July 5, 2011 JCI
Over the weekend I read another chapter of the book Young Men Can Change The World. I came across another great story this one of how the Abbeville Jaycees was founded. The story was a recount of the adventure of at the time U.S. Jaycees National Vice President Robert E. Condon who at the age of 29 also held the position of civil defense commissioner for the greater New York metro area. Condon decided to use his position in both the Jaycees and personally to grow the organization as well as help his community by introducing an airmail service from New York to Atlanta. After introducing his plan the two cities and U.S. Post Office were excited to it into act. During their first flight from Atlanta the plane developed troubles over South Carolina with Condon at co-pilot which ended with a crashing landing in a farm field outside the town of Abbeville, SC. After hitching hiking into town Condon was interviewed by the local newspaper reporter he began to tell him that this was the inaugural flight of The United States Junior Chamber airmail program when the reporter said The United States what????? Well just like Jaycees do theses days when presented with the opportunity of spreading our message. Condon told the reporter all about the Jaycees by night fall he rounded up a group of young men typed out a charter for the Abbeville Junior Chamber Of Commerce and had their charter fee in his pocket. The plane never made it to New York but as result of Robert’s trip it resulted in the founding of the Abbeville Jaycees chapter. Condon went on to meet Charles Lindbergh while waiting for a flight and invite him to our organization and serve as our 7th Junior Chamber National President.