Category: Member news (page 1 of 2)

President’s 2016 Year-end Message

It has been a great beginning to the 2016-2017 season of the DMA. Our focus this year is on increasing member participation in our activities, and you, our members, have answered the call. We have inaugurated a new activity, pickleball, which has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception. Our last hike had 18 people in attendance—a record—and an earlier hike had 14 participants, exceeded only by our initial hike in 2013. Our November trip to the Yale Center for British Art sold out bus capacity two weeks in advance. Undaunted, four persons drove to New Haven on their own to join the group.

The Book Club has grown and now is our most popular activity. Two members have stepped forward and are planning to introduce a new activity, about which you will hear later. Our hope was that greater member activity would lead to growth in membership, and this has been the case. You have brought a large number of guests to our meetings, and 19 have elected to join the ranks of new members in the first four months of this season. This compares with 26 in all of 2015-2016. In addition, existing members have renewed their membership earlier and in greater numbers than last year.

Attendance at our weekly meetings is up, as the Program Speaker Committee continues to attract excellent speakers. The directors and officers of the DMA wish to express their appreciation for all you do to make our club more successful. We hope you had a happy and safe holiday season, and we wish you a healthy and successful new year.

Scott Hutchason, president

An appreciation
of the United States
by DMA member Sunil Saksena

I recently celebrated a personal milestone which I feel compelled to share … September 23, 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of my arrival in the United States. It was cause not only for celebration but also for reflection and thanks.

Fifty years ago, in September 1966, a young man from India boarded a Pan Am flight from New Delhi, India bound for San Francisco, Cal. I was coming to the University of California at Berkeley to pursue a graduate degree in engineering. My plan was to obtain the degree, work for two or three years and then head back home. Little did I know…

Within weeks of my arrival in Berkeley, I had inhaled the fresh air of freedom and, this being Berkeley in the sixties, it wasn’t just freedom, it was freedom plus. At that time India wasn’t the rollicking democracy it is today. It was run on socialist lines where the government controlled all major sectors of the economy, and personal freedoms, while enshrined in the country’s constitution, were, in practice, hugely circumscribed. So for me to taste this freedom in Berkeley, was a heady experience: it was intoxicating, it was liberating and it became addictive. It felt like a new birth, in fact, “a new birth of freedom,” to quote that immortal phrase from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Once having tasted this freedom, it was hard to untaste it; once the mind has been unshackled, it is hard to allow it to be shackled again. I decided to abandon my plan to return to India and to make America my new home.

Now, 50 years later, the fact that I am a resident of the prosperous town of Darien is not so much a testament to anything special that I accomplished. Rather, it is a testament to this country that it can take a young man of perhaps modest ability and intelligence, and mold and motivate him to be the best that he can be. This is the true genius of America and that’s what makes this country great.

As I reflected, I realized that I, an immigrant, have lived in this country longer than three-quarters of native born Americans living today, because they are less than 50 years old. Just think about that. It is truly astonishing and could happen in no other country. And that, too, is what makes America great.

And so I say to America: Thank you for a great 50 years!

Sunil Saksena

Looking for D-Day Vets

Atria Darien is planning a 70th anniversary program on June 6, 2014 to pay tribute to those who served our country at Normandy.

They are looking for contact information on any living veteran of D-Day (Darien residency is not required).

If you are aware of any D-Day veteran, please contact DMA members George Walsh or John Geoghegan

Message from the President — January 1, 2014

BillBallCaricature2We are about to begin the New Year at the DMA in a strong financial position as well as continuing to pursue our goal of recruiting new active members.  This gives us the advantage of utilizing the experience of our older members and adding the enthusiasm of our younger members.

We have started new activities and will continue to add more as they are requested.  Tom Lom and members of the Revitalization Committee have done an excellent job in this regard and will now focus on publicity to inform the community about our group activities with the goal of attracting new members.  The Community Events Committee will focus on added activities that will enhance our community presence.  We would appreciate any ideas you have in both of these goals.

Events Committee will focus on added activities that will enhance our community presence.  We would appreciate any ideas you have in both of these goals.

Several members have brought guests to our meetings and we should continue this.  It is an outstanding opportunity for potential members to learn about the DMA and what we have to offer.

Thank you for all your support and my best wishes for a prosperous 2014.

Message from the President — November, 2013

BillBallCaricature2We are completing our second month of the 2013 – 2014 year. We have had several new members and hopefully this will continue. Our speakers have been outstanding. However, attendance at the Wednesday meetings remains constant. I would like to see more members at our weekly meetings and would appreciate hearing from each of you as to how we can accomplish this (my email address and phone number are in the directory).
We have several activities which are well-attended and have added a new one – Hiking. Scott Hutchason has organized this group, and I look forward to both attending and seeing you there. Our activities are where new friends are made and one becomes better acquainted with members. I encourage each of you to participate in all activities that interest you and to form a new group if you have an interest that is not addressed.
Thank you for all your support and I look forward to hearing from you with your suggestions on how we can make the DMA even more rewarding.

Bill Ball,


A BIG “Thank you!” to Tom Thompson on his retirement as DMA video historian

Tommy-ThompsonHoward Thompson (better known to all of us as “Tom”)is retiring as our video historian.

Tom has been doing the videos of our speakers for the last nine years, and has decided to take a rest.

