The Maj. George Gibson NSDAR met Feb. 23 at the Flatwoods United Methodist Church. The hostess was Vice Regent Nancy Britton. Regent Charlotte Brooks called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. The group participated in the customary DAR Ritual and Patriotic Program. Chaplain Manerva Watson gave the devotion, entitled “Love, a Language Everyone Understands.” She read an article about God’s love, citing 1 Corinthians 13:13. The extent of love’s application in today’s world determines the future of mankind. We can love one another where we are, and we can refuse to hate when abused.
Regent Brooks presented the DAR Community Service Award to Mike Day who was selected previously by chapter members. He is a member of Morley Memorial United Methodist Church, Boone’s Path Lions Club, and Thomas Walker Volunteer Fire Department No. 1. He enjoys mission trips, such as assisting in disaster relief in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Locally, Mr. Day assists in cutting and delivering wood for the needy, he drives church members/friends to doctor appointments and grocery stores, and he helps clean cemeteries and repair gravestones.
Thomas Walker High School senior, Sarah Glass, was the recipient of the DAR Good Citizen Award, also presented by Regent Brooks. The school faculty and senior class chose Sarah for her qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism. This award will be re-presented at the Thomas Walker awards day in May in the presence of the student body.
Agnes Marcum gave the Flag Minute, discussing the service flag, which is quite different from the regular flag. A service flag has one or more small blue stars in a red border that can be displayed by immediate families of a service member. Each blue star represents one service member. A gold star represents a family member who died during service. These service flags can be hung in a window or on a door. Andrea Cheak recalled that there may be a website where paper copies of these flags can be obtained.
The DAR School report and Indian Minute were also presented by Agnes Marcum. In 2013, she has already sent Hindman Settlement School several used ink cartridges, cell phones and chargers, soup labels, and box tops. Marcum discussed Bacone College of Muskogee, Okla., stating that this college is the oldest continuing institute of higher learning in that state, it was the first college in Oklahoma, and it began classes in 1880 with three students. It was chartered in 1881 to provide a Christian education for American Indians and serves multiple Indian tribes. Marcum plans to report more on this college during future meetings.
For the American Heritage segment of the meeting, Hostess Nancy Britton showed a beautiful flower garden quilt made with pieces so small that a nickel was used as a pattern. The quilt was given to Britton by her grandmother Graham as she is her namesake. It was made by Mrs. Graham along with her mother, Britton’s great grandmother.
Dolores Ham told of her genealogy tour to Germany and Austria in October 2012 where she visited the origins of the Rasnic family. Ham and the group, which included two of her teenage granddaughters, met several cousins, learned family history, and had many interesting experiences.
Vice Regent Nancy Britton report that our chapter has already turned in 1,350 plastic bags to the Lee County school system this year. Members brought many more bags to today’s meeting. Britton also took additional books to veterans facilities recently along with snacks and wheelchair bags. Even more books are being donated by Carol Rowlett. Agnes Marcum described a new project of knitting or crocheting men’s toboggans for veterans and homeless veterans. She showed one that she has done, and said we have until November 2013 to complete these. Marcum also mentioned layette boxes for ladies in the military. She will collect layette items at the April chapter meeting.
Regent Brooks reported that we have a new slate of chapter officers for 2013-2016 selected by the nominating committee, Agnes Marcum, Chair; Kila Gregory; and Andrea Cheak. The nominations were accepted with new officers to be as follows: Nancy Britton, Regent; Judy Hounshell, Vice Regent; Charlotte Brooks, Treasurer; Augusta Sinon, Recording Secretary; Andrea Cheak, Registrar; Kila Gregory, Corresponding Secretary; Manerva Watson, Chaplain; Linda Lawson, Historian; and Joy Burchett, Librarian.
Regent Charlotte Brooks and Linda Lawson plan to attend the Virginia DAR State Conference in Richmond in March 2013. Judy Hounshell may go also, and Vice Regent Britton may be able to attend on the last day. New State Officers will be installed during the Conference. Our chapter has collected several prom dresses to take to the Conference for donation to DAR Schools.
Several chapter members recently attended the Kentucky Path Chapter’s 75th Anniversary Celebration at Pine Mountain State Park.
Joy Burchett gave an interesting and informative program entitled, “First Lady Martha Washington in Wartime.” Her sources included the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and Mount Vernon.
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was born at Chestnut Grove Plantation in New Kent County, Va., on June 2, 1731. She and George Washington, her second husband, were married in 1759 when she was 27 years old. At that time, George was a Colonel. The American Revolution began in 1775 and ended in 1783. During the war, Martha assumed a prominent role as caretaker of her husband who was appointed General of the American Army by the Continental Congress. Despite her wishes to remain out of the public eye, Martha was forced to assume a public role as a symbol of the patriotic cause.
As wife of the Commander-in-Chief, Martha acted as the General’s confidant and sounding board, secretary, and represented him at official functions. She comforted sick, wounded, or dying soldiers as well as planning and sponsoring activities to brighten everyone’s days. She also hosted innumerable guests including political leaders, foreign dignitaries, Indian chiefs, and military leaders. Her demeanor was described as calm, cheerful, and dignified.
Martha also participated in fundraising efforts to assist the troops. Women’s groups were organized and money raised was sent to Martha, who turned it over to her husband to purchase clothing and other necessities for the troops.
Most likely, the most difficult part of Martha’s patriotic role, and that of other women of the time, was that they had to be willing to sacrifice the lives of their loved ones for the sake of the country if independence was to be won. For Martha, who had already lost her first husband, this was probably very difficult. As we know, George Washington did come through the war safely, but Martha’s only surviving child from her first marriage, John Parke Custis, did not. He died in November of 1781 of what was then known as “camp fever” at the age of 26. In losing this son, Martha made the ultimate sacrifice for her country in this war.
The next chapter meeting will be on March 23. Augusta Sinon will host, and Agnes Marcum and Sharon Harrell plan to demonstrate soap making.