President’s Piece November 2016

Posted in: What's New, News

It is evident that November is a month for giving thanks for all that our society does.  I spent the month travelling to participate in chapter meetings with the Halifax Resolves, The General George Washington and Lower Cape Fear chapters.  I presented awards to members of the Halifax Resolves including four Military Service Medals to Compatriots in the chapter and the Baron von Steuben Medal to Compatriot Allen Brahin; I inducted officers in the General George Washington chapter and also presented awards to their chapter members including the Grave Marking Medal to Compatriot Ken Smith.  At the Lower Cape Fear meeting we identified community members who warranted SAR medals for Good Citizenship and Heroism.  The medals will be presented at a future chapter activity.  We also discussed a grave marking to be held in December.

Black Jack, NC
Grave Marking for Nasby Mills and two sons

I was able to present my platform to the members of the Northeast District 1 at their district meeting after marking the graves of three patriots Nasby Mills II, Isaac Mills and Nasby Mills, III interred near Black Jack, NC.  It was good to discuss our society requirements and share a meal catered by a local Pork Barbecue restaurant.  All chapters were represented.  Our meeting was interrupted by a medical emergency involving Compatriot Ralph Smiley who suffered a stroke during the meeting and started rehabilitation at the Vidant Hospital in Greenville, NC.  After Thanksgiving, he has moved back home to continue his recovery.  Our prayers go out to Ralph, his family and his chapter family as he completes his rehabilitation.

The Foothills District convened electronically using a program called “GoToMeeting”.  I was able to participate.  Although there were some glitches using the technology, the concept has potential for the future.  The cost for using the program state-wide is just under $500.  I am attempting to build a network of the District VPs and EXCOM to explore the use of the “Free Conference Call.”  Initial efforts appear promising.   This is a program that was recommended by the National SAR Operations Director, Mike Scroggins.

I enjoyed two events on Veterans Day as a member of the Lower Cape Fear Chapter in Wilmington including the Massing of the Colors.  Veterans Day parades were celebrated by the Mecklenburg, Raleigh and le Marquis de Lafayette chapters.  All of these should assist the chapters in adding to their USS Stark Memorial Award Scoring Sheet.

On 12 November, the Mecklenburg Chapter led

GM John Harden
Combined NC-SC Color Guard at GM for John Harden

by President Ken Luckey assisted the Colonel William Bratton Chapter of South Carolina in conducting a grave marking for a Patriot John Harden in the Old Purity Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Chester, SC.  The fellowship and camaraderie among the compatriots from the two societies was enjoyable.

On 13 November, Compatriots Ken Wilson and Sam Powell represented the NC SAR at a grave marking for patriot William Perry in Franklinton.  The Micajah Pettaway Chapter NC DAR, hosted the event.

GM for William Perry
Sam Powell and Ken Wilson rendering honors

Mr. Kurt J. Van TasselSome cautionary news about our state treasurer, Kurt van Tassel.  His wife Diane reports:

20 November:  Sunday update – another day at the hospital. When I left Kurt was starting his prep for both an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy tomorrow morning. They are going in to make sure he does not have any internal bleeding. After the results of the tests, they will decide on when they will do the procedure to add the third lead to his Defib device. He can only think about what restaurants are on the way home – current front runner is ‘prime rib’…

28 November:  Daily update – we were at the hospital bright and early today (actually it was still dark out). We checked in ~5:30 am and they finally took him (Kurt) in ~9 am. He was brought to his room a little after 3 pm. When I left him ~ quarter after 4 he was asleep again. He only woke up for a little while and was groggy. Doctor said it was a difficult procedure; they had some problems getting the new lead fed through. Not surprising given how long the device has been in (to either me or the doctor). The two existing leads are fine (very good news) and the new third one is in (hopefully exactly where is should be and held in place). He also has a new device that connects the three leads and allows monitoring. They will give him his third injection of anti-biotics at 9 am tomorrow and hopefully will let him come home. More to come – when I can actually see him awake tomorrow and better judge how he is doing. At this point, we declare the procedure a success and I will bring home to his 3 watchdogs so they can keep him out of trouble…

I have some great news about our Veterans Recognition.  Last year we identified 31 veterans of military service who were recognized by the National Veterans Recognition Committee; as of 3 November 2016, we have identified 87 veterans.  The “SAR Veterans Bugle” dated 3 Nov 2016 has the most current list of veterans recognized by the National Veterans Committee.   Subsequent to that report I have heard from at least 10 more SAR members who are veterans and have submitted their application for recognition.  Our chapters are doing a good job of identifying the veterans in their chapters and sending the information to the National Veterans Recognition Committee using the SAR Veterans Multi-Corps Survey Form.  Well done!
If you are a veteran and have not submitted your information to your chapter president or me, I encourage you to do so in the near future.  My goal is to identify every veteran in the North Carolina Society.

This is the important time of year for my primary goal of Retention of North Carolina Society SAR members.  It is time to submit your dues to your chapter and join with us for another year.  Our chapter leaders need your commitment before 31 December 2016 or your name will be dropped from the membership.  You can be reinstated as a member; however, there is a $5 reinstatement fee.


In the near future, Immediate Past President Tim Berly will be developing the proposed officers and committee members for the 2017-2018 North Carolina SAR leadership.  If you are not currently serving and are interested in supporting the NC SAR, please offer your service. 
If you get a call from Tim to serve, please do not ignore the call; we NEED your service.

In December, the SAR coordinates with the national program “Wreaths Across America” to honor veterans in cemeteries across the nation.  Our society is again supporting the program by donating wreaths to be presented for $15 each.  This is a great time to honor your patriot(s) by purchasing a wreath his/their honor.  This year I will be a speaker at the Wilmington National Cemetery representing the North Carolina Society SAR. If you are willing to participate, please go to this site and DONATE a wreath in honor of your patriot.
The deadline is 3 Dec 2016; help us if you can.

The Education Committee chair, David Gammon is leading the North Carolina SAR in its annual support of the North Carolina Social Studies Conference in the Koury Center in Greensboro on 2-3 Mar 17.  He has asked for volunteers to assist in manning the booth.  Assistance is needed during three time slots, 8-12 and 12-4:30 on Thursday and 8-12 on Friday.  If you can assist, please contact me or Compatriot Gammon   From David:  “We really only need two or maybe three at any given time.
I will be there all day Thursday, March 2.  So I would need one or two men that morning, and one or two men that afternoon.  That way we would always have two or three at the booth.  The booth should be open from about 8:00 to 4:30 that day… We also need two men for Friday morning.”

Chapter reports of the Americanism activities (Ken Wilson) and the USS Stark Memorial [Veterans Support Activities] (Gene Funderburk) are due to the committee chairs by 2 January 2017.

Our next big activity will be the Board of Managers (BOM) meeting following the celebration of the Battle of Cowan’s Ford on 28 January.  The BOM will be held at the Hickory Tavern, 9010 Harris Corners Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28269 at 11:30 AM.  Reports are due to me, Gary O. Green our state secretary, Jim Becker and our publisher, Steve Pittard and your appropriate District Vice President by 7 January.  We need all state officers, committee chairs and chapter presidents to submit a report for this meeting.

Please review the coming events on our state calendar for many grave markings and Wreaths Across America events in your area during December.