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Harold Younkin, aka, "Pittsburgh Dave" came to the Hurricanes in 1968. Dave’'s drum corps roots trace back to 1959 when he joined a small parade corps, back home in Pittsburgh, called the Boys Brigade. After a few years he went to a senior corps called the Esquires, from West Newton, Pa. In 1963 he had grown enough in talent and desire to graduate, at age 15, to a major league corps, the Pittsburgh Rockets (a charter member of the DCA in 1963) where he marched through 1967.
Hurricane luck took hold in 1968 when Dave'’s profession as an aircraft mechanic brought him to Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Conn. Dave naturally gravitated to the Hurcs and in subsequent years, transcending four decades, became the type of member all corps can only hope for. He perfected his baritone horn parts and his drill to such degree of excellence that those around him were compelled to do the same. In 1993, Dave was acknowledged for his dedication with the “Hurricane of the Year” award. He marched in the horn line for fourteen years, culminating his playing career with a DCA Championship in 1981.
Dave honed his skills as an M&M instructor with the Conn. Classics from 1975 through 1978. In 1990 he brought his expertise back to the Hurricanes as a marching tech, a task he excelled at for eight years, demanding nothing less than excellence.
In addition to his on field duty, Dave also served on the Hurricanes Board of Directors from 1973 through 1977.
Pat Reidy* holds the distinction of having served the longest tenure as the Hurricane's lead drum major in our long history. He was a charter member in 1932 and led the Corps for an astounding 25 years before stepping down in 1956. For all of those years Pat was the figurehead of the Corps, out in front, leading with a starched confidence and his ever present mace in hand. Prior to leading the John H. Collins/Hurricane Corps, Pat was the drum major for the Gordon-Viselli Post Drum Corps of Ansonia from 1922 to – 1931.
Pat served in the Army in WW1 where he was wounded and gassed. Upon his return home, he was a very active and prominent figure in Veterans’ Affairs both locally, as well as nationally. He was a past commander of the Gordon-Viselli Post American Legion, as well as past commander of the Valley Chapter of the Yankee Division Veterans’ Association and remained active on many fronts throughout his life. In addition, Pat was a charter member of the George Washington Chapter, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and had served as its first national treasurer.
Given Pat's’ history, his record of leadership and the respect he earned through his dedicated commitment to the many organizations he served, in hindsight, it could be argued that his leadership, strength and character were a main ingredient in influencing the Corps steady growth, as well as the successes it enjoyed, in its formative years and beyond. In short …he may well have been the ideal man for the job.
Charles "Chuck" Tomlinson*
came to the Hurricanes in 1959 as another young valley kid enamored with the thought of being part of “The Men from Connecticut".
Chuck marched in the Color Guard until 1965, but his contribution to the Corps went well beyond carrying a flag. His dedication and willingness to work behind the scene, as evidenced by his involvement and assistance to Director Pete Burns in representing the Hurricanes in 1963 with the formation of the DCA, led to him being named Assistant Director in 1965 and subsequently Director of the Corps for 1968-69.
In the spring of 1969 it was Chuck who initiated the first weekend camp, …perhaps the impetus for our great championship run of that year!
Weekend camps have remained a ritual of spring to this day.
When it came time for Chuck to retire, he subsequently turned over the directorial reins to Bob Glovna in 1970. True to form however, Chuck stayed with the Corps to serve as Business Manager and to help where needed for one more year. To him it wasn'’t work…. It was simply a labor of love.