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By Stacy Montooth, Public Relations/Community Relations, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony
When you reach the century mark, birthday celebrations can come with some twists. In the case of WWII veteran Thomas McGinty, his family is certain he celebrated his 103rd birthday last month in September. However, his official United States of America certification of military service indicates he turned 101 years old. Despite the discrepancy, it didn’t diminish the celebration surrounding his special day and may have actually added to the significance of the personal milestone. Even local media members turned out to his birthday bash.
Immersed in a culture which pays great reverence to its elders and even greater reverence to its elders who have served in the military, the entire Reno-Sparks Indian Colony (RSIC) honored McGinty at the Colony’s Senior Center.
McGinty joined the U.S. Army in April 22, 1941, just about eight months before the bombing of an American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Corporal McGinty was honorably discharged on December 5, 1945.
At this special birthday celebration, brunch, along with a birthday cake was served. Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Chairman Arlan D. Melendez read a proclamation for McGinty and about 35 students from the Colony’s Head Start classes lead a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday!
The RSIC was established in 1917 with the Bureau of Indian Affairs purchase of 20 acres which became the core of Colony. In 1926, the addition of a contiguous parcel increased the land base to 28.8 acres.
The first formal council of the RSIC was organized in 1934, and the election for the adoption of the Constitution was held on December 16, 1935. Located in Reno, Nevada, the RSIC consists of more than 1,150 members from three Great Basin Tribes (the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Washoe) and provides essential services to more than 7,000 Natives.
Today, the reservation lands consist of the original twenty-eight-acre Colony located in central west Reno and another 15,263 acres in Hungry Valley, which is nineteen miles north of the Colony and west of Spanish Springs, Nevada, nestled in scenic Eagle Canyon.
Learn more at: www.rsic.org