clan Mary party.

Jennie Churchill and other notable people getting ready to lay the commemorative wreath in honor of the 810,000 WWII veterans who sailed aboard the Queen Mary.

L to R – Clan Mary members Barrie Getz, Nicole Strickland, Betsy Samson-Andrews and Mark Andrews on Sun Deck.

Part of “Their Finest Hours” Churchill exhibit aboard the Queen Mary.

Jennie Churchill gives a powerful presentation just prior to officiating the opening of “Their Finest Hours” Churchill exhibit.

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