On July 21, 2006, the St. Andrew Society of Louisiana, the oldest Scottish Society in Louisiana, founded in 1807, celebrated it's annual Bruce Dinner. The dinner was held at the Plimsoll Club in New Orleans, Louisiana. At that event, two gentlemen were honored: Rick McConnell, a past-President of the St. Andrew Society of Louisiana and President of the Caledonian Society of New Orleans was honored with the Bruce Award and Col. Joe McD. Campbell, USAFRet, the St. Andrew Society of Baton Rouge's Chief and Charter Member, was honored with the "Distinguished Son of Scotland" Award.
Many guests were present including Stuart Ferry, the President of the Caledonian Society of Baton Rouge.
Thomas G. Mungall, III, a past-President of the St. Andrew Society of Louisiana and the Secretary of the St. Andrew Society of Baton Rouge introduced Col. Campbell. His remarks were as follows:
"The great Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote:
"O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us, An' foolish notion: What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us, An' ev'n devotion!"
Tonight, Joseph McDowell Campbell will see himself through the eyes of others. One of the things I can tell you about Joe is that he is an LSU Tiger! Joe graduated from Louisiana State University in 1961 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering.
In November of 1961 Joe was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the US Air Force. He was trained as a pilot and then as a fighter pilot. Joe piloted a Convair F-102 "Delta Dagger". The primary mission of the F-102 was to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft. It was the world's first supersonic all-weather jet interceptor and the USAF's first operational delta-wing aircraft. Joe was also an instructor pilot, flight examiner, instructor pilot instructor, assistant flight commander, and assistant operations officer. He spent four years in operational combat units (two of these four years were in the Viet Nam conflict), and two years as a fighter instructor.
In 1971 Joe graduated from the Air Force Institute of Technology with a MS in Aerospace Engineering. Joe held many jobs during his career in the US Air Force and rose through the ranks to the rank of Colonel. Take a look at his military decorations and you will note the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal (7), and the Meritorious Service Medal.
In 1984 Joe was employed as Director of Defense Logistics for General Atomics and in 1990 he was employed by BDM International as a Vice President of Information Systems Business Development. Currently he is President of Information Systems and Technologies or INSYTE.
I first met Joe Campbell in 1989 when he was President of the Clan Campbell Society North America. Joe has held numerous offices and positions within the Clan Campbell Society including Board Member for 15 years, Secretary, Vice President and two terms as President.
Joe has an abiding love for Scotland, Scottish culture, heritage and his Scottish ancestry. Joe's devotion is evidenced by his lasting contributions to his Clan Society, and other Scottish organizations. He has served since 1996 as President and Chairman of the Board of the Clan Campbell Education Foundation.
Joe is a long time member of the Caledonian Society of Baton Rouge. He has served this community as a Board member for 8 years, one term as Vice President and as their Webmaster.
Joe is a founding member of the St. Andrew Society of Baton Rouge and has served as President (or as Chief as we term the position) for 2 terms and was recently reelected as Chief to an unprecedented 3rd term.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Highland Games of Louisiana since it's inception. Joe has served as a Board Member for the Council of Scottish Clans and Associations.
In March of 2004, Joe Campbell was honored by the Celtic Society of Louisiana with a "Roast", a dinner and with their "Green Derby" award. The Green Derby Award is given for significant contributions to either the Celtic Society of Louisiana or significant contributions to Celtic Culture. In Joe's case it was the latter.
I think Joe is generally unaware that he is referred to by some stalwarts within the Baton Rouge Celtic Community as one of the "Fab Four" being considered within the August community of "Scottish-American Senior Statesman" as the late Miller Dial and the late Lonnie Sibley. In 2001 during a time of restiveness between some individuals within the Scottish community, I wrote a poem inspired by the "Fab Four's" leadership, a stanza of the poem goes:
"The Four who essayed venerable men endeavoring pardon, deporting, elder statesmen all chivalrous action intended-"
Joe is married to the lovely Ann Bowman and together they have two children, a daughter, Catherine and a son, Joey and I have lost count of the grandbairns! At last count, I believe it is five grandbairns???
It is interesting to note that his daughter Catherine works for Disney World while his son Joey works for Disneyland! Joe is active in professional and community organizations, these include but are not limited to service as a Former Junior Achievement Board Member, Former Volunteer Education Foundation Board Member and Former Boy Scouts of America Board Member.
These are only the highlights! However, in my opinion, Joe's legacy of service to country, family, profession and Scottish heritage was eclipsed in 2001 by this Legacy which will last forever ---
(Mr. Mungall paused and unfolded a large piece of the Louisiana Tartan) (How many here know what this is?)
Aye! It is the official Louisiana Tartan which was designed by Joe and unanimously adopted by both houses of the Louisiana Legislature and signed into law by Governor Mike Foster on June 6th, 2001.
Forever a historical symbol of Louisiana right along with the Brown Pelican, and the magnolia and hallowed in the State's Archives, The tartan consists of four colors, namely:
Blue for the sky, lakes, bayous, rivers and waterways Green for agriculture and forests White for rice, sugar cane, cotton and the magnolias Black for petroleum and natural resources
It is my great privilege to introduce a great American, a distinguished Son of Scotland, a LSU and US Air Force "Tiger", and my friend, Joe Campbell!"
Col. Campbell was presented the award by Ed Leblanc, President of the St. Andrew Society of Louisiana. As part of the award Col. Campbell was elected to membership in the St. Andrew Society of Louisiana.
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