Watchung NJ Unit
Wally Byam Caravan Club International - Region 2

Watchung Unit History

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Watchung Unit History
The following is documentation from Edward Ambry on the formation of the Watchung NJ Unit and its original Charter Members for historical purposes:

The basic reason, for folks living in Central and Northern New Jersey, to begin to discuss the possibility of forming a new WBCCI Unit in New Jersey was geography, pure and simple.

Our choices were to belong to an out-of-State Unit in New York or Pennsylvania or join the New Jersey Unit.  Most of us joined the New Jersey Unit but very few of us ever went to meetings or rallies since these were held below the "Mason Dixon Line".  I attended one meeting so Ii could be presented with my "Jersey Devil" pennant.

So, as the Northerners met around the State, we entertained the idea that we should petition the WBCCI to allow us to form a North Jersey Unit.  We were informed by WBCCI that the procedure for this proposal called for our informal group to enlist at least 25 persons who either held membership in another unit or who owned Airstream trailers and wished to become first time members of WBCCI through our proposed "new" Unit.

This was accomplished.  A petition was drafted and signed by twenty-five petitioners in 1965.  WBCCI advised us to collect dues from at least 25 potential members. (Those petitioners, if still interested, and anyone else who owned and Airstream trailer and wanted to become members of what then was named the Watchung Unit.)

Telephone and letter writing committees were formed.  Contacts were made.  Dues for the 1966 year were collected and mailed to WBCCI before the December 1, 1965 deadline.  This deadline was for existing as well as new Units being formed in New Jersey and other States.  The Watchung Unit was official and received a Charter document sometime in 1966.  Our efforts produced 90 members who paid their respective dues before December 1, 1965 deadline and two members who paid dues on December 4, 1965.

Jack Brunger, who prepared the list of members, was careful and honest when he prepared the list to note that he and Will Dennick did not mail in their memberships before the 1st of December.  Both of these members went on to become President of the Watchung Unit.

The date was critical since WBCCI had informed the petitioners that all new members of the new unit would be considered Charter members, if their dues were mailed by the December 1, 1965.  At that time, I believe, the Watchung Unit considered Brunger and Dennick to be Charter members, even if WBCCI did not.  They were really the two most important instigators of the plan to form the new Unit.  They worked harder than anyone else but I guess they were too busy to get their dues to WBCCI on time.

I guess we could say that Watchung set sail in our Land Yachts with 92 members (Charter Members) in 1966.

Recently, while in Ohio, I visited the WBCCI Headquarters.  I presented my notes and recollections of the 1965-66 series of events.  Two of the staff agreed that the procedure used by the petitioners and the dues collectors when Watchung Unit was formed was the correct procedure in 1965-66 and, in fact, was and still is, the identical procedure used today if a new unit wishes to be formed.  All members who pay their dues before November 1st (new dues date) in the formation year are considered Charter members of the new unit in its first year of operation as a unit.

--Edward Ambry

 

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