As we begin the New Year, it is good to look back and rejoice in the many accomplishments completed at the chapter level. I thank all of you who have renewed your membership in the SAR and helped to maintain a great organization with your support. We continue to make the North Carolina SAR a strong society through our many activities and fraternal interaction.
I started the month with an early morning trek to Chesapeake, VA to participate in the National Event remembering the Battle of Great Bridge that was fought on 9 Dec 1775. Just as in that battle, the Virginia color guard was reinforced by the arrival of Color Guard members from North Carolina in paying tribute to the 2nd Virginia Regiment and the Culpepper Minutemen who fought the battle but accepted the reinforcements led by Colonel Howe and the 2nd North Carolina Regiment to sustain their victory. We were honored to have PG J. Michael Tomme present at the ceremony that included members from the Patriot Isaac Carter, Mecklenburg, Lower Cape Fear, Alamance Battleground, Halifax Resolves and Albemarle chapters.
(L-R) Guy Higgins, John Allen, Gary O. Green, John Thornhill, J. Michael Tomme, Sam Powell, Ken Wilson, Cain Cowan, Alton Cowan
The following day John & Jo Thornhill joined me in SAR/SR Color Guard leading the Roanoke Rapids Christmas parade. Compatriots Ken Wilson, his wife Janet plus Steve Avent, Halifax Resolves and Ken Smith (Gen George Washington) rounded out the SAR contingent; we were joined by Dan Hopping, Scott Kennedy and Gary Hall of the Raleigh SR chapter.
(L-R) Gary O. Green, Ken Smith, Ken Wilson, John Thornhill, Dan Hopping, Gary Hall, Steve Avent, Scott Kennedy
The following weekend started early as I attended the joint Christmas gathering of the Bethabara and Nathanael Greene chapters in Winston-Salem. It was a good visit and a delicious pot-luck meal.
During the meeting I mentioned to compatriot Alex Wilson that I was presenting an assembly at the Noble Academy in Greensboro and he joined me for the present
ation to their middle school students about the Flags of NC and the American Revolution. Immediately after, the students watched a PG version of “The Patriot.” This concluded a week long emphasis upon the American Revolution by the Noble Academy Middle School Social Studies teachers.
I travelled the next day to Asheville to participate in the continuation of the Mountain District meeting conducted by District 5 VP Bill McEntire. We had a great discussion of the activities that each chapter was accomplishing and I was able to relay my goals for my term as president while answering concerns from the chapter leaders. A suggestion from Western Waters President Joe Sam Queen was that the North Carolina Society should consider forming a committee to plan for the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution.
That event is in 2026 and will be worth our while to commence planning activities across the state now. Compatriot Jeff Elmore has just assumed leadership of the Capt George Dickey chapter and was ably assisted by immediate past President Jim Brewer in explaining the numerous actions of their chapter. Compatriot Eric Williams and three of his chapter members enthusiastically describing the restoration and maintenance of Revolutionary War cemeteries that have become the Felix Walker’s chapter Hallmark. That afternoon I returned to Wilmington with enthusiasm.
The next afternoon I participated in the Lower Cape Fear Chapter’s grave marking for 9th NC Governor Benjamin Smith and Justice of the Supreme Court Alfred Moore at Old Brunswick Town located near Southport, NC. We were joined by members from le Marquis de Lafayette, Alamance Battleground, Patriot Isaac Carter SAR chapters, and multiple chapters of the DAR in the greater Wilmington area. Southeast District 2 VP, David Mann was the Master of Ceremonies. Pennsylvania SAR member, Dick Slease, a Social Studies teacher at South Brunswick Middle School was the photographer for our event.
Back (L-R) Al Meyer, Bob Wiliamson, Gene Funderburk, Bob Ervin, Michael Aycock, Jim Brumit, John Stewart, Jim Hash, Larry Brown, Guy Higgins
Front (L-R) John Thornhill, David Mann, Charles Lewis (standing), Ken Smith, and Gary O. Green
The following weekend our society celebrated Wreaths Across America at several locations across the state. The Mecklenburg Chapter once again met in Matthews, NC. The Capt George Dickey Chapter conducted their commemoration indoors with Compatriots Jim Brewer (USAF) and Jeff Elmore (USCG) representing their military service organizations.
Jim Brewer and Jeff Elmore
Once again, the Bethabara and Nathaniel Greene chapters joined forces to participate in the Wreaths Across America services at the Carolina Field, Kernersville, NC.
(L-R) John Sullivan, Kevin Thompson, Larry Brown, Fred Learned, John Brown, John Martin & Alex Wilson
I was joined by Lower Cape Fear Chapter President C. Gene Funderburk and chapter Secretary Al Meyer as we rendered honors at the Wilmington National Cemetery. I was privileged to present the proclamation prepared by NSSAR PG J. Michael Tomme to over 400 participants in the event.
Our next big activities 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, 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.
Immediate Past President Tim Berly is developing the proposed officers and committee members for the 2017-2018 North Carolina SAR leadership. If you get a call from Tim to serve, please do not ignore the call; we NEED your service. If you are not currently serving and are interested in supporting the NC SAR, please offer your service.
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 Reconciliation (Jim Becker), the Americanism activities (Ken Wilson) and the USS Stark Memorial [Veterans Support Activities] (Gene Funderburk) are due to the state secretary/committee chairs by 2 January 2017.
Please review other coming events on our state calendar. http://ncssar.org/events/