FRSA - 100 Years Strong - September 2022

Wed, Sep 14, 2022 at 8:00AM

Lisa Pate, FRSA Executive Director

Throughout 2022, this column will recap some of FRSA’s rich history, through accounts from meeting minutes and a published book called FRSA The First Half Century.

In January, 1965, it was reported nearly 50 percent of the Association’s membership had responded to the group hospitalization insurance program survey and were enthusiastic about the proposal. The survey found 65 percent of the members responding in favor of the proposal and 35 percent opposed.

Once again, labor’s efforts to eliminate the right to work provision were back in the news. Repeal of the section of the Taft-Hartley Act headed the 1965 legislative goals for labor, a report to the Association said. Members were urged to write their congressman and to lobby against the move by labor.

The Board of Directors approved a group hospitalization insurance program for members of the Association. President Bensch directed members of the Self-Insurers Fund Trustee Board to follow up on the group insurance program and come up with firm recommendations on a detailed plan before the next board meeting.

About this time Bensch’s company, West Gate Sheet Metal Co., built an experimental jungle boat for the U.S. Army, for possible use in Vietnam. Working with designing contractor Franklin Gno Corp. of West Palm Beach, Bensch said it took his shop three to four weeks to construct the air boat, designed to carry 12 fully equipped troops, six times the two-man capacity of those that skim the Everglades. Bensch said one of the big problems in building the boat was an army specification requiring an all-welded aluminum bottom with no tolerance for heat buckling from the weld. The boat was 20 feet long by eight feet wide. Initial tryouts showed the jungle boat could do up to 30 knots and better.

A new attendance record of 310 was set in at the Association’s annual Convention. Tallahassee roofing and sheet metal contractor Robert Dove took over the reins as President.

Hard-working Bill Condermann, Bohnert Roofing and Supply Co., Miami, was selected during the Convention as the first recipient of the “Bob Campanella Memorial Award” for his outstanding performance as Association member during the preceding year. Campanella had died the previous year and the St. Petersburg’s affiliate created the award with the understanding that the recipient of the award would be chosen each year by the Association. Read more.

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