PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

James Gordon

June 2020

Alameda County and the State of California are fully aligned with the CDC guidelines and will reopen the state on June 15th.  If you are vaccinated and asymptomatic, you will not be required to wear a mask at our dinner meetings. 

On May 22nd, a funeral service was held for Camaraderie member, Sammy Faleafine, at the Clayton Valley High Football Field. Sammy was honored with a traditional Samoan service. In keeping with tradition, Oakland PD motors provided the escort for Sammy and the OPD Air Unit Argus conducted a fly over. 

We held our Cinco de Mayo themed dinner meeting on May 18th. Thank you to Eddy Bermudez and his kitchen crew, Romy Aguilar, Dave Parsons, Mario Bermudez, Stephanie England, Rudy Villegas, Jorge Cabral, and Carlos Ruiz. 

We also hosted our first Classic Car Show! There were nine classic cars entered and judged by members in attendance. 

1st place went to Andre Rachal with his 1971 Dodge Challenger, 2nd place went to Eddy Bermudez with his 1948 Chevy Fleetline, and 3rd place went to Sean Rawlings with his 1965 Ford Mustang convertible.  

Prior to the meeting, we all gathered outside for a prayer led by Dave Parsons. We raised a glass to honor Sammy, those who recently passed, and law enforcement officers who died serving in the line of duty. 

 During our meeting we voted in the following new members, retired OPD officer Tom Viglienzone, Solano County Deputy and former OPD Sergeant Francisco Negrete, retired BART officer Peter Chu, retired SFPD Lieutenant Dave Oberhoffer, retired DMV Manager Julio LaCayo, and retired SFPD officer Edith Lewis-Luenow.  Congratulations and welcome!

Please join us for our dinner meeting on Tuesday June 15th. It will be Past President’s Night hosted by past presidents Ron Oz, Bob Torio, Bob Nichelini, Mike Nichelini, Kevin Traylor, Bob Aven, Mike Wozniak, and Dave Parsons.  Eddy Bermudez and I will also be on hand to help.  We will be serving Prime Rib!

Our Annual Oakland Zoo Picnic has been moved from May 23rd to Sunday August 8th.  

A reminder, if any member needs a ride to a meeting, please email to the following address and we will make every effort to accommodate you.  

info@camaraderieonline.org

On behalf of the Coordinating Council we pledge to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country. safe and stay healthy.

— Jim

 

April 2020

It was sad to learn that fellow member Henry “Hank” Tarabochia serial number 5573, passed away on Good Friday, April 2nd. He was 98 years old. Hank joined the Oakland Police Department in 1947 and served for over 25 years. He was our eldest member and attended almost every dinner meeting.  God speed and rest in peace Henry. 

On Tuesday, March 16th, we held our monthly dinner meeting celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. We were treated to traditional corned beef and cabbage, cooked by a fantastic kitchen crew and the food was amazing!! The cooking staff included Eddy Bermudez, Mark Murray, Bob Holland, Dave Parsons, Stan Branch, Gilbert Gin and Cliff Heanes. The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.  

We had a memorial toast in honor of Don Miller at our March dinner meeting. Don passed away suddenly last month.  

We obligated new members, Oakland Police Officer Mae Phu Trode, Civilian Volunteer Rich Fong and retired Concord P.D. Officer Sam Figueroa. Congratulations!

Please join us on Tuesday, May 20th for a dinner hosted by Piedmont P.D.  Jaimie Robert and his crew are planning on cooking up a slab or two of BBQ Ribs.

On behalf of the coordinating council we pledge to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country. safe and stay healthy.

God bless you all, and until next time,

—Jim

 

March 2020

It is with a heavy heart that I report to you the passing of our dear friend, and colleague, Don “The Judge” Miller. 

Don died unexpectedly on February 25th at his home in Oakland. Don was our Judge Advocate for several years. 

Don donated countless hours of his time and expertise ensuring that members of Le Société de Camaraderie and members of the coordinating council were informed on our bylaws and written procedures. According to member Dave Evans, Don was one of the founding fathers of the email group “Open Line”, an integral part of the 1991 Police Olympics held in Oakland, and a computer genius. Additionally, Don served as a judge in Martinez hearing 5150 W&I cases.  Godspeed Don, and may you rest in peace.  

On Tuesday February 16th we held our February dinner meeting. It was Rich Cademartori -Italian Night, in honor of our recently departed friend and member Rich Cademartori. We had a delicious Italian sausage and pasta dinner!  The weather was fantastic, and a good time was held by all. The cooking staff included Eddy Bermudez, Tony Tedeschi, Vern Parcell, Nick Nicosia, Cliff Heanes, Stephanie Brierly and Craig Long.  The sausage and pasta were generously donated by Nic Nicosia and Tony Tedeschi.  A ceremonial toast was held for Rich Cademartori, Lou Silva and Steve Todar. We were honored to have Rich Cademartori’s son Ricky as our guest. 

New candidates, Richard Kane and Rich Fong were voted in and accepted. We also obligated new members, Toby Gloekler and Sanjay Shastri. Congratulations to all!

Please join us on Tuesday, March 16th, for St. Patrick’s Day Dinner! Mark Murray and Cliff Heanes will be on hand to cook up a traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef and cabbage.

God bless you all, and until next time,

—Jim

February 2020

In January we lost three more of our Le Société de Camaraderie brothers, Earl Johnson, Steve Todar and Lou Silva. 

Lou was instrumental in putting on our golf tournaments and he attended our meetings right up to the last. Lou retired from OPD in 2009. He served for 30 years and was loved and respected by all. He had an exceptional career at OPD as an FTO and K-9 officer and mentored hundreds of officers. Lou served the men and women of OPD as a longtime member of the OPOA Board of Directors and multiple terms as vice president. Lou was also a member of NLPOA (National Latino Police Officers Association) Alameda County Chapter, and a member of Le Société de Camaraderie. He was 66 years old and is survived by his amazing wife, Jackie. Our prayers are with Lou’s wife and family. May he rest in peace. 

On January 25th, the State of California announced the lifting of the stay at home order including the Bay Area. Alameda County has returned to purple tier which means outdoor dinning has resumed. Our November dinner and meeting was held outdoors under a purple tier.  The meeting was hosted successfully in accordance with the mandated safety guidelines.  We plan on hosting our February dinner meeting on Tuesday, February 16Th. Eddy Bermudez has planned a feast for Italian Night in honor of Rich Cademartori. Hope you can join us! On behalf of the Coordinating Council, we pledge to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country! safe and stay healthy.

—Jim

January 2020

Hello friends,

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year with family and friends. 2020 has finally ended and now that a vaccine is being distributed nationwide, I hope that we quickly recover from the pandemic and have an epic year. 

Due to the continued State of California lockdown and county gathering restrictions that are still in place we cancelled our December Christmas dinner, probably the first time in Le Société de Camaraderie history. I do not anticipate any relaxing of these restrictions for the foreseeable future, therefore this month’s meeting will be cancelled as well.

We Zoom meet each month as the coordinating council to keep the administration and planning of the Societe updated. Future plans  are made, should restrictions allow, for fishing in May and September, Picnic and Zoo in May, A’s Box in August and a Potomac Cruise in September. Reservations are kept so when this thing lets up, we are first in line for our membership.

January is normally reserved as Platinum Members Month. A Platinum Member is a member that has been with Le Société de Camaraderie for 40 or more years. I want to acknowledge all platinum members including the 2021 inductees, John Compatore, Jack Noonan, Larry Bellusa, Chuck McCort, Wayne McFee, Paul Musch, and Dick DoPorto.  Congratulations to you all! 

On behalf of the Coordinating Council, we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country! safe and stay healthy.

God bless you all, and until next time,

—Jim

December 2020

Hello good friends! I hope you are all safe and well.

On Tuesday November 16, 2020, we hosted our Thanksgiving dinner meeting just one day before Alameda County imposed a return to purple stage COVID lockdown. Just as last month, we adhered to strict COVID safety guidelines. Unfortunately, it was raining, but we had two pop up tents which kept us relatively dry. A total of 27 were in attendance. I want to thank Vern Parcell and Dan Ryan who cooked a truly amazing Thanksgiving dinner. Eddy Bermudez made sure that those who could not stay were treated with to-go plates and also some meals were delivered. The kitchen crew were Eddy Bermudez, Brian McColgin, Julie Jaecksch, Bob Torio, Scott Koller, Adam White and yours truly. Thank you for stepping up and helping out!  I want to also thank Ron and Sassa Oz, along with Carol Argentos who made and served those delicious appetizers. We voted in and obligated Steve Kryger (Retired OPD), congratulations Steve and welcome aboard! Thank you to the coordinating council and all who were able to attend! We are canceling our December dinner meeting due to the reimplementation of the strict lockdown guidelines. We are planning on having our January meeting and will serve our traditional prime rib feast. Stay tuned! 

As 2020 comes to close, let us reflect on those close friends, family, and Camaraderie members no longer with us. Let us always keep them in our hearts and cherished the memories. On behalf of the Coordinating Council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country! Merry Christmas!

God bless you all, and until next time, 

Jim Gordon-President

Le Société de Camaraderie

November 2020

Hello my friends! I hope this message finds you all safe and well.

On Tuesday, October 20th, we hosted our first dinner meeting since the COVID lockdown.  It was Octoberfest Night and we served sausage and sauerkraut cooked up by Dennis “The Fool” Brown and Nick Nicosia. The meal was extraordinary, and the evening was warm with a festive mood. We practiced our social distancing with our 47-person turnout. 

