President’s Piece – March 2017

Posted in: What's New, News

March roared in like the proverbial Lion as Julie and I headed to Louisville for the semi-annual Leadership meeting.  As is our practice, we decided to make a two-day event of our arrival and stopped in Beckley, WV en route to the meeting.  As we travelled up the leeward side of the mountains, we ran into a very active wind and rain storm that spawned tornadoes either side of the mountains and knocked power out in Beckley.  Our hotel was not affected; however, several schools in the Beckley area were closed due to storm damage.  Our first night in Louisville, Compatriot Sam Powell recommended we, most of the North Carolina compatriots, (John and Jo Thornhill, George Strunk, Julie and I),  head to Indiana for dinner and we caravanned across the Ohio River to a welcoming Italian restaurant.  The next day, we spread our talents among the many committees and I met Compatriot Guy Higgins in the Patriot Biographies committee meeting.  That committee was combined with the Patriot Graves/Revolutionary War Index committee to form the Patriot Records committee after the weekend.  We were treated to a gifted talk by Compatriot John Slaughter, Superintendent at Cowpens, Kings Mountain and 96 Military Parks, at the Friday banquet.  At the Trustees meeting we discussed changes to the new member application process that will require applicants to confirm they are not convicted of a felony and are of the male gender.  These two adjustments have been caused by applicants in other societies.  Other detailed committee reports will be included in the Annual Convention booklet.

Simultaneously, Education Committee Chair, David Gammons and members of our color guard represented the state society at the NC Social Studies Conference

Education Chair David Gammon and SAR CG Member John Sullivan
John Brown, David Gammon, Larry Brown

The 47th annual conference of the North Carolina Council for the Social Studies was held in Greensboro at the Koury Center, March 2 and 3, 2017.  The theme of this year’s conference was “Civic Learning and Cultural Inquiry in a Changing World.”  State Education Chair David Gammon (Halifax Resolves Chapter) and Compatriots Larry Brown (Nathaniel Greene and Alamance Battleground), John Sullivan (Nathaniel Greene and Alamance Battleground) and John Brown (Nathaniel Greene) were on hand to greet teachers and pass out assorted materials provided by the national SAR office.    A number of teachers of  Social Studies in grades K-college stopped by our table to chat and learn more about our society.  Many had never heard of us!

Our goal in attending the conference was to get to know more teachers and develop positive relationships with them, their students, and their schools.   By the end of the conference, thirty-eight teachers had left with us their names and contact information, most asking for information and classroom presentations.  This information will be shared with the SAR chapter presidents in their areas so they can make contact with the teachers.

It is always meaningful to see teachers who are excited about their subject matter.  We hope to attend the conference again in 2018.

E. A. Laney JROTC cadets accept a Flag Certifciate for properly caring for our nation’s flag.

I spent a day, March 8, at my old stomping grounds, E. A. Laney HS AFJROTC, inspecting the cadet corps while instructing the cadets in the Drill Commands prepared by Baron von Steuben at the request of his Excellency, George Washington.  As we all noted, the commands are similar to those used today.  I also inspected in full Revolutionary War gear and was able to present a Flag Certificate to the cadets who conduct the school flag duties each day.








The following weekend was marred by the news of the passing of Immediate Past President and Trustee, Tim Berly.  A celebration of his life was held at his church in Charlotte.  Many SAR Compatriots attended.  One remark by the pastor that holds true for us all, we will not know how much Tim affected our lives until we realize that the reason something is not being accomplished is that “Tim always took care of that.”

Timothy “Tim” Wayne Berly, 60, of Charlotte, passed away on March 11, 2017 at his residence.

Tim was born to the late John Cecil Berly Jr. and Lois Pait, on July 15th, 1956 in Raleigh, NC. He was a long time member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Charlotte where he was very active and in charge of

Tim Berly’s Final Salute

Christian education. Tim also served as President of the NCSSAR – Mecklenburg Chapter, Treasurer of the Excelsior Masonic Lodge #261, and a member of the Charlotte Scottish Rite. Tim graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and pledged Kappa Sigma. After graduation, he then received a Master’s degree in Business from Vanderbilt. Tim helped with the Prison Ministry organization, feeding the homeless, and was compassionate and caring towards his feline friends. In his spare time, enjoyed cycling and reading. He was known as a kind and gentle soul to everyone who knew him and will be greatly missed.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by brother in law, John Whitley.
He is survived by his sister, Patti Whitley of Wilmington; nephew, Will Whitley and wife Jessie of Wilmington; nieces, Celia Whitley of Raleigh and Meredith Whitley of Wilmington; and great-nephew, Walker.

