Amy Vogelsang Photo Congressman Steve Pearce and Desk and Derrick Club of Roswell Vice President Esther Hoskin spoke at the club’s 61st annual Industry Appreciation Banquet.
Record Staff Writer
Autumn leaves accompanied twinkling lit gold orbs at the center of white clothed tables. The Blake Trio sang as people found their seats at the 61st annual Desk and Derrick Club of Roswell Industry Appreciation Banquet Wednesday night.
“Tonight is an opportunity to honor employees and sponsors for their continued help in educating our members,” said Vice President Esther Hoskins in an introductory speech.
Since 1952, the Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs (ADDC) has been focused on educating members about the oil industry and related energy fields. Their motto: “Greater Knowledge – Greater Service.”
Although open to anyone, most of Roswell’s club is women; they run it and lead it.
The longest-term member is President Robbie Jo Powell, who has been involved for 35 years. Others have not been members quite as long but have still been very active, such as 16-year member Cherri Rogers, a former club president as well as a past regional director.
“It’s a great club to teach (about the oil industry),” Rogers said. “If you’re in the industry, in less than ten years you need to become a member. It gives those who work in the office a chance to know what people do in the field.”
An advocate for oil companies and workers, Congressman Steve Pearce was the guest speaker. He called these industries the “national treasures” that “make America work.”
He spoke largely about the fight against the government: claims the industry is harmful to an animal species, while the oil side argues that the science is wrong and jobs are being taken for no reason. Much of this started after what they call the “lizard fight,” where government personnel said a lizard species was being endangered by the oil wells.
“People who (make laws against the industry), have no connection with reality,” Pearce said. “They have no idea what it takes to make oil wells pump oil.”
Some have called Pearce radical, but his response is always the same: “Radical is killing people’s jobs. I’m just reactionary.”
He urged the club members to keep fighting and not become complacent. Although the banquet was meant to honor employees of the industry, it also turned into a motivational meeting for those with the oil companies, all of who stood and applauded at the conclusion of Pearce’s speech. His closing message was to encourage New Mexico and those in the oil industry to fight back for their jobs.
“When the people fear the government, we have tyranny,” he said, quoting Thomas Jefferson. “But when the government fears the people, we have liberty.”