We swore in Anthony Sanchez (OPD) and voted in Randy Brandwood (Ret. OPD), Jay Shastri (Ret. SFPD), George Philips (Ret. OPD), Frank Morrow (Ret. OPD), Daryl Kelley (Ret. OPD), Toby Gloekler (Ret. OPD), Linda Wittcop (Ret. SFPD), Alex Takaoka (Ret SFPD and UCPD), Javier Alvarez (OPD), and Sam Figueroa (Ret. Concord PD). 

Congratulations and welcome aboard! Thank you to the coordinating council and all who were able to attend! 

Please join us at our November dinner/meeting where we will celebrate Thanksgiving. We will serve turkey and all the fixings. 

Sadly, four of our members passed away within the last few weeks. Jim Kennemore, Jerry Kramer, Dennis Downum and Rich Cademartori. 

Jim Kenmore’s death was tragically due to a traffic accident. I attended his funeral in Goodyear, Arizona along with Larry Eade, Bill Focha, Leroy Sargent, Valerie Washburn and Chris Haddad. It was a wonderful service, and I am happy I was able to pay my respects and say goodbye. Jim was one of my first motor sergeants and he was a pleasure to work for, he was a dear friend, and I will miss him.

Jerry Kramer is a retired OPD sergeant. I had the pleasure of getting to know Jerry the last few years while showing our classic cars at various classic car shows in the Bay Area. Jerry was a good man and a pleasure to know.

Dennis Downum was a retired OPD Sergeant and former Elected Sherriff of Calaveras County. Dennis is the father of Darrin and Dena Downum, both retired Oakland police officers. My condolences to the family members and friends. 

Rich Cademartori was the lead instructor in the motor school I attended in 1990. It was honorable to be a Rich Cademartori trained motor officer. Rich has easily taught over 1000 officers how to ride a motorcycle during his career at OPD. 

These were honorable men who dedicated themselves to their work as law enforcement officers. Rest in peace and God speed!

On behalf of the Coordinating Council, we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country! Stay safe and stay healthy!

—Jim

October 2020

Hello my friends! I hope this message finds you all safe and well. On Tuesday, October 20th, we are hosting our first dinner meeting since the COVID lockdown.  The state and county have relaxed restrictions for gatherings and now allow for indoor dining with maximum occupancy of 25%. Coordinating Council members Kevin Traylor, Cliff Haynes and Eddy Bermudez are preparing for our dinner. They have purchased the necessary equipment to implement our safety plan, ensuring that we can have an enjoyable dinner. It has been too long, and I am looking forward to seeing you!

In September we lost three of our own.  Rudy Martin, Vaune Dillmann and Bob Heritage all passed away. There is no record of our association ever losing three members in one month. 

It is my honor to introduce this month’s “Spotlight Member of the Month”, Herbert “Cliff” Heanes. Cliff is 77 years old and married to his beautiful wife Mickie of 33 years. Cliff has 5 children, 9 grandchildren with another one due in November, and 2 great grandchildren. Cliff was born in Santa Ana, California and grew up in Orange County. 

After graduating high school, Cliff entered into the United States Air Force and served from 1961-1965. He was stationed the entire time at Travis AFB in Fairfield, CA. Cliff joined the Oakland Police Reserve Unit in 1964 and after being honorably discharged from the US Air Force he joined the Oakland Police Department and entered the police academy. Cliff proudly graduated from the 42nd recruit school in 1966. Cliff went on to work Patrol, Crime Prevention Unit, and Special Operations Section assigned to the Air Unit as a pilot. 

During the 1960’s it was a tumultuous time for law enforcement in Oakland and across the country. Back then, militant anti-police groups existed just as they do today. These groups violently targeted law enforcement. Much of the violence against police were ambush styled attacks. The following is a story of a tragic and harrowing experience Cliff went through early in his career at OPD.

On October 28, 1967, at approximately 0456 hours, Officer Cliff Heanes responded as cover for Officer John Frey who made a car stop on a gold and beige sedan in the 1650 block of 7th Street between Willow and Campbell Streets. Officer Frey radioed in warrant checks for the vehicle’s two occupants, one of which was the notorious Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party and self-proclaimed “Minister of Defense”. Cliff arrived on scene and assisted Officer Frey. While Frey detained Newton, Cliff walked the other occupant to the rear of his police vehicle. 

Cliff recalled the following events, “While Frey was escorting Huey Newton to his car after being arrested, Newton passed Frey’s car and was headed to my car. Newton spun around suddenly and shot Frey in his shoulder. I drew my 4” .38 special but could not shoot at Newton because of Frey’s proximity to him. At that point Newton shot me in my right arm. He took Frey’s gun and shot Frey 3 more times. He then shot me in my chest (no vests in those days) which went through my chest and out my lower back. I also got shot in my left knee. At that point I saw a perfect target on his belly and I then gut shot Newton which ended the shootout and Newton’s passenger helped him flee”. 

According to reports, Officer Thomas Fitzmaurice was first to arrive on scene after a call for help. Officer Fitzmaurice located Officer Frey on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds, two to the chest, one in the leg, and one on his side. 

Officer Fitzmaurice heard moaning coming from Cliff’s’ vehicle.  He found Cliff slumped in the front seat. It appeared Cliff had attempted to retrieve the bracketed patrol shotgun but could not remove it. According to Officer Fitzmaurice, Cliff suffered from gunshot wounds to his chest, lower back, right arm, and leg.  Officer Frey and Cliff were transported to the hospital in critical condition but not before Cliff was able to whisper some details of the shooting to officer Fitzmaurice that helped determine the order of events.  Officer Frey later died of his injuries leaving behind a young daughter. Cliff underwent surgery and survived! At the time of the shooting Cliff was married with a 3-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter. 

Newton recovered from the gunshot wound to his stomach and only served 2 years in prison before his conviction was overturned.  In 1989 Newton was shot and killed in West Oakland by a crack dealer over a drug deal. 

In 1972, Cliff was assigned to the Helicopter Unit as a pilot. While piloting and patrolling the skies over Oakland in the OPD helicopter, Argus (Hughes 300), the helicopter suffered engine failure. Cliff was forced to crash land the helicopter on Bancroft Avenue across from Eastmont Mall. Miraculously, Cliff and his partner survived.

Cliff retired in May of 1987, a decorated officer and a recipient of many awards including the OPD Blue Star Award. Cliff was a dedicated police officer who nearly lost his life, more than once, in the line of duty. He fought with a warrior mind and a strong will to survive.

Just like the past two spotlight members of the month, we are honored to have Cliff Heanes as a member of Le Société de Camaraderie. Cliff sits on the Coordinating Council volunteering hundreds of hours.  He is also an officer in the Municipal Motorcycle Officers Association of California. 

Cliff, we are proud of you! Thank you for your service to your country, to your community, and to Le Société de Camaraderie.                                             

Our members, from retirees to current officers, each have a story to tell. At the next gathering or at work, take the opportunity to share stories. You may be surprised to learn of a heroic story or two. 

On behalf of the Coordinating Council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country! Stay safe and stay healthy!

God bless you all, and until next time,

—Jim

(SEE PRESS PHOTO BELOW) 

September 2020

August 2020

Hello again friends! I hope this message finds you all safe and well.
We are still in Covid lockdown mode and again we are unable to host our August dinner and meeting.

I recently wrote a letter to the County of Alameda Health Department explaining who we are and what we represent. I asked if it would be possible to hold a future dinner meeting provided, we meet the social distancing requirements spelled out in the county guidelines. I am waiting for a response, but I won’t hold my breath.  I am hoping that we can share our safety plan with the health department and demonstrate that we can host a dinner meeting in a safe manner.

Cliff Heanes has managed the implementation of outdoor lighting at the Friends of Nature property and reported the project is complete!  For those of you who are not aware, Cliff has been trailering gas-powered lights during the fall and winter monthly meetings to ensure attendees are able to walk safely on the property.

Thank you, Cliff for ensuring the project was successfully completed!
Our Oakland Zoo event has been cancelled for September. However, Nita Scurria was able to secure a date next April 2021. It is a great event and I appreciate her efforts in keeping the event going.

Rudy Martin is still recovering at the Pleasanton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He welcomes phone calls from friends. Contact us for his phone number.

Dave Evans recently had back surgery and is recovering at home. Please keep Rudy and Dave in your thoughts and prayers as we wish them a speedy recovery.

Kevin Traylor, Cliff Heanes, and I will be personally distributing the 80th Anniversary coins to those members who live locally.

Eddy Bermudez is our first “Spotlight Member of the Month”.

Eddy is 58 years old and married to his beautiful wife, Jennifer. He has two daughters, Ally and Brandi, and a son, Edwin.

He grew up in San Francisco and was the SF Chapter Leader and Northern California Coordinator for the Guardian Angels. He was a Journeyman Welder and owned his own successful welding business.

Eddy joined the Oakland Police Department in 1988 and graduated from the 121st Academy under RTO’s Carmen Johnson and Mike Baldison.
Eddy was always a stellar police officer with OPD, and he received many awards. He was awarded Officer of the Year in 1992 and later received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Narcotics Officers Association.

While at OPD, Eddy worked various assignments including Patrol, Vice, Alameda County Narcotics Task Force, YSD, and Motors, which included the Drill Team and Fatal Accident Response Team. Eddy’s last assignment was in Communications as a supervisor.

After Officer Miguel Soto was killed in 1994, Eddy volunteered to be part of a project that transformed Officer Soto’s patrol car into a police low rider. Eddy showcased the vehicle around the Bay Area in an effort to foster positive police relations between young people from the community and police officers.  