There will be a Memorial service held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (1001 Queens Rd. Charlotte, NC 28207.) on Thursday, March 16 at 3pm.

Tim’s final resting place will be at Raleigh Memorial Park (7501 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC 27612).

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Tim’s name to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, or to a charitable organization of your choice.

Carolina Cremation of Charlotte is assisting the Berly family. Online condolences may be made at

The celebration of the commemor ation of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse included a dinner with President General J. Michael Tomme and his entourage; the compatriots did not stand a chance in influencing Compatriot Tomme as he hosted the ladies at our table.

J. Michael Tomme plus his entourage

The celebration the next day was hampered by the threat of rain; therefore, the event was held inside the Visitor Center auditorium.

The color guard was able to come in to present colors but had to return to the lobby or outside for the event due to a crowded auditorium.

Pictures were taken outside after the event and included our frequent visitor, Landon, sporting his newly made militia uniform as well as the grandson of Compatriot Douglas Mitchell who are flanking the President General.

Color guard at Guilford Courthouse


The following weekend was filled with two events, the Lower Cape Fear chapter met at noon and hosted the chapter’s Enhanced JROTC Cadet, Jessica Bradley, as she read her essay to the members.  One compatriot remarked that her essay was well written and put to shame some of the presentations he had read in the past.  Chapter president Gene Funderburk is pictured while draping the medal on Cadet Bradley.

Jessica Bradley receives Lower Cape Fear Chapter JROTC medal

Immediately following the meeting, I drove to Greensboro to prepare for the Annual CAR Awards Banquet hosted by State President, Mary Lee Howell in Winston-Salem.  Our Color Guard was represented by Alex Wilson, Commanding, John Brown, John Sullivan and John Martin.

Mary Lee Howell, CAR State President surrounded by the NC SAR Color Guard

During the Greetings portion of the banquet I awarded the CAR-SAR Bronze Medal of Appreciation to CAR State President Mary Lee Howell, CAR-SAR Silver Medal of Appreciation to CAR Senior State President, Rebecca Bottoms and the Martha Washington Medal to DAR member, Valery Howell, Secretary, Chauffeur and mother of the State President.  The meeting was conducted completely by the CAR officers; this was a pleasant opportunity to see our youth leading the way.  We are in good hands as these youth continue as members of the DAR and SAR.

On this very same day, The Patriot Isaac Carter Chapter, led by President Ed Carter, hosted a rededication ceremony for the 14 Forgotten Patriots at the Harlowe Community Center.  This event was celebrated by SAR members from across the state led by Sr Vice President George Strunk.

Color Guard at North Harlowe rededication ceremony

We should now focus our attention on the two big April events, the commemoration of the Halifax Resolves and our Annual Meeting in Greenville.  The first is being conducted on Wednesday, 12 April and the latter on Friday and Saturday, 21-22 April.  Reservations should be made as soon as possible for either event.


The nominating committee has picked up where Tim Berly left off and led by Compatriot Fred Learned is developing the list of proposed committee members for the 2017-2018 North Carolina SAR leadership.  If you get a call 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.

Please review details for other coming events on our state calendar.

Halifax Resolves, Halifax, NC – 12 Apr 17
Annual Meeting of the NC SAR, Greenville, NC  21-22 Apr 17

Our annual meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn in Greenville, NC starting with a President’s Reception on Friday night, 21 April.  We will conclude with our banquet on Saturday evening with our guest speaker, Janet Uhlar who has written multiple books focusing on the American Revolution.  One of her biographical fiction books, “Freedom’s Cost” focuses on Major General Nathanael Greene who valiantly fought against Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

Duplin County and the Duplin County Historical Society are honoring our men who died in World War I.  We will hold a ceremony to unveil and dedicate a granite monument on the Court House grounds, in Kenansville, at 2:00 P.M., on Friday, May 26, 2017.  There will be reserved parking and seating for handicapped.  Telephone me at 910-296-1111 to arrange.  Duplin County Historical Society web site address is: