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George W. Clarvoe who completed 50 years of service with the Coast and Geodetic Survey on June 14, 1929, was presented with a handsome gold watch by his co-workers in recognition of the occasion. The presentation was made by Director Patton who said:

"I am quite sure this occasion does not call for any speech. The whole spirit of our meeting here is too spontaneous and sincere, Mr. Clarvoe, to require any expression in carefully thought-out set phrases. What I have to say will be very brief and simple, and its chief merit will be that it comes directly from the heart.

"In speaking the other day about plans for this occasion, Captain Faris referred to you as our "model man." We all subscribe to the correctness of that definition, whether we interpret "model" in its mechanical sense or in accordance with the broader general meaning ascribed to it.

"We all agree that you are a model man. During 50 busy, happy years you have given faithful and efficient service to the Government. You have had a part in the production of many instruments and devices which have assisted the survey to do more and better work.

"In the broader, finer sense you, yourself, have been a model to us all. It is no small thing to have served for 50 years in one organization and at the end of that time to hold the respect and affection of everyone of your associates. I think it would be hard to find many men so universally loved by all with whom they come in contact, and to possess that affection is to have something better than mere wealth or power without it.

"Finally, you are a model to us in another respect. Although you are looking back over 50 years of service, you are still a young man--young in the best of all, youth, which is of the spirit. Your interest in life and the pleasure you derive from it and give to others are things which men of lesser years may well envy.

"It is with some such thoughts as these that we have all gathered here today. This 50th anniversary merely affords a special occasion for us collectively to express to you the affection and esteem which as individuals we show you every day of your service. As a token of that affection we want to give you this little present. We hope that it may mark many more hours of association here, and after that many others in which the thought of that association will remain a warm and comfortable feeling to us all.

"Mr. Clarvoe replied:

"I have no words with which to express my appreciation to you, my associates in the Coast and Geodetic Survey. This watch which you have given me is, I feel, a very substantial expression and approval of my services here.

"Captain Patton's reference to happiness expresses exactly the feeling I have had in my work. The Constitution of the United States gives us the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It does not give us happiness, but only the right to pursue it. The achievement and possession of that condition lies entirely within ourselves.

"The first 50 years are the hardest, of course. I have made some errors during this first 50 years, but I will try to correct them in the next.

I thank you all."

C&GS Bulletin, 6/1929

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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