“Fire and Ice” was the theme Saturday evening for the Krewe of CAMAN’s 42nd annual Carnival ball as the Military Officers’ Wives’ Club saluted the five branches of the armed forces from which the organization derives its name: Coast Guard, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy.
The evening provided entertainment for more than 300 active duty, reserve and retired military officers and their guests at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
The festivities began with the welcome by the captain, Mrs. Bobbie Whiddon, wife of retired Navy Capt. David Whiddon. At the traditional sound of the captain’s whistle, the Marine Forces Reserve Band New Orleans entered and provided music to complement the ball’s theme as well as salute the United States with the National Anthem.
The band was led by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian Sherlock, band officer, with the assistance of Master Sgt. William Call, bandmaster. The New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy color guard presented the colors.
Next came the parade of past kings and queens of CAMAN, including the returning 2014 queen, Mrs. Miranda Bashaw, wife of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adam Bashaw, and 2014 king, Navy Capt. Rob Pritchard.
The 2015 royal maids were then presented. Representing the Coast Guard was Mrs. Heather Neely, escorted by her husband, Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Neely. The Army was represented by Mrs. Lela Magee, escorted by her husband, Col. Wayne Magee. Representing the Marine Corps was Mrs. Patricia Mills, escorted by her husband Lt. Gen. Richard Mills. The Air Force was represented by Mrs. Emily Trehubenko, escorted by her husband, retired Capt. Eric Trehubenko. Representing the Navy was Mrs. Valerie Oosterling, escorted by her husband Capt. Paul Oosterling. The maids wore gold and rhinestone crowns with satin fur-trimmed mantels encrusted with sequins and rhinestones. The elaborate mantels were each monogrammed with the emblem of the service they represented.
The identity of Queen CAMAN XLII, Mrs. Doris Norman, was revealed as she entered the ballroom. She was joined by her husband, Navy Lt. Roggie Norman. The queen wore a strapless princess-cut ball gown of white satin with a train. The skirt featured two panels encrusted with crystals and rhinestone broach clusters. Her white velvet mantel was embellished with rhinestones, gold and silver sequins and crystals over a satin insert, trimmed in ermine. Her Alençon lace collar was also embellished with rhinestones, gold and silver sequins and crystals.
The queen was escorted for her traditional walk by the masked king.
She then unmasked the monarch to reveal Marine Corps Col. Steve Godinho, King CAMAN XLVII. His majesty wore a white velvet tunic with gold braiding embellished with rhinestones, sequins and crystal beading. His mantle and collar matched those of the queen. He was later joined by his wife, Mrs. Nicole Godinho.
The court was assisted to their seats by the dukes from the Krewe of the Aquamarine Algiereens, Capt. Whiddon and retired Marine Corps Col. Bill Davis, customarily attired in formal firefighter gear with matching pith helmets, fire extinguishers adorned with sequins and rhinestones and faux fire axes.
Following dinner, a tableau was presented to the court and Krewe by the HOKUM Players (Honorable Old Kings Under Medication). In keeping with the ball’s theme, the ensemble split into two groups and performed dueling renditions of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby.”
Special guests presented to the monarchs included U.S. Sen. and Mrs. David Vitter; Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Richard and Mrs. Pat Mills, commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North; Coast Guard Rear Adm. Kevin and Mrs. Kris Cook, commander Coast Guard District Eight; Army Maj. Gen. Les and Mrs. Linda Carroll, commander of 377th Theater Sustainment Command; and Navy Rear Adm. Tim and Mrs. Caren Gallaudet, commander of Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.
Also presented were retired Navy Rear Adm. Tommy and Mrs. Elaine Rinard; retired Navy Rear Adm. J.D. and Mrs. Carol Olson; retired Marine Corps Major Gen. David and Mrs. Jane Mize; retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joel and Mrs. Martha Whitehead, who was CAMAN’s queen in 2003; retired Army Maj. Gen. Walter “Pepper” and Mrs. Terry Paulson, who was the 2013 queen; and Mr. Geary Mason of the Legion of Mars.
The evening concluded with dancing and the customary lighted king cake paraded at midnight.
Special thanks were extended to the Greater New Orleans Council of the Navy League, the Naval Order of the United States.
Memorial tributes were acknowledged to Mrs. Val Massimi and Mrs. Norma Bair, members who established and sustained CAMAN for many years.