By Raphael Badagliacca
George Burns | Photo by Allan Warren
At his 100th birthday celebration, the comedian George Burns addressed the gathering by saying, "I'm pleased to be here! At my age, I'm pleased to be anywhere!" 100 years is certainly a milestone. Everything does not thrive for 100 years. We are all pleased to be celebrating NYSAE's 100th year. Century is from the Latin — a word used to signify a hundred of anything. A centurion in Roman times was the equivalent of a captain today, in charge of roughly 100 men. Centurions were chosen for their intelligence, skill and durability — all attributes we can ascribe to NYSAE and its members.
100 years ago, was the year 1919. Woodrow Wilson was our president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in that year, champion of the League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations.
1919 was the year the war to end all wars ended, but it hardly ended all wars. 1919 was the year that the Volstead Act made prohibition the law of the land. Let's not drink to that.
1919 was the year the Black Sox scandal rocked the national pastime. Say it ain't so, Joe.
Jackie Robinson | Public Domain
1919 saw the advent of new technology — the rotary dial phone and the pop-up toaster appeared on the scene. It also saw the publication of a book by an inventor whose name remains prominent today — "My Inventions and Other Writings" by Nikola Tesla.
Speaking of the past, the publishing world gave us the first two volumes of Marcel Proust's epic work, "Remembrance of Things Past" in 1919, the poetry of William Butler Yeats and T. S. Eliot, H.L. Mencken's classic, "The American Language" and the complete books of Oz by Frank L. Baum were published in the same year NYSAE first set foot on its own yellow brick road.
Babe Ruth | Public Domain Image
It was a year for big things. The Grand Canyon opened as a National Park.
It was a year for ground-breaking advances -- the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. That's a lot of 19s — 19 in 1919 — it was about time.
It was also a year of ground-breaking advances in the making — Jackie Robinson was born in 1919.
And NYSAE was not the only gift to New York in 1919. The Boston Red Sox sold a pitcher named Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, and the rest as they say, is history.
So, let's toast the New York Society of Association Executives and its members, past, present, and future, for all it's done and all it will do, the way my grandfather always did, with words I feel sure Mr. Dolci will recognize... Cent' Anni!... which means... "NYSAE, we wish you a hundred more years!"
Raphael Badagliacca is Company Ambassador at Advanced Solutions International (ASI) and a frequent contributor to InView Newsletter.