What's Happening @ the 35th

American Legion Department of Maine 102nd Convention

Friday June 11th an estimated 150 Maine American Legion members attended the 102nd Convention at Jeff’s Catering Center in Brewer Maine. The Convention concluded in the early afternoon of the 12th with the installation of the newly elected Department officers.

Post 35 was represented by Commander Guy Linscott and Adjutant Michael Pock who drove up to Brewer early Friday morning to attend the two day event. Over the period of two days the normal process of an annual convention were concluded. Because of Covid-19 the 2020 Convention was not held and the 2021 Convention was pulled together within the last 6 weeks as the Covid-19 regulations were relaxed by the State Government. Also because the 2020 Convention was not held all the awards and election were postponed and held over until this Convention. All Department officers held their position and only a couple officers were replaced. Mainly, as in all organization, the previous officers advance to the next level. Commander Matthew Jabaut was elected National Executive Committee Alternate and will represent the Department of Maine at the National Convention. Debra Couture is the new Department Commander and Kirt Thurston is the new 1st Vice Commander. Both Debra and Kirt have a very good working knowledge of the membership problems that plagued all of our Posts during Covid-19.

Post 35 received three awards at the Convention. The Post was awarded a Post Excellence Award for 2020 for membership goals and paperwork. Commander Linscott received a third place award in the Post Newsletter “Small Category” and Adjutant Michael Pock was awarded “Adjutant of the Year” for 2020. Our Post made a very impressive showing for the 2020 calendar year.

Adjutant Pock received the 2021-2022 membership cards for this upcoming year and as we approved earlier this year all WWII members and 50 year members will have their dues paid, out of the Post’s General Fund, from this year forward.

We will continue to work with our members and to improve the Posts physical condition and hopefully restart our Community Suppers in the Fall. Please keep the Adjutant up to date on any address changes or medical problems that you have. We are a family as members of the American Legion.

Michael R. Pock – Adjutant

Stewart P. Morrill Post 35 Steps up to Honor Vets on Memorial Day

The members of Post 35 in South Portland, who make up over 90% of the members of the South Portland War Veterans Memorial Association, met recently and organized their annual Grave Flagging and Wreath laying events. The leadership of SPWVMA formulated two lists consisting of Minor and Major Grave Flagging and Wreath laying. Starting on the 22nd members joined the local Mason Lodge in flagging Calvary Cemetery which according to Kenneth Greenleaf, Location Manager, has 8,000 plus veterans graves.

On the 24th Ken Marston, Post 35 Finance Officer, and Anthony “Tony” Batchelor, 2nd Vice Commander, completed the “Minor Cemetery and Wreath list. The Minor List consisted of Four (4) small cemeteries with as few as One (1) Veteran buried within its gates. Additionally Ken and Tony placed wreathes on a total of Nine (9) locations.

On the 29th a contingent of Officers and Members of Post 35 along with 30 concerned citizens of South Portland placed flags in the Major Cemeteries throughout the City with 1053 graves honored.

On Memorial Day an “Honor Guard” of Officers and members placed nine (9) wreathes at five (5) locations around South Portland. The third to last wreath was placed at the Veterans Memorial in Mill Creek Park with some short commentary by 1st Vice Commander Wes Splettstoesser and a prayer by Post Chaplain Howard “Skip” Farr. After a “Coffee Break” the wreath for our Comrades lost at Sea was placed in the Fore River from the “Bug Light” Lighthouse. Finally a large wreath was placed at Calvary Cemetery at the Military Memorial with “Taps” played by Ron Rossetti (Sergeant 1st Class US Army – Ret.) There are over eighty five thousand (85,000) graves located at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.

The Memorial Day events are a major occasion for Post 35 that has become a gathering place for the community of South Portland. We at Stewart P. Morrill Post 35 continue to assist in any way we can to uphold the Constitution of the American Legion and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Michael R. Pock – Adjutant, Secretary SPWVMA

American Legion Post 35 Back in Baseball Business

Pictured left to right – Wes Splettstoesser, Guy Linscott, Richard Matthews, Michael Pock

South Portland Post 35 of the American Legion recently sponsored a girls little league softball team. With the help of Richard Matthews and the Board of Trustees the team uniforms were purchased and a “field sign “ was installed at the South Portland Little League field on Pine Street in the Ferry Village neighborhood.