After his retirement from OPD in 2013, Eddy joined the Alameda County DA’s office as an inspector.

During his five-year career at the DA’s office, Eddy developed a reputation as a hardworking and talented investigator. He worked medical fraud cases and  investigated gang related violent crimes with the gang unit He is now enjoying retirement as he spends time with his wife and family and serves as our custodian and chef for Camaraderie.

Eddy also enjoys riding his Harley, collecting classic cars, and travel.                                              
It’s an honor to serve you as president of Le Société de Camaraderie.  On behalf of the coordinating council we will continue to promote the values of  our Société: Charity, Comradeship, and Country!   Stay safe and stay healthy!!
God bless you all, and until next time,

—Jim

July 2020

Hello Friends. I hope this message finds you all safe and well.

It has been reported COVID 19 cases are on the rise and therefore the Alameda County Health Department is not going to relax social gathering guidelines in time for our July dinner meeting. It is unfortunate but we will again cancel our planned dinner meeting this month. I am frustrated just as I am sure you are too.

 The coordinating council has been meeting via Zoom and we have a plan to ensure a safe and enjoyable dinner meeting as soon as the county relaxes the restrictions, hopefully in August or September. We are taking it one month at a time. Eddy Bermudez and Cliff Heanes have made plans to safely serve food to our members. They are arranging for outdoor dining, social distancing, and sanitation stations. We are looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

The work to provide permanent outdoor lighting to Our Friends of Nature property on Butters Drive are underway. The lighting will provide a safe exit after the dinner meetings. I want to thank Cliff Heanes and Kevin Traylor for doing the leg work in order to get this done. 

We are still planning to have a day at the Oakland Zoo scheduled for Sunday, September 27th. A BBQ lunch will be provided. We will publish a flyer including zoo entrance fees soon. I want to thank Nita Scurria and Julie Jaecksch for organizing this fun event.  

I recently have read on local law enforcement social media sites and law enforcement email groups an unprecedented amount of uncivil discourse occurring between colleagues and old friends, many who are members of Le Société de Camaraderie. 

Recently, a retired member was offended by a political email post and decided to leave the email group. The member expressed his displeasure over a post and subsequently others posted in support for and against him. 

The back and forth was very negative. I also have seen posts attacking one another over their opinions. Suddenly lifelong friends are no longer friends. These are polarizing times and while it is expected that we will have disagreements, we should not let these disagreements ruin friendships. 

We as a fraternal organization are made up of current and former law enforcement and supporters of law enforcement and we all have a common bond. We have a common belief in comradeship, law & order, and the freedoms granted to us in the US Constitution.  The law enforcement profession is a unique one. The bonds developed in this profession come out of necessity but remain out of love for each other and last a lifetime. 

Many of us have relied on each other to make sure we finish our shifts safely and get home to our families and loved ones. I implore you all to be considerate and do not let the topics of the day divide us. As members of Le Société de Camaraderie, we took an oath to support each other in any way we can, to be united in a spirit of good fellowship, patriotism, and loyalty to our fellow members. 

We seek to instill the principles of charity, justice, brotherly love, and strive to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of our members.  

I also want to point out the risk to current and former law enforcement officers in posting controversial comments which may be deemed threatening and in some cases a violation of the law. Recently a law enforcement social media site, whose members are current and former Southern California officers, made some threats to an activist which were leaked to the media. Several officers are currently under investigation. It’s been long known that personal social media accounts and law enforcement professionalism rest on a fine line. We encourage our members to use good judgement when using these personal social media platforms.

In closing, please take care of yourselves and your families. We have lost many good friends this year. Hold them and their families in your prayers. As I say in every newsletter, let’s pray for those law enforcement personnel who are on the front lines risking their lives serving and protecting our communities across this great country. To our members who are actively working the streets, please know we are here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we support you! 

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, the members of Le Société de Camaraderie.On behalf of the coordinating council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie- Charity, Comradeship, and Country! Stay safe and stay healthy! God bless you all, and until next time,

—Jim

June 2020

Hello Friends. I hope this message finds you all safe and well.

As we continue with the COVID lockdown for another month, some of the state’s restrictions are being loosened, with some businesses allowed to reopen provided there are accommodations for social distancing. Last month we were told that our state’s shelter in place order will last until June 1st and now it has been extended until July 1st. 

Hopefully the state and counties continue to progress with the goal of a full reopening. Our hope is that the restrictions for large social gatherings will ease by our July dinner meeting. 

Just as we started to see light at the end of the tunnel, anxiously awaiting the day we can get back to our normal way of life, there was the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. 

We all have seen the images of Mr. Floyd dying while in police custody and everyone agrees those images are horrific and disgusting. Mr. Floyd’s murder was tragic and senseless. 

Initially, legitimate peaceful protests followed throughout the country; however, almost all of the protests were hijacked by radical anarchist groups and other opportunistic criminals bent on causing civil unrest and fueling riots. These anarchists have little, if any, concern for the memory of Mr. Floyd, they’re only goal is to tear down the government, our way of life, and to hurt innocent people. Their efforts have caused massive destruction of property. 

They committed acts of arson, window smashes, and looting. They threw rocks and bottles at uniformed police officers resulting in severe injuries to many in law enforcement. Several officers have been shot, and at least one Federal Officer, Patrick Underwood, was murdered in a drive by shooting during the Oakland protest while protecting the Oakland Federal Building. His partner was also shot and is listed in critical condition. Godspeed his recovery.

As President and representative of Le Société de Camaraderie, we condemn police brutality, we equally condemn the mass destruction to our community businesses and the violent and murderous assaults on our nation’s police officers. This must stop! 

As I indicated in last month’s message, we are hopeful that our dinner meeting will take place on Tuesday July 21st. It will be a combined theme, Traffic and Presidents Night. We will also be celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Le Société de Camaraderie. We have a plan to take social distancing measures and any other mandates by the state. We still plan to pass out our newly minted 80th Anniversary coin to every member in attendance.  

We recently had our 2nd coordinating council meeting through Zoom and we finalized a budget which will be brought to the membership for a vote. We have a day at the Oakland Zoo planned for Sunday, September 27th. Next month we will put out a flyer including zoo entrance fees. A BBQ lunch will be provided. 

Manny Aquino has a fishing trip on the bay scheduled for Wednesday, September 23rd. These trips sell out quickly! Contact Manny Aquino for details. 

In closing, these are hard and difficult times, but we will get through them. Keep your family and friends close. Take the opportunity to reach out to those you haven’t spoken to for a while to communicate your well wishes and let them know how you are doing. 

Meanwhile, let’s pray for those law enforcement personnel who are on the front lines risking their lives serving and protecting our communities across this great country. To our members who are actively working the streets, please know we are here for you. We took an oath to support our brothers and sisters in any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we support you! 

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, the members of Le Société de Camaraderie. On behalf of the coordinating council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie, Charity, Comradeship, and Country! safe and stay healthy!!

God bless you all, and until next time,

—Jim 

May 2020

Hello Friends. I hope this message finds you all safe and well.

As we continue with the COVID-19 lockdown, we may find ourselves feeling antsy and anxiously awaiting the day we can get back to our normal way of life. Last month we were told that our State’s shelter in place order will last until May 1st and now it has been extended until June 1st.It appears that the shelter in place order has had a positive effect on flattening the curve. Many governors throughout the nation are opening up businesses and some public venues where they believe it is safe to do so. As of May 4th, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that some retail stores across the state can reopen with modifications as early as May 8th amid growing pressure to rectify major damage to the California economy. Let’s hope and pray we can get through this sooner than later.

As we gradually reopen the state, we are hopeful that our dinner meeting will take place on Tuesday July 21st. It will be a combined theme, Traffic and Presidents Night. We will also be meeting to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Le Société de Camaraderie. Mike Nichelini and his traffic crew, in conjunction with past presidents, will be on hand to prepare a feast like never before.Steak will be the main course (of course), with Eddie Bermudez coming up with the rest of the menu plan which will include appetizers, dessert, and drinks. We will take social distancing measures and any other recommendations by the state will be followed. I believe we can do it and still enjoy the dinner meeting and each other’s company. We also plan to pass out our newly minted 80th anniversary coin. Every member will receive a coin and additional coins can be purchased. We are discussing sending out coins to those that are unable to attend the meetings. I am looking forward to seeing all of you who are able to attend. 

We recently had our coordinating council meeting through Zoom, and it was successful. We spoke about the status of future events. have been postponed or all together cancelled until next year. We will keep you posted as to what events we are able to host. We also spoke about creating more space in the Stool Pigeon monthly publication to allow for more stories. Also, we are exploring the idea of creating a “spotlight” segment, which would consist of a short story highlighting a member once a month. The short piece will contain a bio and whether retired or currently working an assignment, and accomplishments. I hope this will provide an opportunity for our readers to get an idea of who we are and where we come from. Old or young we are relevant to each other and we can share experiences and lessons learned that may benefit others in our organization.

Recently an article was published with the following headline: Nevada convict charged in 1981 rape, murder of 16-year-old Oakland girl -The suspect was linked to the killing by DNA evidence. A 57-year-old man serving a prison term in Nevada for sexual assault was charged in the Dec. 23,fatal stabbing and rape of a 16-year-old high school honor student whose body was found in a West Oakland parking lot. Last year the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was preparing to charge this case, had much difficulty finding the all of the crucial Oakland Police Personnel who were at the scene. It wasn’t until contact was made with Le Société de Camaraderie members Bob Crawford and Jim Simonson. Both men keep an active roster of retired police personnel and were able to provide the DA’s office with their contact information. Here is a great example of just one of several relevant roles Le Société de Camaraderie provides to our law enforcement community and the public.  Great Job!

