Saturday, June 14, 2008

AAPR Bulletin - Reprint November 1, 2008

Sometimes, even Harold “Billy” DeLong has to yield to Russian tanks. America’s oldest working union waiter had planned to travel to the Republic of Georgia in August to serve at an education camp for diabetic children, which the 87-year-old Queens, N.Y., resident had done the previous three years. But the camp closed in the shadow of the Russian military’s invasion of Georgia.
So instead, DeLong—known to those he serves as “Uncle Billy”—will travel to Vietnam in December to help feed street kids.
“My motto is, ‘Service above self,’ ” says DeLong. He waits tables at some of New York’s luxury hotels as a member of Local 6 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, after “retiring” in 2002 from a career that included military intelligence work behind the iron curtain.
DeLong uses money he makes from working 50 to 75 banquets a year to pay for his humanitarian trips to places such as India and Africa. He’s also tended to Hurricane Katrina victims. Because of his volunteer work, the New York City Rotary Club appointed him traveling ambassador.
“No matter how old you are, you can get out and help others,” he says.


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