The Stewart P. Morrill Post has sponsored American Legion baseball teams for as long as the Post has been in South Portland dating back to when the Post was organized in 1919. The American Legion team has won numerous awards and trophy’s in the past years but has been unable to field a team in the past two years. Not wanting to let the spark of team sports and community activity die in South Portland one of the members of the Post reached out to Mr. Matthews about sponsoring a little league team. The sponsorship was set up, sign made and recently hung on the fence at the ballfield. Post Commander - Guy Linscott, 1st Vice Commander - Wes Splettstoesser and Adjutant - Michael Pock were instrumental in pushing the project forward.

The sponsorship is just another function of the American Legion in Community Involvement that has Americanism as one of its primary activities. Come out and support our team and the American Legion.

Michael R. Pock – Adjutant

Pre Valentine Day Bottle and Food Drive

The members of Post 35 Hosted a Food and Bottle Drive in their parking lot to support the South Portland Food Bank. anned goods and supplies were collected with the help of Post members and members of the Ferry Village Neighborhood Association.

Members from the Post and from the FVNA stood in the 20 something degree weather to collect food and recyclable containers. The Post set up a table for the food supplies and collected a respectful amount of food stuffs; however the recyclable contributions were more than expected. Estimated counts of 35 bags of bottle were received. In a time when the local Super Markets offer a redeemable system people stepped up to donate their can and bottles to the American Legion. The Post took in $672.00 in returnable containers last fiscal year and presently is at 2/3 of that figure so far this fiscal year. The proceeds go into the General Fund to be used for Holiday Baskets and Youth Programs.

A special thanks to Commander Guy Linscott, Vice Commander Wes Splettstoesser, Adjutant Michael Pock, Finance Officer Ken Marston, Trustee Ed Seymourian and members Doug Kohnke and John Hyland for organizing and collecting. Additional thanks to Martha and Sarah Hyland as a representative from the Ferry Village Neighborhood Association.

Michael R. Pock – Adjutant


Commander Coffee @ Post 35

The, soon to be regular, Commander Coffee was held today at Post #35 in South Portland. A better than expected group showed up with 9 member and two lady guests and were very entertained by a short talk by member John P. Hyland. John brought two very interesting items for review and questions. The first item was the 48 Star American Flag that was draped over the coffin of John W. Hyland, John’s Uncle, who died of Pneumonia as a result of injuries during WWI. His death certificate was signed by Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing. John W. was 24 at the time of his death and the family didn’t receive the body for two years after his death. The second item of interest was a Model 99 Arisaka Rifle that was brought back after WWII in the Pacific. The rifle, complete with a bayonet, was in pretty good condition considering its age. In accordance with military requirements and out of respect for Japanese Emperor Hirohito the Japanese Chrysanthemum was ground off. Because of this maneuver the value of this rifle was drastically reduced. The rifle was modeled after the German Mauser and is an excellent piece of weaponry. The rifle fires a 7.7mm x 58 caliber shell and is equal to the British .303 cal. and the American .30 cal.

The photo is of the “48 Star Flag” that was on John W. Hyland Coffin and is currently in the possession of John P. Hyland in a very nice shadow box. These 48 Star flags are few and far between these days. Usually when a Vet dies he gets a flag that is flying at the time of his death.

Flag held up by Michael Pock and Anthony Batchelor. After the picture the flag was ceremonially folded and returned to John and replaced in the box.

Michael R. Pock – Adjutant

Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post 35 Blood Drives Sets Record

Ever since I have been the Adjutant at the Stewart P. Morrill American Legion Post in South Portland I have tried to think of ways to involve the Community of South Portland to help our Community.

I was approached by Eddie Scott, Accounts Manager for the American Red Cross, and asked if we, at Stewart P. Morrill, would be willing to sponsor Blood Drives from our Post. The American Legion is all about helping Veterans and their families since the start of the Legion on November 11th 1919.

We have been having Blood Drives it seems like forever but this year because of COVID – 19 there has been and extra need for blood and places to hold drives. Many of the usual places were unable to sponsor drives because of the CDC restrictions. We have never turned the Red Cross down and never will. The Red Cross is probably the safest place to donate blood.

Because of our Post being open we have helped collect 142 units of blood for the Red Cross since 30 May 2020. That is a record for our Post and it isn’t stopping. We have another scheduled drive on the 6th of January 2021 and will be shooting to beat our 2020 record.

There is nothing more valuable than blood. I have been giving blood since 1967 and to date, or should I say Saturday 12/26/2020, my donations will reach 23 gallons. Hay! Folks it’s only blood and our bodies make more of it each day. Many lives have been saved and many more will need the “Gift of Life”. Schedule a donation for a loved one or a stranger.

Michael R. Pock – Adjutant Post 35