In closing, I thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, the members of Le Société de Camaraderie. On behalf of the coordinating council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie, Charity, Comradeship, and Country! As I wrote last month, my thanks to our active first responders medical professionals from within and outside of our organization who are out in the field risking their health daily in order to provide protection and care to all of us, the great citizens of California. safe and stay healthy!

God bless you all, and until next time.

—Jim

April 2020

Hello to everyone. I hope this message finds you well.

It was with great disappointment that we had to cancel last month’s dinner meeting due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and we as you can see we are canceling April’s dinner meeting as well. At the time we made the decision to cancel March’s dinner/meeting, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had established guidelines against gatherings. In accordance with the CDC’s guidance for large events and mass gatherings, they recommended that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Our dinner meetings garner attendance well beyond the CDC’s recommendation. Since we made our decision to cancel the dinner meetings, the State of California has been under a shelter-in-place order and we are not sure how long the order will be extended beyond the April 30th date.

 When we canceled the March dinner meeting Eddy Bermudez had made some food purchases, both Eddy and Cliff Heanes were able to donate the food to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Thank both of you very much for getting the food to those in need.

 Le Société de Camaraderie is a fraternal organization made up of current, former Law Enforcement, and friends of Law enforcement, it is by definition a social organization. Both current and former law enforcement officers are social by nature. The DNA of the law enforcement officer includes the ability to interact with the public and utilize social and verbal skills in order to accomplish the day to day job. 

With that said, the lack of social interaction is extremely difficult for all of us. We, the Coordinating Council, are concerned about our member’s physical and mental health. The effects of isolation and the concerns of this pandemic can lead to despair and depression.  

The Camaraderie family is unique among the law enforcement community, we are a close-knit group and we take care of each other. 

Member Fred Mestas reached out and suggested we offer our assistance to those older members that may have a need, such as shopping, or picking up prescriptions. That was a great idea! We have a data base with contact lists and we will provide contact information, so for those who need some help please feel free to call on any of us in the coordinating council, or any other member that is able to help out. 

Please make the effort stay social with friends and loved ones during these trying times, make a phone call or stay active on social media like many of you already do. 

I want to update you all on the condition of our dear friend and coordinating committee member Rudy Martin who was hospitalized last month. 

At the time this message was written, Rudy had suffered additional incidents and he is currently in ICU. On behalf of Le Société de Camaraderie we send our well wishes and prayers to you Rudy! We love you and wish you a speedy recovery! 

As I stated in last month’s newsletter, this year is the 80th anniversary of Le Société de Camaraderie. Past president Kevin Traylor just received the commemorative 80th anniversary challenge coins. We will keep you posted on how they will be distributed. Thanks again Kevin! 

Unfortunately, many of our upcoming events may have to be cancelled. At this time the annual picnic at the Oakland Zoo, for Sunday May 17th is cancelled.  

Stay tuned for updates to upcoming events such as the Golf Tournament, several fishing trips on the bay, the Potomac Cruise in September, and the Sunol Christmas Train ride in December.

 In closing, I thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, the members of Le Société de Camaraderie.  

On behalf of the coordinating council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie, Charity, Comradeship, and Country!  I want to thank our active first responders and the public safety personnel for their hard work and dedication in the role of protecting and keeping our citizens safe. Please accept our respect and well wishes as you go to work each day putting your health and lives at risk in order to protect the communities that you serve. Your selfless sacrifice and dedication to ensure public safety deserves recognition and praise! Stay safe and stay healthy!!

God bless you all, and until next time…. 

—Jim

March 2020

Last month’s dinner and meeting was amazing! “Lemme tell ya..Foget abowt it!”  Yes, it was Italian Night and Rich “Don” Cademartori and his awesome kitchen crew whipped up a fantastic Italian pasta dinner!  Ottimo Pasto! 

When the dinner bell rang we had over 130 show up to break bread, it was one of the largest showings ever for a February dinner.  The Kitchen crew consisted of Tony Tedeschi, Craig Long, Adam White, Larry Johnston, Michael Holland, and Eddy Bermudez. Great job boys!

The weather was great and the meeting was packed as we obligated 5 new members and voted in 2 more. We obligated Rudy Villegas (retired OPD), Jesse Grant (current Berkeley PD), Lou Staffaroni (retired SFPD), Rick Andreotti (retired OPD and current SFPD), and Tony Tedeschi (Columbo Club). We also successfully voted in Gedam Gebremichael (current OPD) and Mike Takaoka (Retired SFPD). Congratulations to all!

As I was writing this message, I learned that our dear friend and coordinating committee member Rudy Martin suffered a stroke. On behalf of Le Société de Camaraderie we send our well wishes and prayers to Rudy and wish him a speedy recovery! 

On February 21st we were saddened to hear Oakland’s first female police chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, was terminated without cause by the city’s police commission. The news of her firing sent shockwaves throughout the department and the law enforcement community. Chief Kirkpatrick was adored by the members of the Oakland police department and by the majority of the citizens in Oakland. She showed a genuine love for her officers and staff and her fellow citizens. 

Last year at the February dinner/ meeting, we were honored to have Chief Kirkpatrick as our guest.  The Chief took time out of her busy schedule to shake hands and greet everyone who was in attendance. Chief Kirkpatrick made quite an everlasting impression. I can safely say, and speaking for the rest of the coordinating committee, we were all left with the feeling that Chief Kirkpatrick loved her job and that she was proud to be an Oakland police officer through and through. 

Chief Kirkpatrick was the right chief at the right time, and I believe she had righted the OPD ship that was listing badly. With Chief Kirkpatrick at the helm OPD was sailing beautifully straight and true! Since her departure we are left to wonder what is to become of the mighty OPD. Chief Kirkpatrick you will be missed! but remember, Once OPD always OPD! You will always be welcome to Le Société de Camaraderie.

As I stated in last month’s newsletter, this year is the 80th anniversary of Le Société de Camaraderie. To commemorate our founding, I have commissioned past president Kevin Traylor to design and order commemorative 80th anniversary challenge coins. When the coins arrive, each member will receive a coin as a keepsake. We will keep you posted.

 At our January coordinating council meeting I appointed Julie Jaecksch to the coordinating committee. Julie has been actively promoting and volunteering in several Le Société de Camaraderie events and has become an invaluable asset to our organization. Welcome aboard Julie!

We have the date set for the annual picnic at the Oakland Zoo, for Sunday May 17th.  The annual Potomac diner cruise on the bay is set for Saturday September 12, 2020.  Stay tuned for dates to upcoming events such as the Golf Tournament, several fishing trips on the bay, and the Sunol Christmas Train ride in December. 

In closing, thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, the members of Le Société de Camaraderie.  On behalf of the coordinating council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie; Charity, Comradeship, and Country!

God bless you all, and until next time…

—Jim

February 2020

I hope this message finds you all well. Last month I was extremely honored to be sworn in as president of Le Société de Camaraderie. Retired Oakland Police Sergeant and past president Jim Kennemore was on hand to swear in the new officers for 2020. Sergeant JAK was my motor sergeant during the 1990’s and he is like a father to me. JAK rode his Harley all the way from Arizona to be at the January dinner meeting, it was truly an honor to have him there. Adam White was also sworn in as our new Vice President.      Congratulations Adam!

As President and member of Le Société de Camaraderie I understand and recognize the historical significance of our organization. Our founders started this organization 80 years ago in 1940 because Oakland police officers of those days were not afforded the benefits and protections that Oakland police officers enjoy today. Those trailblazers went on to start the Oakland Police Officer’s Association (OPOA) and some of those men helped create the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC). 

I want to thank outgoing president Bob Torio who was president for the past 2 years. Under Bob’s leadership we saw a significant increase in membership and calendar events. Bob also provided much guidance and support when I was Vice President. Thank you, Bob! As president expect to see a continued increase in membership, we are averaging 4 new members a month! We will also continue to explore new social events. Last year we had the picnic at the Oakland Zoo, a Golf Tournament, several fishing trips on the bay, yearly cruise trips, dinner cruise on the bay aboard the presidential yacht the Potomac, and the latest event, the Sunol Christmas Train ride!

Last month it was Platinum Members Night, we honored those who had 50 plus years with Le Société de Camaraderie. Congratulations to Jim Cooper, Everett Gremminger, Bernie Mathews and Rudy Martin. Unfortunately, Gary Delbridge, Bob Muszar, Rusty Malone and Larry Newman couldn’t make the meeting, but we recognize their achievement as well. Eddy and his kitchen crew cooked up a slab of juicy prime rib! We had over 110 turn out for dinner, including a squad of actives who came in for an 8A/

Next month’s Dinner is Italian Night! The dinner will be hosted by Rich Cademartori overseeing Eddy Bermudez and his crew, We are looking forward to a fantastic traditional Italian meal.

I want to take this opportunity to show my thanks and much appreciation to our custodian and coordinating council member Eddy Bermudez. Last year Eddy agreed to step up and fill the role of custodian and boy he has done an amazing job! 

Under Eddy’s leadership the quality of the food and beverages at our monthly dinners has been phenomenal! Eddy also has the role of caretaker for the use of the Our Friends of Nature Hall on Butters Drive in Oakland. Eddy’s duties include organizing the kitchen crew, shopping for and making sure the food is prepared each month in a timely matter. Eddy’s value to Le Société de Camaraderie cannot be overstated! Thank you Eddy, your hard work is much appreciated!