He is looking for a volunteer to take his place in this important job. We usually give the speaker a copy of the DVD, and also keep a file so that, even if you are absent, you can see and hear a special speaker. Tom will train you. Won’t someone volunteer?

DMA approves age-limit change

The attendees at the weekly DMA meeting on October 16, 2013 ratified, without dissent, the change in required age for membership, previously approved by the DMA Board of Directors, and announced at the weekly DMA meeting of October 9, 2013.

The required age for membership is now 50, down from 55 years of age.

Membership Committee Report — September, 2013

With the beginning of the meetings in September, members are reminded that it is time to pay dues for the coming year. You can print a copy of the annual dues form here,  DMA Annual Dues Form 2013-2014.  If you have trouble printing this form, there will be copies available at all membership meetings, or email us and we will send you a copy by return email. According to our By-Laws, all dues should be paid by November 1st. Please submit your dues promptly, a lot of extra effort is involved in collecting late dues, and this delays publication of our Membership Directory.

If you have had a change of address or phone, please inform the membership desk. All members are entitled to a copy of the directory but you have to pick it up at meetings or let someone pick it up for you.

Our current membership is 261.

Chick Scribner, Chair Membership Committee

Message from the President — September, 2013

BillBallCaricature2As we begin our first year as the Darien Men’s Association, I am excited to welcome you to what promises to be another year of dynamic programs and activities. Our various committees have been hard at work finding stimulating speakers, and planning interesting and fun outings. Based on last year’s survey and conversations with members, I also anticipate organizing additional activities that will further enhance our group and meet your interests.

Please visit our ever-improving website to be fully aware of all that the DMA has to offer. I look forward to continuing our very successful membership drive and encourage all of you to invite your friends to experience first-hand all that we enjoy as active participants.

I also encourage existing members to participate in all our meetings and provide me with feedback on any way we can improve the DMA.

Bill Ball, President

Message from the President — April, 2013

At our meetings in late March and early April, our members completed a survey designed to help in our efforts to revitalize our Association. If you missed those meetings, we will be sending the survey to you by email soon, please take the time to fill it out and submit it so that your voice can be heard in our planning.

As we discuss alternatives to make our club more attractive to recent retirees or “younger seniors” and to stimulate greater participation by current members, we are considering expanding our list of activities. The survey results to date indicate the highest interest in:

  • Hiking,
  • Local walking tours,
  • Current event discussions, and
  • Investing.

Also, among other changes that we are considering is the removal of “Senior” from our name, becoming, for example, the Darien Men’s Association. These and other changes are being thoroughly studied by Tom Lom and his committee, and by the Board of Directors. Any changes in our name or charter will be submitted formally to the Board, and if approved, then submitted to the membership for a vote in time to be a part of our communications for the next program year. Tom and his group welcome any suggestions you may have to help us in this revitalization effort.

Our Nominating Committee has finished its work, presenting the new slate and receiving the approval of the membership in recent meetings. Since this is my last newsletter message, I wanted to express my thanks to all of you who brought guests to our meetings. As a result of your help, we have added 25 new members thus far this year, a considerable increase over prior years.  Thanks to the officers, committee chairs, and volunteers for their help in making this another very successful year for our Association. It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as your President.

Bob Ready, President


Membership Committee Report — April. 2013

The Membership Committee and the Board of Directors have been collecting dues since the first meeting in September.  Normally all dues are in by the end of December.  E-mails, Post Cards and Phone calls have been used as reminders to all delinquent members.  We are now in April and, after more phone calls, we still have delinquent members.  This means a lot of unnecessary work for a few dedicated members.  We have constantly been checking our own and the DCA records to keep mistakes down to a minimum.

Attendance has have been good with the exception of Wednesday, April 17 when 78 members and two guests attended.

There were 7 new members admitted since I reported 8 in the last newsletter.  Six members have either resigned or passed away.

The current membership is 266

 C. Scribner, Chair

Membership Committee


Social Committee Report — April, 2013

On our May event, our first stop will be at The Shore Line Electric Railway. On board an antique suburban trolley, we will journey through the local Connecticut countryside and waterfront and then see the old time equipment used when a ride like this cost only a nickel. Then there will be a luncheon at the newly renovated but still old fashioned Old Lyme Inn. A choice of three entrees will be available as we dine in this charming setting. As a final treat, we will see the world class collections of renowned American impressionists at the Florence Griswold Museum, tour the Griswold house (the centerpiece of the Lyme Art colony in the early 1900s), and wander the gardens and waterside where the artist boarders painted “en plein air”.

Mel Orr is chairing this event. Sign up at the Wednesday meeting or contact Mel at

In June there will be a BBQ and Jazz Concert at The Country Club of Darien on Sunday, June 23rd. Music will be performed by The Joe Holmes’ Swing Band accompanied by vocalist Nicole Pasternak.

Peter Hallock is managing this affair.

Our Annual Picnic is scheduled in August and our first Fall event will be a lunch at the Culinary Institute of America and visits to the homes of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Lastly, after four years of chairing the Social Events Committee, I am stepping aside and Bill Winship will be taking my place. I want to thank not only those who organized these past events, but also Ed Mulock and Joe Sexton who worked behind the scene to make things happen. I look forward to attending the upcoming events this summer and beyond.

Frank Johnson, Chair

Social Committee

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