September 27-29, 2019, GCA members will come together where their favorite legend began – Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Springfield Armory was the nation’s armory from Revolutionary War days until 1968. https://www.nps.gov/spar/index.htm. Every time the Convention has traveled to Springfield, it’s been an extra special event. In addition to US history, there is GCA history at SANHS. In 1994, GCA founder Dick Deane sculpted a life-size bronze bust of John C. Garand which is on display at SANHS. Experience history and make memories this fall in Springfield, Mass. For those traveling by air, Hartford, CT (BDL) is the closest airport.
**Updated Hotel Information**
Headquarters hotel is the Tower Square Hotel, 2 Boland Way, Springfield, MA 01115. Call 413-781-7111 and mention Garand Collectors Assn. We have a specially negotiated rate which is $119 per night, including parking. Our block of rooms is currently full, but there are options: Go on a waiting list for a room to come available in the block; reserve a room at the regular rates, or get a room in an adjoining hotel. If you need assistance getting a room please contact the GCA office.
Friday, September 27, check in at the Tower Square Hotel and pick up your materials from GCA staff in the lobby. The Convention schedule kicks off Friday evening with a Meet and Greet private welcome reception at SANHS. A cash bar will be available and the GCA is providing light hors d’oeuvres. Mix and mingle in the historic surroundings.
Saturday, September 28, two seminars will be offered. Gus Fisher, retired US Marine Corps Armorer and well known to many in the M1 Garand community for his knowledge and skills, will present a Limited Technical Inspection/Gage Inspection Demonstration. Also, Martin K.A. Morgan will present his original program, OTHER USERS: The Long Shadow of John Garand. Morgan is a historian, author and has hosted and appeared in many programs. Many of his appearances can be viewed on his YouTube channel: Midway512. Both seminars will be filmed for future GCA video releases.
Before and after the seminars, attendees can explore the public areas of SANHS. The SANHS Curator is a GCA member and certainly knows M1s.
Long-time GCA member and M1 parts expert, Jack Prucha, will set up an “Information Station”. He will have a reference library and example parts on display especially for GCA members attending the convention. Bring your questions as well as photos of your “mystery parts”, and there’s a good chance you will get answers.
Saturday evening, the banquet will be held at Tower Hotel. The uniquely GCA tradition of drawing for an M1 rifle will continue. Members who purchase a banquet ticket and attend will be entered in the drawing*. The prize rifle is hand-picked by CMP and we have yet to be disappointed. The featured speaker will be former US Army Captain William ‘Hawk’ Albracht. Captain Hawk is one of the most decorated veterans of the Vietnam War and then had a 25-year career with the Secret Service. He protected six presidents and numerous foreign dignitaries. He is a well-known speaker and personal friend of GCA President Steve Rutledge, also a retired US Secret Service agent.
Sunday morning, September 29, GCA tradition continues with the ‘talk back’ farewell breakfast buffet. Members of the GCA Board of Directors will give reports, answer questions and receive feedback from the members.
Only 1 ½ miles away, the “Big E” fair will be going on. Anyone who needs more entertainment, education, food, or even some retail therapy might enjoy a side trip to the fair. This is the largest fair of its type in the Northeast and not to be missed. https://www.thebige.com/
NOTE: Massachusetts has very strict laws pertaining to firearms. As such, there will not be member displays or competitive matches at this convention. Please be aware of the laws here as well as surrounding states with regards to firearms and travel.
*Non-member guests are not eligible for the M1 drawing.