At last month’s meeting we obligated Mark Koller retired Chief of Police from Hayward P.D. and retired Hayward P.D and AlCo DA Inspector Kendell Won. Congratulations new members!

In closing, thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, the members of Le Société de Camaraderie.  On behalf of the coordinating council we will continue to promote the values of Le Société de Camaraderie; Charity, Comradeship, and Country!

God bless you all, and until next time…. 

—Jim Gordon

January 2020

Happy New Year everyone!  We begin this new year and new decade with even more new and exciting things to look forward to for Le Societe de Camaraderie.

Our January dinner meeting is not to be missed.  It’s Platinum Members Night which comes along with the traditional succulent prime rib dinner and sides to die for.  Please come and help celebrate all our Platinum members and their valued support for over 50 years!

The year 2019 brought us many improvements and new events to enhance our Camaraderie experience.  A new website is up and running, thanks to Tim Sanchez, who will continue to tweak (not in the drug sense) the site with improvements.  New events were added to our calendar, namely the Potomac dinner cruise, the Oakland Zoo BBQ picnic, a successful golf tournament at Oakland Metropolitan Links, and the Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights.  

We even streamlined our traditional Obligation process for our new candidates, which I can confidently say was very well received !

 Our Christmas party was a huge success thanks to our very own Santa, to many children throughout the years is the real Santa. We had fabulous entertainment from magician Timothy James who wowed the crowd of all ages with his unique talent and humor.

A big Thanks to Ron and Sassa OZ, Carol Argentos, Kevin and Suzanne Traylor and Bob and Nita Scurria. Tim Sanchez capturing all the joy and Santa in pictures we all can enjoy at our website. Our magnificent cooks, Jim Gordon, Manny Aquino, Dave Parsons, Eddy Bermudez and Stephanie England. It was truly our most wonderful family event of the year.

This is my last message to you as your President of Le Societe de Camaraderie.  It has been my absolute honor and privilege to serve as the president of our outstanding organization over the last 2 years.   Our new leadership will continue to make Camaraderie even better through active member recruiting, adding new events for our members and family members to enjoy, with our overall goal of Comradeship in mind.

Please welcome our new president Jim Gordon, and new vice president Adam White, along with the rest of our officers and Coordinating Council members, with your continued support in making Le Societe de Camaraderie the great organization that it is in 2020.

Until I see you the next time…

—Bob

Junior Past President

December 2019

Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving unwanted calories behind for some of us.  I hope that the everyone had the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends, while reflecting on all things to be thankful for, and also keeping those who are less fortunate in our thoughts.

Our Thanksgiving dinner hosts, Gaylord, Gerry, and Gil Gelle, along with their crew, once again put on an awesome feast of smoked turkey and all the fixings.  The OPD 940 gang, Ron and Sassa Oznowicz and their posse, provided the appetizers that were out of this world, as with all our past Thanksgiving dinners.

By the time this message gets to you, some 80 members and their families will have embarked on our newest social outing, the Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights.  This annual local Christmas event is the perfect way to get us into the holiday spirit, if we were not already.  We look forward to your feedback and hope to add this to our growing list of annual Camaraderie social events.

Speaking of Christmas, our annual Camaraderie Christmas Party will be upon us in a few days.  We look forward to a wonderful event for you and your family, especially our kids.  Of course, this includes a special appearance of Santa and his helpers, along with some fun entertainment.  

We swore in another new member at our last meeting. Brian Miller recently retired from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. We also voted in Buck Andreotti, retired OPD and active SFPD, and Kendell Won, retired Hayward PD and active ALCO DA Investigator.

We have a great slate of new officers for 2020 ready to hit the road running in January.  We look forward to a great membership year as well as more and exciting social events for all of us to look forward to!

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support in making Le Societe de Camaraderie the great organization that it is and having a most successful 2019.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a most Happy New Year!

Until next time…                                 —Bob

November 2019

Fall is here and the Holiday Season is fast approaching!  This is always an exciting time of year for all of us in Camaraderie.  (We even got that extra hour of sleep back.)  

We started with our Octoberfest dinner, hosted by our very own “Sausage King”, Nick Nicosia, and his world-famous gourmet bratwurst sausages.  His crew of Eddy Bermudez and Larry Johnston provided us with another memorable dinner.  Along with that, a very grateful “Thank You” goes to Nick for donating all the sausages for our members and guests to enjoy, and all of this on Nick’s 76th Birthday.  Happy Birthday Nick!  But wait, there’s more…, the entire dinner for all present was paid for by Past President, and brand-new Grandpa, Kevin Traylor, in celebration of his very first grandchild, Harper, a beautiful baby girl.  Congratulations to Grandpa and Grandma Kevin and Suzanne!

Our traditional November Thanksgiving dinner will be hosted by Ron and Sassa Oznowicz and the 940 crew, the Gelle brothers Vern Parcell, along with, Dave Parsons, David Jine, and Gil Gin.  This is always a very special dinner for all of us to look forward to.

Our membership continues to grow with the Obligation of two more members: Caesar Basa (retired OPD/ALCO Inspector) and Julian Kalama (retired OPD).  Also voted in by the General Membership were candidates Brian Miller (retired Solano County SO), Lou Staffaroni (retired SFPD), and Rudy Villegas (retired OPD).  Our membership growth has been tremendous over the past several months!  

Recruiting good Camaraderie members is a constant goal for all of us. Let’s keep up the good work for the betterment of our great organization.

Our Camaraderie golf tournament was a tremendous success, based all the positive feedback from many of the players involved.  The golf course and facilities were great, the weather was perfect, and the food was delicious. I want to thank our volunteers, Nita Scurria, Kevin and Suzanne Traylor, Woz, Frank Morris, Larry Johnston, Tim Sanchez, Gaylord Gelle, Jenny Chea-Vaing, and Gil Gin for their help in making this a great event.  I also want to thank members Cliff Heanes, Manny Aquino, Julie Jaeksch, Pete Peterson, David and Jan Evans, and Woz, along with all the other people outside of Camaraderie for their raffle prize donations and support of the Special Olympics of Northern CA.

We have great events coming up in the near future.  Our first Sunol Christmas Train of Lights ride is scheduled for December 14th,  and we can’t forget about our big family event, the annual Christmas Party scheduled for December 17th.  See further details in this issue.

Congratulations to our new officers for 2020, president-elect Jim Gordon, vice president-elect Adam White, and new Coordinating Council member Stephanie Brierly England.  We all have confidence in their leadership and will look forward to bigger and better things to come for Le Societe de Camaraderie.

Until next time…   

 —Bob

October 2019

Well, Summer has come and gone, but the Fall season greeted us with great weather to add to the good times at our recent Camaraderie functions.  

Our September dinner, ALCO District Attorney Inspectors Night, hosted by VP Jim Gordon, Eddy Bermudez, and crew Jason Riechers, Joe McNiff, Stephanie Brierly England, Frank Bonifacio, Kevin Wiley, Michael Riley, George Phillips,  Shawn Knight, and Eric Milina, was to say the least, “Off the hook!”  The incredible steak dinner drew over nearly 150 members and guests, including a Patrol squad from OPD.  Thank you to the ALCO D.A.’s crew for a very memorable event.  

The large attendance did present us with some issues, namely traffic and parking congestion, creating a real hazard in the event Fire or Medical response was needed at our meeting.  We have learned from this, and a plan will be in place for our next “big” event.  The one thing for all of us to remember is that there will be no overflow parking allowed on the entrance driveway.

Our upcoming “Octoberfest” dinner will be hosted by our “Sausage King”, Nick Nicosia, who graciously agreed to fill in for our normal crew of Denny Brown, Cliff Heanes and company, who will be sailing aimlessly on a cruise ship. (Their cruise was booked a year ago, so I guess they have an excuse for forgetting about Octoberfest.)  Not to worry, dinner will certainly be in good hands with Nick!

Our membership is growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to the efforts of our VP Jim Gordon. Eight more members were obligated into Camaraderie at our September meeting:  Gus Galindo (retired OPD/ALCO Inspector), John Biletnikoff (retired OPD/ALCO Inspector), Andre Rachel (retired OPD/ALCO), Bill Pappas (retired OPD/ALCO Inspector), Todd Bergeron (retired OPD/ALCO Inspector), Allyn Luenow (retired SFPD), Shan Johnson (OPD/retired Berkeley PD), and Brian McColgin (OPD/retired Walnut Creek PD).  Three candidates were also voted into our membership: Caesar Basa (retired OPD/ALCO Inspector), Julian Kalama (retired OPD), and Jesse Grant (OPD/active Berkeley PD).  All are quality individuals who are great assets for our organization.

A special recognition award was presented to our past Custodians, Gaylord Gelle and brother Gerry Gelle, who for the past 3 years, have gone far and beyond their duties to Camaraderie.  They always traveled the extra mile to ensure our dinner meetings and social events were the best they can be for our members to enjoy.  To Gaylord, Gerry, and crew, a very deserved thank you for being great assets to the organization.

 

Our second annual Bay cruise on the USS Potomac was a huge hit, with 102 members on board enjoying the awesome food and the beautiful sunset, and fellowship.  It was smooth sailing from beginning the end, making for the perfect setting all to enjoy.  We were very impressed with our new caterer so there’s a good chance they will be making a return appearance on our next cruise.  Plans are underway for next year.  I want to thank Jim Gordon for doing a fantastic job once again putting the event together.  I also want to thank his crew for helping with the setup and cleanup. 

