Local 10 Drill Team members rolled out the red carpet to honor their longtime leader, “Captain Josh,” with a surprise party on April 30th that celebrated the Team’s 50th Anniversary.
Captain Josh was completely surprised and nearly speechless when he entered the OVO Tavern and Eatery in Oakland to discover the secret celebration was being held in his honor.
“Drill Team members and their families just wanted to surround Captain Josh with all our love and appreciation for everything that he’s given to our union and the Drill Team,” said Local 10’s Sabrina Giles.
Giles co-hosted the event with Local 10’s Trevel Adanandus who owns the OVO Tavern and donated the cake, hired a photographer and produced the event’s backdrop. She thanked a hard-working team of volunteers including Dr. Drew, Lori Marchell, Marie Bacchus from the IBU, Local 10 Business Agent John Hughes, and all Local 10 members who helped pay part of the tab. A personalized cake with three “edible photos” honored the Drill Team’s 83-year-old leader.
Further honors came later in the evening when Drill Team members presented their leader with a certificate of appreciation, a large plaque and bestowed him with a new title – elevating the former “Captain” to “General” Josh Williams.
Williams, who rarely speaks at great length, said he was truly touched by all the honors and recognition. He thanked everyone
for their generosity, then broke out with a special rendition of his “7th Street Song” that celebrates African American history in San Francisco; recalling life in the City’s Fillmore neighborhood, where barbeque and jazz joints flourished after the Second World War – along with a host of colorful street characters who are mostly now gone. When Williams finished his song, he was followed by more performers from the Drill Team ranks, including Janice Smith and Paul from ‘da Hall.
As the long night of celebrating drew to a close, Williams was treated to a complimentary night in a nearby hotel, which spared him a late night drive across the Bay Bridge to his San Francisco home.
“I’m ready to have one of these younger people take over at some point,” said the General, “but I’ve still
got more time until they’re ready to step up.