Cpl. Efrain Reynaga pointed over the horizon to announce the imminent appearance of a U.S. Coast Guard C-130.


Cpl. Efrain Reynaga pointed over the horizon to announce the imminent appearance of a U.S. Coast Guard C-130.



Because of low clouds, the plane could not be seen with the naked eye.



"There it is," replied Joe Parker, a visitor to Cherry Pointís control tower, as the big plane descended into view to make a touch-and-go on one of the air stationís 8,000-foot runways.



Parker was impressed at how the Marine air traffic controllers kept track of the planes flying in and around Cherry Point.



"Itís fascinating to see how precise they are in what they do in being able to tell exactly where the planes are and what level the planes are flying and the approach and how they can correct anything right there at the moment and how they work as a team together," Parker said.



Parker, president of the Civitan International service organization, received a special tour of Cherry Point and base facilities last week as he made a special visit to the Havelock Civitan Club.



The tour included a luncheon at the Millerís Landing officers club on the banks of the Neuse River.



"Heís a very dear friend on top of being the Civitan International president," said Susie Bare, a member of the Havelock Civitan Club. "Iíve known Joe just about as long as heís been in Lionism. He was the type of man that once you met him, you knew he was going to the top. He loves what he does. His theme this year is ĎCivitan Passion Speaks with Action.í"



The Havelock Civitan Club honored and entertained Parker at the Taberna Country Club in New Bern, and Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders presented Parker a key to the city as part of the festivities.



"We had a celebration last night which I thought was just wonderful," said Parker, who is from Durham. "Havelock is a very good Civitan Club in what they do for the community."



The Havelock Civitans Club has 46 members and has been around for 54 years. Members held their annual fundraising golf tournament on Saturday at Carolina Pines Golf and Country Club, with proceeds going to support college scholarships, the child development center and the Grand Buddies reading program, among others.



"You cannot ask for a better group," Parker said of the Havelock club. "They are very cordial and they have a passion for what they do for this community. You can see it. It just spreads throughout when you are around them."



Parker joined a Civitan club about 14 years ago. He was a teacher, administrator and transportation coordinator for Durham Public Schools.



"I got on that fast train of leadership and kind of forgot to get off," Parker said.



Parker served as president of the Durham Civitan Club several years, as well as distinguished governor of the east district of North Carolina. He has also been a regional international director and board representative on the Junior Civitan International Board.



"We are very honored to have him in Havelock," Bare said. "Heís traveled very hard. Heís just come back from Europe, and weíre just very, very proud."



The Havelock Civitan Club has regular meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 11:45 a.m. at the Quality Inn in Havelock.