Our second Camaraderie fishing trip just concluded, with 19 members and guests gathered on the “New Easy Rider” out of the Berkeley Marina. It was great to see Bob Van Nort and his lovely wife Diane, who traveled all the way from Centerville (Gardnerville), NV.  Also traveling from afar to join the crew was Past President David L. Evans. Unfortunately, fishing was a little spotty, with only 7 salmon caught, but Diane Van Nort landed a nice 11 pounder, making their drive back home a little more pleasant.  First fish and most fish of the day (2) was caught by Armando Delosreyes, and the big fish was landed by yours truly, which weighed out at 15+ pounds.  Manny Aquino even hooked a fish, which means that all Filipinos on the boat did damage. (Coincidental?) 

The Camaraderie golf tournament is on Monday, October 21, 2019, at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland.  Registration is at 7:30 a.m. Start time will be 8:30 a.m.  If you are planning on playing but have not sent in your form or money yet, do so immediately for a player count for the course. Remember, our charity partner this year is the Special Olympics of Northern California, our very worthy cause.

For information and signup forms, contact Lou Silva, Christi Amaral, and Bob Torio.  (510) 761-5732 (voice mail), golf@camaraderieonline.org (email), or http://www.lesocietedecamaraderie.org. 

It is that time of year once again for nominations and the election of LSdC officers for 2020.  Please contact any Coordinating Council member with your nominations, self-nominations included.

 Until next time…   

 —Bob

September 2019

We are nearing the end of a beautiful Camaraderie Summer, but the fun keeps coming.  By the time you read this, one hundred members and guests will be set to embark on our second annual USS Potomac Bay cruise out of Jack London Square.  This sold out event promises to be very memorable, so hopefully we will be able to report a wonderful time was had by all, with great food, awesome weather, calm seas,  and a beautiful sunset!

Our August dinner, hosted by the ALCO Sheriff’s team of past president Mike Rores, Joe Dutra, Dale Toussaint, and  Pat Kennedy treated us to an awesome steak dinner with all the fixings.  A great job by ALCO cooks and a big thank you once again.

Our September dinner, “Inspectors Night” will be grilled up by the ALCO District Attorneys Inspectors, headed up by VP Jim Gordon, Eddy Bermudez, and crew.  This dinner has been well attended in the past, so be sure to get there early.

Our membership continues to grow as three more members were obligated into Camaraderie at our August meeting:  Andrea Garris (retired OPD), Braden Todaro (active SFPD), and Jim Lee (retired Alameda County Assistant District Attorney).  Also, one more candidate was voted into our membership: Brian McColgin (OPD/retired Walnut Creek PD).  Congratulations to all our new members.  They will be great assets for our organization we look forward to seeing them at all our future dinner meetings and events. 

The second Camaraderie fishing trip of the year is scheduled for September 25, 2019, on the “New Easy Rider” out of the Berkeley Marina.  Our resident charter director, Manny Aquino, reports that this trip is also sold out, which is no surprise as these fishing trips have been very popular over the years. We had a great trip in May and reports indicate that this is the best salmon season in years.  Let’s see what fish stories come out of this event.

The Camaraderie Mexico Cruise is set for October 3 through October 10, 2019, on Princess Cruises out of San Francisco.  There is still time to make your reservations for our Camaraderie group.  Contact Carolyn Cook at “The Cruise Company”, (800) 274-3866 for details and to make your reservations.  

Our Camaraderie golf tournament is set for Monday, October 21, 2019, at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, with a “Blind Bogey Scramble” format.  Registration is at 7:30 a.m. Start time will be 8:30 a.m.  The cost is $125 person ($500 a foursome.)  An excellent BBQ lunch is included, along with prizes and a raffle. (One or two Hole-in-One vehicles will also be featured.)  Our charity partner this year will be the Special Olympics of Northern California.  The SONC is dedicated to enriching the lives of 23,925 children and adults with intellectual disabilities through inclusive sports, education, and health.  We are now accepting signups.  This will be a fun event with good weather anticipated, all for a very worthy cause.

 We are reaching out to all for raffle and auction items for our event.  For more information and signup forms, contact Lou Silva, Christi Amaral, and Bob Torio.  (510) 761-5732 (voice mail), golf@camaraderieonline.org (email), or http://www.lesocietedecamaraderie.org. 

 Until next time…   

Bob

August 2019

We are halfway through Summer and we continue to have great events to look forward to.  Our July dinner, Traffic Night, did not disappoint.  Past President Mike Nichelini and his Traffic crew from Vallejo PD and Oakland PD grilled up fabulous ribeye steaks, delicious Brentwood “no butter needed” corn on the cob, and salads for all to feast on. There was also a beautifully decorated “Oakland Police” cake that mysteriously changed to “Vallejo Police” mid dinner.  Could it have been a Sleight of “Finger” illusion?  

Our August dinner will be hosted by the Alameda County Sheriffs Office, headed up by none other than Past President Mike Rores and his team.  This always promises to be a meal not to be missed.

I am happy to report that two more members were obligated into Camaraderie at our July meeting:  David Kollar and Scott Kollar, both retired from Hayward PD, and also Father and Son!  

For the first time, a revised ceremony was used, streamlining our original format, but still keeping our longstanding tradition intact.  The new time saving process was well received by the general membership present.  My thanks to Don Miller in helping us develop our new format and to the Coordinating Council for its approval.

Four candidates were also voted into our membership Allyn Luenow (SFPD), Braden Todaro (SFPD), John Biletnikoff (OPD) and Shan Johnson (BPD, ALCO DA). 

Our Camaraderie Picnic at the Oakland Zoo was a huge success.  Over 50 members and guests were greeted with the warm weather, a beautiful setting, and loads of good food.  The Zoo also provided us with new features and exhibits to add to the experience.  We are already planning a 2020 Zoo picnic.  A big thank you goes to Nita and Bob Scurria, Julie Jaecksch, and Larry Johnston for all their hard work in making this happen.

Twenty-four Camaraderie baseball fans enjoyed our annual Sky Box suite at the recent Oakland A’s Law Enforcement Day game on August 4th.  The suite tickets were won by lucky members during our meeting raffles.  Food was provided by Aramark Food Services at the Coliseum.  The event was topped off with an Oakland A’s win.

Jim Gordon is taking reservations for our Camaraderie Bay dinner cruise on the USS Potomac on September 14, 2019.  A great meal is planned. Cost is $50 per person.  We are limiting our group to 90 people, so contact us ASAP.

The second Camaraderie fishing trip of the year is scheduled for September 25, 2019, 0530 hrs., on the “New Easy Rider” out of the Berkeley Marina.  Cost is $75 for members and $100 for guests. Coffee, donuts, and lunch is included.  Contact us to reserve a spot on the boat.

The Camaraderie Mexico Cruise is set for October 3 through October 10, 2019, on Princess Cruises out of San Francisco.  There is still room for our Camaraderie group.  Contact Carolyn Crook at “The Cruise Company”, (800) 274-3866 for details and to make your reservations.  Mention Manny Aquino and the Camaraderie group.

Our Camaraderie golf tournament is set for Monday, October 21, 2019, at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland (One or two Hole-in-One vehicles will be featured.)  For info see the flyer on the home page of our website.

 Until next time…   

 —Bob

July 2019

Summer is finally here, which brought great weather and a scrumptious dinner at our June meeting.  The old guard OPD Swat team responded with juicy Tri-Tip, barbeque chicken, and hot links to quell our hunger.  A big thank you to Captain Randy Wingate, Frank Uu, Mike Reilly, Brian McColgin, Julian Kalama, Jim Gordon, and Frank Bermudez for our food fest.

We can now look forward to our July dinner meeting, “Traffic Night”, headed up by past president Mike Nichelini and crew. There may also be a squad of motors joining us for the festivities.  This is a dinner meeting not to be missed.

Our membership continues to grow.  Five new members were obligated last meeting: John Taylor, Andy Luty, Kevin McDonald (all retired OPD), Dilma Johnson (retired OPD Dispatcher) and Vicki Long (ACDA Forensic Analyst).  Also voted into Camaraderie were Jason Saunders (active OPD), Andre Rachal, Todd Bergeron, Gus Galindo, Bill Pappas (retired OPD/active DA inspectors), David Kollar, and Scott Kollar (retired Hayward PD and Father-Son).   Congratulations to all our newest members and welcome aboard!

Charitable proceeds from last year’s golf tournament in the amount of $2,000, were presented to Randy Wingate, on behalf of the 100 Club of Alameda County and Camaraderie, towards the medical fund for Randy’s son, Officer Jordan Wingate, who was critically injured last year.  We all  continue to pray and pull for Jordan in his road to recovery.

A special scholarship presentation was made to Mitch Saunders, son of new member Jason Saunders, by representatives of the East Bay Alarm Association.  A $1,000 scholarship was awarded to young Mitch, who read his essay to the membership about being the child of a Police Officer.  His essay was very moving and and the scholarship is well deserved.  Congratulations Mitch.

Be sure to make your reservations for our Oakland Zoo BBQ picnic on July 28, 2019, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  (I suggest that you arrive by 9 am or so avoid traffic.)  We will be at the Tiger Timber Picnic area near the lower Zoo entrance.  The picnic lunch is free to Camaraderie members and guests.

Jim Gordon is taking advanced reservations for our Camaraderie Bay dinner cruise on the USS Potomac on September 14, 2019.  Cost is $50 per person. We are limiting our group to 90 people, so contact us soon as possible.

