First Row (left to right): S.P. Touchard, W.W.Kerr (district president); Gaston F. Moore, A.J. Chapital, Alfred Gueringer Jr., and Waldo B. Frank (chairman)
Second Row (left to right): A. Marselles, Andrew Cyrus, L. Badon, Floyd A. Douglas (president of the local branch), Peter Depass, Harold Gilbert, Norman Boisseau, Alex Dubois, Herbert Collins, Sol E. Borikins, Charles W. Clark, Winston Moore, John E. Rousseau Jr.(vice-president); August Green, Adam Theriot and John Willis (recording secretary).
Shown above are the committee members of the New Orleans Branch of the National Alliance of Postal Employees (N.A.P.E.) pictured with some of their friends. The special occasion was the organization’s very first annual banquet which was held at The Golden Dragon Supper Club on Wednesday night, November 29, 1935. More than 250 persons were invited and attended the lavish affair of which only ninety-seven were members.
Long tables were stretched down the sides of the attractively decorated room and a small space for dancing was left in the center of the floor. During the banquet, each guest was given a crepe-paper cap, feather-tipped balloons, and various noise-makers as a reminder that Christmas festivities would soon end and New Orleans’ Carnival season was only a short time away. To the delight of everyone present, music was furnished by the Clyde Kerr orchestra.
Some of the other guests/couples present were: Allison Randolph Sr., Louis Amedee, Louis Blanchet, Newton Courseault, Edward Kerr, Terry Francois, J.A. Seraile (reporter), Louis Hanson, Herbert Collins, D. Caspelich, H. Baham, , W. Kohlbatz, Ovide Maurice, Lewis Creighton, Arthur Creighton, Juan Gonzales, Paul Oubre, Heywood Oubre, A.J. Victorianne, , A. M. Trudeau, Alexander, A. Marsalis, James Frere, O.C.W. Taylor, Ferrand Charles, E.R. Lopez, Webster Carraway, N.J.Bennett, Marshall Bennett, John Crawford, W.R. Porter, A.J. Porter, Chauncey Clarke, Albert Carter, Henry Sanders, James E. Gayle, Fred Walters, Ashton Murray, M.K.Caddo, Eugene Scott, Nathaniel Sharpe, Eugene Cannon, August A. Jackson, Ernest Thomas, Arthur Royal, Edward Pierre,
Miss L. Broussard, M.A. Beatty, Carrie McDowell, Zelda Brown, Carmen Rogers, Lilly King, Anna Profit, Leona Henry, K. Brazley, Nellie Berry,
Mrs. George Rieras, Catherine Jethro Young, Mrs. Alton Leah, Mrs. Louis Brown, Emelda Carrick, Viola Smith
History of the N.A,P.E
In the early 1900s, nearly every railroad which passed through or near a sizable town had a mail clerk. The job was very hazardous because mail clerks had to ride in dangerous wooden cars, which often crashed on the track. As a result, blacks were more readily hired in this position since no one else wanted the job.
By 1913, steel cars were made, safety was improved and the jobs became more competitive. A concerted effort was made to eliminate black workers as white railroad workers took over many positions. These newly hired employees formed the Railway Mail Association for protection and excluded blacks from their membership. Therefore, black clerks had no labor union for protection. On October 2, 1913, black mail clerks from across the country convened at the foot of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee and formed the National Alliance of Postal Employees. They sought to eliminate the discrimination they were encountering. Among the first projects the Alliance undertook was to eliminate the use of photographs required for civil service examinations. Photos were being used as a racial discrimination tool. In later years, they campaigned for women’s rights as career employees. By 1965, the Alliance changed its name to the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees (N.A.P.F.E) to include federal employees. An eternal flame was ignited at the foot of Lookout Mountain on October of 1973 as a constant symbol of the Alliance’s permanency and heritage.
Lolita V. Cherrie