Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

MAAG Closes the Doors at Taipei's Club 63 NCO Open Mess - UPDATED..

Turn out the lights, the party's over....

With the first news of Club 63's closing, most had a thought of disbelieve, how could they shut down the best NCO club in Taiwan?  Oh my goodness, was it really happening?

After the news, the guessing game started. Was the club loosing money?  Just a year earlier, the Army and Air Force removed slot machines from all military clubs, including Club 63. Could it be cash flow?   Why, what happened?

I have no idea why it happened, although my best guess, MAAG Taiwan personnel strength levels were slowly being reduced.  Operating such a large club for a smaller population had some bearing on keeping the doors open.  Possibly MAAG funding was no longer available for club operations.

My friend Scott, while dining at a Chinese Restaurant in Kileen, Texas, spoke with the owner, Mr. Jackson Huang.. To  his surprise, Mr. Huang pulled out a copy of the June 1973 edition of Club 63's monthly publication MAAG-NET.  As Scott and Mr. Huang were talking, Mr. Huang pulled out more papers, including a memorandum (It is at the end of this posting) signed by Senior Master Sergeant Wilbur Hardin, the Secretary-Custodian of Club 63. Mr. Huang worked at Club 63 for many years starting in 1966.

Through the graciousness of Mr. Huang, the owner of a Chinese Restaurant in Kileen, Texas, Scott was able to take his only copy of the June 1973 MAAG-NET magazine.  Scott will be sending the original copy back to Kileen.  It's a strange set of circumstances, Scott hit the LOTTO on the prairie of central Texas, finding both an old employee of Club 63, and a copy of the last MAAG-NET published. Fate, luck, circumstance...

The original copy of the magazine back-in-the-day would have been sharp, unfortunately, this old copy has faded and some of the pages have lost their clearness.

Click or double click on each page you want to read,  when the page opens, you can also left click on  your mouse and the page will again increase in size, making it easier to read.

This cover page pretty much explains what is about to happen at Club 63.

This page pretty much explains how things will proceed as the club closes it's doors.

Just above, we wrote of Jackson Huang, who owns a restaurant in Kileen outside of Fort Hood, where my friend Scott received this edition of MAAG-NET. 

Here, Mr. Huang's photo under the headline, Another Outstanding Employee.

Bingo at the club, always has a steady following.

Here, on the calendar, the closing date is annotated,  June 28th.

We all spent some great days at the club.

The original Club 63

Anyone out there remember this building and what it looked like inside?
It would be great if someone could write about the old club.

This photo gives a bit more clearer detail on the building.

Not sure if this was the "New Club 63" in 1957 or the club as it looked at closing in 1973.

Cleaner copy of the new Club 63

As Club 63 faded into the past on 28 June 1973, the Navy re-opened the facility a few days later.

Under new management, with a new name, we moved on, with many folks happy to see the slot machines returning.

Those who arrived after June 1973, never experienced the "old Club 63."

BUT, we can never forget.. The nostalgia of "Club 63" lives on in our hearts.

Those were the days my friend.....

As Mr. Huang left Club 63 for mandatory military service in 1968, he received this Letter of Recommendation from the Secretary-Custodian.

Many thanks to Mr. Huang for sharing and to Scott for sending the booklet for posting. 

UPDATE:  21 May 2012 

Don over at USTDC Blog uploaded a copy of the complete June MAAG-NET magazine in PDF Format.

You can download a copy from HERE


titojohn said...

Wow, this is great. It brings back many fond memories of the Club 63. I first entered the club in 1963. Thanks to Mr. Huang, Scott and Kent for providing this to all of us old timers.
John Quinn

Don Wiggins said...

I was there during the change and remember it well. The original Club 63 was in the same building where the bowling alley was located when I was there. If you went through the gate into the west compound, walked past the chapel and the gas station all the way to the end, it would have been to your left.

Don Wiggins said...

P.S. The photo of the entrance to the Club 63 (the new club) is exactly as I remember it from 1973.

Mike said...

My father Charles E Skidmore Jr was the 327th Wing Historian from 1971-73 and i found a club 63 lighter in his papers. perhaps someone will remember him.

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