The second Camaraderie fishing trip of the year is scheduled for September 25, 2019, 0530 hrs., on the “New Easy Rider” out of the Berkeley Marina.  Cost is $75 for members and $100 for guests. Coffee, donuts, and lunch is included.  We had a great trip in May and hopefully the same this time around.  

The Camaraderie Mexican Cruise is set for October 3 through October 10, 2019, on Princess Cruises out of San Francisco.  There is still room on the ship.  Contact Carolyn Cook at “The Cruise Company”, (800) 274-3866 for details and to make your reservations.  Mention Manny Aquino and the Camaraderie group.

Our Camaraderie golf tournament will be on Monday, October 21, 2019, at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland.  Start time will be 8:30 a.m.  The cost is $125 person ($500 a foursome.)  An excellent BBQ lunch is included, along with prizes and a raffle.  Our charity partner will be the Special Olympics of Northern California.  Save the date and spread the word.  More details will follow.  We are also looking for raffle prizes for our cause. If you’re interested, email: golf@camaraderieonline.org

The drawing for the last set of Oakland A’s Law Enforcement Day suite seats will be held at our July meeting.  Hope to see you there.

Interested in any of our events? Contact us at info@camaraderieonline.org

 Until next time…   

 —Bob

June 2019

We had a great turnout at our May dinner/meeting.  An awesome Cinco de Mayo dinner was set up by our custodian-in-training Eddie Bermudez, and his crew of Steve Fajardo, Anthony Castro, Jorge Cabral, Carlos Ruiz, Mario Bermudez, and Romeo Aguilar.  A job well done!  We obviously missed seeing Gloria Halman this year, as she was not able to make the trip from Arizona.  We all want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Gloria for the 20 years she provided us with great food and love at our annual “Rocky Rocha” Cinco de Mayo dinners.

The OPD SWAT team will be making their return appearance for our June dinner.  Look forward to a great spread, as you would expect from these guys.  It’s looking like we’ll be feasting on tri-tip, smoked chicken, and sausage.  Can’t wait !

May was a great month for new membership.  New members voted in were Rosie Farmer (retired OPD dispatcher), Andrea Fritz (retired OPD), Dilma Johnson (retired OPD dispatcher), Jim Lee (retired ACDDA), Vicky Long (ACSO forensic analyst), Andy Luty (retired OPD), Kevin McDonald (retired OPD), and John Taylor (retired OPD).  As you can see, all will be great assets to Camaraderie.

Well, the weather did not cooperate with us with our Oakland Zoo BBQ picnic, as it was postponed due to rain.  The good news is that it has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 28, 2019, 10:00 am to 4 pm.  For all who made reservations for the initial event, please re-confirm for our headcount with Nita Scurria.  For those who could not go, here’s your chance to join in on the fun.  Send your RSVP’s for the new date.

Our Camaraderie fishing trip was a rousing success.  Twenty-one members and guests braved the waters of the Pacific Ocean and came home with limits for all (42 salmon on the boat)!  The winners of the first fish and biggest fish were Tony Hare and John Jay.  Congratulation to all. Manny will be planning our second trip sometime in September.  Look for the details.

Ron and Sassa Oznowics will again host the Third Annual Camaraderie Social on Sunday June 30, 2019, 3:00 pm until …,  at their beautiful home in Clayton, CA.  We had a great turnout last year with awesome weather and this year promises to be even better.  Please RSVP Ron as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing you there.

Get your reservations in for our Bay Dinner Cruise on the USS Potomac on September 14, 2019.  Cost is $50 per person. More details will follow.

Our Camaraderie golf tournament will be on Monday October 21, 2019, at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland.  Start time will be 8:30 a.m.  The cost will be $125 person ($500 a foursome.)  An excellent BBQ lunch is included, along with prizes and a raffle.  More details will follow.  Save the date and tell all your golf buddies.

The drawing for the Oakland A’s Law Enforcement Suite seats will be held at our next meeting.  We’ll see you then.

Until next time…

—Bob

May 2019

Today is May 1, 2019, May Day, and there are great events coming your way this month. 

First up is the annual Minden Major OPD 940 at the Carson Valley Inn, Minden, NV, on May 7 and 8, 2019.  By the time you are reading this newsletter we will back home filled with memories of another gathering of old friends. Camaraderie will be well represented as over 100 members and family will be attending. Including me. Because of this, this month’s message will be brief, due to the shortened print deadline. I’m am confident that I will not get any complaints for this.

The next event is our first Camaraderie picnic at the Oakland Zoo on Sunday May 19, 2019, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  We expect a large turnout. At last count there will be over 90 attendees. It is best to plan on getting to the zoo early to avoid traffic and parking issues.  We are looking forward to making this an annual event.

Our final event scheduled for May is our first 2019 Camaraderie salmon fishing trip on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at O-dark 5:30 am. on the “New Easy Rider” charter boat at the Berkeley Marina. Captain Joey has been reporting a lot of salmon being caught so hopefully we are “catching” a good time of the season.

You missed an awesome April dinner if you were not around. Piedmont PD’s Tom Kincaid and his crew of Dave Donovan, Greg Loscher, Robert Jaime, and Dan Ryan grilled up a whole pile of ribs, which were then piled on our plates, and were “bad to the bone”… the best yet. A well-deserved shout out to Tom and company for another job well done!

 We will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo at our May dinner, cooked by Eddy Bermudez and a hand-picked team. Eddy has promised a Mexican Feast for all to enjoy.  You don’t want to miss this one.

We finalized a date for our Camaraderie golf tournament, to be held on Monday October 21, 2019, at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland.  Start time will be 8:30 a.m. More details to follow.  Our charity partner this year will be the selected soon.  Save the date and tell all your golf buddies.

Until next time…

—Bob

April 2019

Now that Spring is here, we can look forward to great weather and the start of the activities and events our committees have been planning. 

Before we get to what’s in store, I would like to thank our St. Patrick’s Day chefs Mark Murray, Cliff Heanes, and their fabulous crew for laboring in the kitchen and coming up with a fantastic corned beef and  cabbage dinner for us to enjoy!  This meal is one of my favorites and we can look forward to doing it again the same time next year. 

Our April dinner meeting will be our Piedmont PD “Tony Freitas Night”.  Get ready for some awesome BBQed ribs and sides grilled up by Piedmont’s Tom Kincaid (not to be confused with the other Tom Kincaid), Robert Jaime, Jeff Sparanza, Dave Donovan, and Greg Loscher. This will certainly be a meal worth getting in line early for.  Of course, the pre-meal war stories and Camaraderie is what we all come together for every month.

I received a very nice note from OPD Chief of Police Anne E. Kirkpatrick regarding her recent visit at our February meeting dinner.  Her note read, “Dear Bob,  It was a pleasure meeting everyone at the gathering of Le Societe de Camaraderie. I appreciated being invited. I look forward to other opportunities. All my Best, Anne”.  Chief Kirkpatrick is well liked and respected by the troops, and for us old timers who had a chance to chat with her at our meeting, we could see why, from her outgoing personality and her sincere respect for the OPD legacy.

Our budget committee, headed up by Vice President Jim Gordon, is busy finalizing the 2019-2020 budget for approval by the General membership.

 Our first Oakland Zoo picnic and BBQ will be on May 19, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is open to Camaraderie members, family, and guests. Because of the Zoo’s popularity with the major improvements recently made, it has become a very popular attraction in the Bay Area, especially on the weekends. I strongly suggest for those who plan to attend, allow extra travel time and plan to arrive early.  Freeway 580 westbound traffic (all 4 lanes) usually backs up to San Leandro as you approach the Zoo. The same goes for northbound 98th Avenue.  Overflow parking also spills out onto the surface streets.

Our first salmon fishing trip of the year is scheduled for May 29th on the “New Easy Rider” at the Berkeley Marina. The boat leaves at 0530 hours so don’t be late.  The beginning of salmon season was fantastic last year where everyone on the boat limited with 2 fish each.  Hopefully it will be the same this time around.

Our second annual Bay Cruise on the USS Potomac is set for September 14, 2019.  Commodore Jim Gordon is finalizing the details.

The Camaraderie golf tournament will be held in October (on a Monday). The golf committee is considering our options for venues with meetings scheduled.  More to follow.

Until next time…

—Bob

March 2019

Our February dinner meeting, “Italian Night”, was once again a big hit for all in attendance, with Rich Cademartori’s family recipe pasta and Nick Nicosia’s famous Gourmet Italian Sausages.  I would like to extend a big thank you to Rich for insisting that he prepare this great meal for us even while being a little under the weather, and to Nick Nicosia for his generous donation of all the sausages we devoured.  The spirit of Camaraderie was on display once again.

Another element that made our dinner a very special event was a visit from Oakland’s Chief of Police, Anne Kirkpatrick, who was accompanied by her Chief of Staff (and Camaraderie member) Lt. Dom Arotzarena.  

This is the first time in many years that an active COP has graced us with their presence.  Although she could not stay for dinner or our meeting, the Chief made it a point to try and meet all of us who were present to say hello and to learn about each one’s law enforcement history, especially OPD members.  She expressed a profound respect for all us OPD “Old Timers”.  Chief Kirkpatrick indicated that she felt it was very important that the great legacy of OPD be carried on by the young officers.  I’m certain the chief would be very supportive of our continuing efforts to recruit active members of OPD for Camaraderie.  She even said she would like to be a member as well.  Many were impressed with Chief Kirkpatrick’s outgoing personality and sincerity.  We hope to see her at future dinners.

Vice President Jim Gordon is now the Chairman of the Coordinating Council.  Please give him your support and let him know about any concerns or suggestions you have for our great organization.

