Maury Drummond Is Retiring After Lifetime Spent Honoring Veterans
Maury Drummond was a basketball star at Istrouma High and earned a scholarship to LSU, where he won All-SEC honors and was twice named LSU’s MVP. After his freshman year at LSU, something happened that changed his life forever.
One of his teammates, Bobby Fedder, invited Maury to spend time with his family in Blackstone, VA. While he was there, Fedder’s mother took him all over Virginia, touring Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields and historic sites. By the time the trip was over, Drummond had decided to change his major at LSU to American history. He had famous LSU professors such as T. Harry Williams and loved it.
After graduation in 1964, he accepted a position as head basketball coach back at his alma mater, Istrouma, and taught American history. He ended up marrying another member of the faculty, Margaret Jones. Today they have five children and 11 grandchildren.
Drummond’s love of American
history led him to the building of model ships and membership in the Baton Rouge Model Ships Association. When Congressman Henson Moore secured the USS Kidd for Baton Rouge, Maury was one of the volunteers who got involved early on. The Kidd opened to the public in 1983. Over the years, Drummond was a commissioner and then chairman of the Louisiana Veterans Memorial Commission. In the 1980’s, the building which now houses the Louisiana Naval Museum was vacant and about to be leased out for offices. But a model boat show was held there, which drew 10,000 guests. It showed the community’s interest in Naval history. Maury and other volunteers then went to work, filling the building with historic artifacts and memorabilia honoring Louisiana’s veterans. By the early 1990’s, Maury had been hired as the full-time director of the Louisiana Veterans Memorial.
It was a job he relished, especially the opportunity to meet thousands of great Louisiana servicemen and women who had given so much for their country. It was a chance to honor them and memorialize their courage and sacrifices for future generations to know and respect.
Along the way, Drummond took on hundreds of projects, including bringing warplanes for display at the memorial. One plane was in pieces at LSU. He got it to Brian Harris Chevrolet on Florida Boulevard where the mechanics there put it together in their spare time. He arranged to have another plane shipped by barge down the Mississippi from Memphis.
Drummond oversaw the creation of historic displays for Louisiana’s war heroes and an impressive display of historic ship models, including two models that he personally built.
Maury has brought three historic ships to Baton Rouge. Each one created quite a sensation — the tall ship Elissa, which is a replica of the Golden Hinde; the caravel Nina, a replica of Columbus’ ship, and a replica the HMS Bounty.
Every year since 1987, Drummond has produced Baton Rouge’s Star Spangled Celebration on the 4th of July. Drummond has served as president of the Historic Naval Ships Association, which includes 119 historic vessels like the USS Kidd, which are on display across the nation and even in foreign countries.
Health problems have slowed Maury down a bit, and he has decided to reti0re later this year. But a lot of people in Baton Rouge want to say to Maury Drummond, “Thank you, my friend, for all you’ve done for our veterans and for Baton Rouge!
Thank you for a job well done!”