Retired Air Force Colonel Quincy Collins speaks to members of the Mint Hill Chamber of Com- merce at its annual meeting Wednesday October 25. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce held its annual member luncheon October 25, at Pine Lake Country Club, voted for new members of the board of directors, and enjoyed a speech by Ret. Air Force Colonel Quincy Collins.

Former Mint Hill mayor Bob Long, Mint Hill police Chief Tim Ledford, and commissioner and mayor pro tem Lloyd Austin were in attendance for the lunch and Collins’ presentation. The members of the Chamber cast votes for 2013 board spots, and the chamber recognized a year that saw 30 new members.New Chamber members Candice Wood Photography, Scott Clark’s Toyota, and Superior Insurance were welcomed at the meeting.

President Rich Ferretti spoke in reflection of the year, thanking ambassadors and directors, and introducing Col. Collins.

Collins spoke about his days growing up in Concord, how the community changed after Pearl Harbor and how the country felt about the war and supported the troops, calling for America to remember, and to return to those feelings of support and patriotism.

He recalled his days in Vietnam, where he was held as a prisoner of war in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

He told the story of how he and other prisoners in Hanoi would recite the pledge of allegiance to a bare wall. Mike Christian, a fellow prisoner decided it was time to make a flag.

Christian spent weeks gathering materials “to get something that looked close to the flag.” When the authorities discovered the flag, they beat and tortured him in an adjoining cell, and when returned to his cell, he “finally opened his eyes and proudly announced, ‘It’s time for flag number two!’”

Collins ended his presentation with “Old Glory,” a short allusion to the American Flag, written in the voice of the flag itself.

New elected board mem- bers are: Barbara Costa of D & M Insurance, Boyd Davis of First Citizens Bank, Bonnie Broadwell of Presbyterian Hospital, Bruce Petty of Hope Christian Church, Denise Hallett of Vulcan Materials Co., Dr. Mike Richardson of Charlotte Medical Clinic, Mike Cochrane of American Community Bank, Rich Ferretti of Keller Williams, Bob Lucas of Allstate, Rodney Rothoff of Time Warner Cable, Tony Johnson, attorney, and Sue Wolf of Abbey Rose Floral Artistry.