1st Postal Employee’s Banquet (New Orleans-1935)

Postal Employees- 1935  

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.

Postal Employees' Banquet (Golden Dragon Supper Club)

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.

Sources:  The Louisiana Weekly, 07 December 1935 p.3 col.3-4-5; http://blackamericaweb.com; www.napfe.com (History of NAPFE)

Lolita V. Cherrie

3 thoughts on “1st Postal Employee’s Banquet (New Orleans-1935)

  1. These are great memories and each article from CreoleGen makes me fill in holes in my family history. My grandfather was mentioned as being there – O. C. W. Taylor – and since he had no association with the Postal Unions, I couldn’t imagine why unless it was his connection as editor of the Louisiana Weekly and his penchant for having his nose in everybody’s business, especially if there were injustices happening. Also noted A. J. Chapital – a southern cousin who spent many hours at our home with his wife. Keep going, its great!

    • Marceline — Indeed, my grandfather was quite the activist. I can only hope to do his legacy proud. Thanks for sharing your memories! Deeply appreciated. Rest in Peace, Alma and Arthur Chapital.

  2. ‘Mr. Albert ‘Pooky’ Carter (Mason 33rd Degree); married to ‘Gladys Carter’- son ‘Irving Carter’ whose mother ‘Helen Despenser’ (Both Eastern Stars), were my grandparents. Gladys Carter, died in 1966′; Albert Carter, 1968, Gladys mother Helen Despenser died due to injuries sustained after being struck by a drunk driver (after a two year struggle), at the age of 98′.
    Albert Carter received a citation from Richard Nixon, for his (33) years as one of the first Black Postal workers, and for his military service in the 13th Calvary. God Bless them all, and thank you one and all for being there, for ‘Irving, Almalene, Vincent, Jacqueline, Eltheldra, and Andrea. Miss you!

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