Benny Holland, Jr. and Clyde Fitzgerald To Be Honored By ILA’s Civil Rights Committee This Saturday At Dinner in Houston, Texas
Benny Holland, Jr., and Clyde Fitzgerald, two top leaders of the International Longshoremen’s Association who have collectively led the union’s South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District for more than a quarter of a century, will be honored together by the ILA’s Civil Rights Committee at a dinner in Houston, Texas on Saturday, October 10, 2015.
It will be the third annual dinner of the ILA’s Civil Rights Committee, chaired by Gerald Owens, and will be held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston beginning at 7 p.m.
“The ILA is proud to honor two great Civil Rights champions – Benny Holland, Jr. and Clyde Fitzgerald,” said Owens. “Their career and their steadfast dedication to fairness, equality and justice for all make them most worthy recipients of this honor.”
Benny Holland, an ILA veteran of more than 55 years, currently serves on the ILA’s Executive Council as Executive Vice President Emeritus, a position he was elected to this past July at the ILA’s Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He had served as International Executive Vice President for the past four years and International General Vice President before that. He served as President of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District for 12 years before turning that spot over to Clyde Fitzgerald.
Clyde Fitzgerald was reelected an International Vice President at the ILA’s convention in July, but chose to step down as President of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District after serving the top post for 13 years. The South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District Executive Board elected Fitzgerald President Emeritus.
Hundreds are expected to gather in Houston this weekend to honor Holland and Fitzgerald, including International President Harold J. Daggett who was the ILA’s first honoree in 2013 at a dinner in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Last year, Dennis A. Daggett was honored by the ILA’s Civil Rights Committee at dinner in Philadelphia. Hampton Roads and Philadelphia were chosen as the sites for the first two Civil Rights dinners to honor natives of those respective cities – the late Edward L. Brown, Sr. and Alexander Talmadge, for whom the ILA Civil Rights Committee is named.
Clarence Pittman, Jr., a long-time leader of the ILA from the Port of Miami, Florida and a South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District Vice President, before his passing in December 2013, will receive a Special Recognition Award at Saturday’s Civil Rights Dinner. Mrs. Gwendolyn Pittman, widow of Clarence Pittman, will be present to accept the posthumous honor on behalf of the Pittman family.