Details of our future events are beginning to shape up.  Our first annual Oakland Zoo picnic and BBQ will be on May 19, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This event is open to Camaraderie members, family, and guests.  The Oakland Zoo has made major improvements recently and has become a very popular attraction in the Bay Area.

Our second annual Bay Cruise on the USS Potomac is set for September 14, 2019.  More details will follow.

Our first salmon fishing trip of the year will be scheduled sometime in May or June, depending on the opening of salmon season and the availability of our go-to charter boat, “The New Easy Rider” out of the Berkeley Marina.  Captain Joey always does a great job for our group.

This month’s dinner theme, St. Patrick’s Day, will be headed up by chefs Mark Murray, Cliff Heanes, and crew.  Look forward to awesome corned beef and cabbage, with all the trimmings.  There’s a pretty good chance that there will be some kind of green dessert involved as well.

Looking forward to seeing you all at our March meeting!

Until the next time…

—Bob

February 2019

Our January dinner meeting, “Platinum Night” started our year in a big way.  An awesome prime rib dinner with all the trimmings was followed by our meeting where our new leadership team for 2019 was sworn in, 25 new Platinum members were deservingly honored, and our 2018 Member of the Year was announced.  Before going further, I would like to extend a big thank you to Gaylord and Gerry Gelle and their crew for preparing such a wonderful dinner.

I would like to welcome the new kid on the block, Jim Gordon, as our new Vice President for 2019.  I’m looking forward to working with Jim, as well as the rest of our officers and Coordinating Council members, in making this year bigger and better for Le Societe de Camaraderie.

New Platinum members Bob Aven, Rich Cademartori, John Cave, Bob Crawford, Bob Fredricks, Cliff Heanes, Greg Karczewski, Doug Krathwohl, Don Lopes, and Ed Marquez were present to receive their certificates in recognition for their 50-year milestone as members of Camaraderie.  Also, in attendance was existing Platinum member, Wayne Edwards 5688 (95 years young), who joined OPD back in 1949, and became a Camaraderie member on July 9, 1950.  Wayne was never recognized as a Platinum member because he hasn’t been to a meeting since 1956!  Wayne traveled all the way from Carmichael, CA to receive his certificate so that he could check this off on his bucket list.  One other new Platinum member, retired OPD Sergeant Barry Deadder, was not able to be at our meeting due to a lengthy illness.  Cliff Heanes and I were honored to meet with Barry and his wife at his home to present him with his certificate.  Barry was thrilled with this recognition and vowed to be at a meeting as soon as he can.  Congratulations to all.

The remaining Platinum Members who were not able to attend the meeting will receive their rewards in the mail in the next week or two.

Our 2018 Member of the Year is Ron Oznowics!  Over the years, Ron has continually shown to be a true “asset to Camaraderie” in his actions and his thoughts for the good of our organization.  Ron always seems to be there to pitch in with whatever help is needed.   I would be remiss not to also recognize Ron’s better half, Sassa, for her efforts and support to help make Camaraderie what it is today.

Our next meeting, Italian Night”, is not to be missed, with our own Rich Cademartori and crew at the helm.  We all look forward to that Italian home cooking that is an annual favorite.  Hopefully good weather will be upon us that night.  

Oakland Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick plans on being at our meeting, along with her Chief of Staff (and Camaraderie member) Dom Arotzarena.  Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Chief Kirkpatrick is looking forward to meeting and chatting with us “Old Timers” as well all members present.  Her presence would certainly be an honor for Camaraderie.

Our committees are busy planning this year’s events and excursions.  Stay tuned for details in the near future.

Until the next time…

—Bob

January 2019

Happy New Year everyone!  

We begin 2019 looking forward to an exciting year for Le Societe de Camaraderie. Before we leave 2018 behind, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to several members who stepped up to help end our year on a high note, specifically with our traditional  Christmas Party. With such short notice, we were able to put together our great annual event for our families, especially for our kids!  I’d like to first thank Ron and Sassa Oznowics for purchasing all the gifts and hosting a Christmas Party planning party at their home.  As you might imagine, this is a huge part of our event and we would not have been able to pull this off without their support (and all our present wrappers)!

Also, major thanks to Santa’s special elves, Holly Matthews, Suzanne Traylor, and Tim Sanchez.  Our awesome kitchen crew of Bill Smith, Dave Parsons, and Vern Parcell spent long hours to feed us well to start the party off right! Just as important, I would like to thank all who stayed after to clean.  There was even a Bob Crawford sighting pushing a broom around the entire hall!  Last but not least, I would like to thank Santa Claus for taking time from his busy schedule for another special guest appearance.

Our January dinner meeting is not to be missed.  It’s Platinum Members Night with succulent prime rib and sides to die for.  Please come and help celebrate all our Platinum members and their valued support for over 50 years!

On December 19th, member Steve Fajardo delivered donated clothing, blankets, toys, and other supplies to the victims of the Butte County fire in Chico, CA, on behalf of the National Latino Police Officers Association and the Le Societe de Camaraderie.  Steve reported that our contribution was positively felt!

Things to look forward to this year — Continuing improvements with our new website.

The website will include events postings such as the Spring picnic BBQ and tour at the widely renovated Oakland Zoo, the popular Potomac Bay Cruise, a bigger and better golf tournament, just to name a few.  As always, we are open to any and all suggestions for additional social events from you.

I would like to again thank you for your continued support in making Le Societe de Camaraderie the great organization that it is in 2019.

Until the next time…

—Bob

December 2018

Well by now, all the food that most of us gorged ourselves on during the Thanksgiving holiday has finally settled and we are able to reflect on all things to be thankful for.  I hope everyone was able to share good times with family and friends. The OPD 940 crew put on another awesome Thanksgiving feast.  For those of us who were fortunate enough to enjoy this dinner, we were also treated to a gracious act of kindness from a person who wished to remain anonymous and who paid for our meals. I can only say that this individual is a law enforcement and first responder supporter.  Genuine appreciation was shown at our meeting by all in attendance.  

Also, member Steve Fajardo made a last-minute presentation asking for donations for the fire victims in Butte County, specifically personal hygiene products and socks.  All donations will be trucked up on December 5th.  Showing the giving spirit of our membership, a hat was passed and over $600 was collected at the meeting and presented to Steve.  Way to go guys !

Our annual Camaraderie Christmas Party will be upon us in a few days by the time you read this.  We look forward to a wonderful event for you and your family, especially our kids. This year, several members are stepping up to pitch in with all the work that comes with such a wonderful event.  Of course, this includes  the special appearance of Santa and his helpers (Ron & Sassa Oz, Tim Sanchez, Holly Matthews and many more). Please take the time to thank these folks who are making sure our Christmas party continues its fun-filled tradition.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support in making Le Societe de Camaraderie the great organization that it is and having a most successful 2018.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a most Happy New Year !

Until the next time in 2019…

—Bob

November 2018

This year is racing by us faster that some of us can move (or remember).  We’re already fast approaching the Thanksgiving holiday season.  Speaking of which, our traditional Thanksgiving dinner meeting will again be put on by the OPD 940 crew.  We all look forward to the awesome BBQ turkey and all the trimmings that come with it.  I’m confident the OPD 940 crew will put out a tremendous spread as always.  This is a dinner not to be missed.

 Our Octoberfest dinner was fabulous as always, with Denny Brown at the helm, along with Mike Rores, Cliff Heanes, Jim Gordon, and a select crew.  The gourmet sausages were provided by our own Nick Nicosia which of course are the best!  Everyone got their fill and were all happy campers.

The 2018 Camaraderie Golf Tournament was a big success!  All players had a great time and were met with a delicious BBQ luncheon at the end.  A beautiful 2018 Chevrolet Traverse SUV was offered as a Hole-in One prize by F.H. Dailey Chevrolet, San Leandro.  Unfortunately, there was no big winner, but one player did come 14 feet away from driving the car home.  There were plenty of great raffle prizes to top off the tournament, including 5 flat screen T.V.’s (thanks to the Gelle brothers), 2 Smith & Wesson pistols (thanks to LSdC members), and a grand prize of an autographed pair Steph Curry shoes (thanks to OPD retired Ralph Walker), signed by Steph Curry off course of the World Champion Golden State Warriors.  Thanks to all individuals who donated prizes and our volunteers who helped make a successful tournament possible.  I want to extend a special thank you to Lou Silva, who organized this event for us.  Without his efforts, we would not even have a tournament.  Bottomline, we were able to come up with $2000 in charitable proceeds for The 100 Club of Alameda County, which will be given the Jordan Wingate family in their time of need.

At the October meeting, the slate of Officers and Coordinating Council members for 2019 were elected:  President Bob Torio, Vice President Jim Gordon, Financial Secretary Bob Crawford, Recording Secretary Ron Oznowicz, Junior Past President Kevin Traylor, and Coordinating Council members: Manny Aquino, Ken Busse, John Flores, Gaylord Gelle, Gerry Gelle, Cliff Heanes, Al Lowe, Rudy Martin, Don Miller, Bob Nichelini, Vern Parcell, Tim Sanchez, Nita Scurria, and Ned Ubben. Thank you to everyone for stepping up.

For those of you planning to attend the Camaraderie Christmas Party on December 18, 2018, please take a moment to call Santa at (925) 829-5283 and give him the number and ages of children you will be bringing.

I look forward to working with everyone in 2019.  I am very honored to be your president for the coming year and will work to make Le Societe de Camaraderie even bigger and better.  The key will be for great comradeship and for everyone to enjoy and have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Bob