December 14, 2016 --
On the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor commemoration, Dec. 7, it seemed fitting that dozens representing every branch of service poured into the Town and Country Restaurant’s Grand Ballroom for the installation’s monthly Veterans Breakfast.
Active-duty, retirees, veterans as well as civilian attendees listened as guest speaker, Julie Robbins, natural resources manager, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, recapped decades of the base’s history from inception to the present.
“Actually we’re a pretty small installation (in land area), over 3,000 acres,” Robbins said. “But within that area, we’ve got a tremendous amount of infrastructure; over 370 buildings, 45 miles of paved roads. We also have about 200 acres of pecan orchards and remnants and about 1,400 acres of wooded areas.
“The base was laid out and designed by Col. A. E. Dubber in the early 1950’s,” she pointed out. “Dubber oversaw much of the construction of the installation.
“Dubber loved butterflies and was a bit of a conservationist,” Robbins continued. “He had a large oak tree out front so, one of the things he did was orient the main buildings—Building 3500—(based) on that oak tree. That tree is now known as Dubber’s Oak.”
Robbins exchanged dialogue and posed a series of questions to the crowd as she discussed the relevance of the iconic Dubber’s Oak, existing landscape as well as various ecological inhabitants and vegetation indigenous to MCLB Albany.
One retired Marine, Warrant Officer Donald Dally, told stories of experiences with wild-game hunting and MCLB Albany’s wildlife population while on his active-duty tour here.
“In those days, quail were everywhere,” Dally, then-president of the Rod and Gun Club, said. “We had a huge fight with Natural Resources because of those trees Julie just referred to; because, when they’d plant a pine tree, what happened to the habitat, they’re all gone. We still managed to have a few around.”
Dally also reminisced of a time in the installation’s history before there was Covella Pond; when Area 4 was a prime resource for hunting deer and when he and his comrades “were big proponents of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Preservation history.”
“It was always a bad time for me when we’d lose big pieces of our environment back then (and) today,” he concluded. “I’ve enjoyed my time here today. Julie, thanks very much for allowing me time to talk about old history.”
To view more photos from the Veterans Breakfast, visit MCLB Albany’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Corps-Logistics-Base-Albany/512695405469372.