Benny Benjamin Williams

Benjamin (Benny) Williams

Meet Benjamin (Benny) Williams, your current president of the Board of Directors and elected to the Board for another term to begin in a couple of months. Benny is always ready to help someone in need, spends hours thinking of ways to improve the services for the members of the North Pole Senior Center, and is open to new ideas from anyone who wishes to pitch in.

He hails from Baltimore, Maryland and was born in June 1951. He went to public school, played trumpet in the school band and with friends outside of his high school and then went to Morgan State University for about three and a half years.

Ultimately, he joined the United States Air Force, and his first duty station after Basic Training at Lackland and specialty training at Kessler was at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Together with his wife, Cora who comes from Louisiana, he has traveled all over the U.S. serving in many capacities. She, too, was in the Air Force.

Benny remembers his youth in the days of Jim Crow laws, and as a Black adult reflects upon that history without being aware that he was experiencing any discrimination at the time. He studied music at the Peabody Institute, a nationally known Baltimore school for musicians and then enlisted.

He met his wife, who was a journalist for the Air Force, at Randolph AFB. He told this interviewer that his wife proposed to him, and they've been together ever since.

Their next post was from hot, humid Texas to freezing cold, Minot AFB in North Dakota. They went as a joint spouse team for one year and then back to the South at Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas. Alaska was next at Eielison AFB where he did electrical work on alarm systems and he has worked as a technician in chemical and biological matters. From active duty to National Guard work rounded out his military career with more than 29 years in uniform. He left the service as a Master Sergeant, the first sergeant of his unit and in general, Benny has no regrets that he spent a good part of his life serving his country.

Benny's philosophy in the Service was to make all those around him successful, to take care of people and this is still his idea. He wants people here at the Center to be happy and successful too. "I believe in being pro-active, and I'd like to leave something for my children and grandchildren when they're born. I want them to gain knowledge and that's my legacy to them. He believes that history must be written objectively and without malice." He wants his kids to learn that and grow healthy and safe.

Lastly, Benny hopes to be elected by the Board to another term as president of the Board. He would like to see the Senior Center become more electronically savvy, more technologically sound and he sees the future as being more secured here in the building. He wants everyone to be safe!

He would like to see more people involved in running the Center. Benny wants to see more volunteers, more people willing to grab hold of what needs to be done, He thinks that Covid has brought a need to look at everything objectively, "Five years from now, I want to see all people safe, secure, part of a team, and happy" Let it be so.

Interview and Story by John Spitzberg
Photo by Santa's Senior Center

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