Machine shop retirees, employees invited to reminisce

Organizers of this year's ArcelorMittal Machine Shop retirement party are, from left, Milan Momcilovich, Robert Walker, John Schafer, Paul Carlson, Grady Gentles and Warren Kuehl, all looking forward to greeting fellow machine shop employees and retirees Oct. 24.

SCHERERVILLE | One of the longest running retiree parties in the steel industry returns for another year when the ArcelorMittal Machine Shop hosts its 57th annual event Saturday at the Halls of St. George, 905 E. Joliet St. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7.

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Milan Momcilovich at (219) 399-5207 or Milan.Momcilovich@ arcelormittal.com.

The yearly event is a gathering of approximately 70 retired and 20 active employees who share a similar dedication to keeping the party going. There is plenty of memorabilia for the men to share and reminisce about. The generations have in common the machinist trade that offered them a tough, but rewarding, career and enabled them to see the steel business evolve over the years, said one organizer, Milan Momcilovich.

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"There is no piece of machinery in the mill that these men have not repaired or improved on over the span of their careers thus providing the satisfaction that comes with their job," he said.

The gatherings were started in 1958 by salary supervisors Warren Kuehl, Bill Miston and Matt Starsovich for the 200-man shop that worked around the clock making parts to keep the mills running. Many of the machinists came from Europe after World War II and shared their talents with each other. Kuehl wanted to show his appreciation for their dedication with a party where they could share shop stories and wish the retirees good luck.

The first party was held at the Cesar Batiste Hall in East Chicago, meeting there for 40 years until it moved to the Moose Lodge in Crown Point and now, the Halls of St. George in Schererville.

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