SCROLL DOWN FOR INFORMATION ON LODGING AND MEALS
This is to announce the calling of two Special Meetings and post the proposed amendment to the Virginia SAR Bylaws that will be considered at these meetings.
Both meetings will consider the following proposed amendment to the Virginia SAR Bylaws:
The Bylaws of the Virginia Society be amended in Article V to add a new final paragraph, and in Article XXV a new initial phrase, both amendments as follows (in red, deletions in strikethrough, additions in underlined italics):
For reference to the Code of Virginia: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title13.1/chapter10/section13.1-844.2/
ARTICLE V- MEETINGS
The annual business meeting of the Virginia Society shall be held in February of each year to commemorate the birthday of George Washington.
The semi-annual meeting of the Virginia Society shall be held in August or September of each year to commemorate Constitution Week.
Special meetings to address specified business matters or other issues may also be held at the call of the President at any time. Special meetings shall also be called whenever requested, in writing, by fifteen or more individual members of the Virginia Society. Such special meetings may transact only business specified as the reason for requesting a special meeting.
Members representing at least one half of the chapters in the Virginia Society shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business at any general or special meeting. One member from a specific chapter shall be sufficient to represent that chapter.
Pursuant to, and in conformity with, Code of Virginia section 13.1-844.2, as amended, the Executive Committee, acting as the equivalent of corporate board of directors, may (a) adopt appropriate procedures for any member to participate in any meeting by means of remote communication, and (b) determine, in the event of emergency or physical impracticability, that any meeting of the Virginia Society shall not be held at any place and shall instead be held solely by means of remote communication, and adopt such procedures as they deem necessary for the conduct of any such meeting.
SECTION XXV - ORDER OF BUSINESS
Subject to Article V, aAll Virginia Society meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition.
President, Virginia SAR
With the apparent resurgence of the pandemic and the possibility of future restrictions on our meetings, the Virginia Society must have the ability to conduct our business using modern technology such as virtual meetings. Our current Bylaws must be amended before we can do this. It is very much to our advantage to have this amendment in place before our Semi-Annual Meeting in September, thus I have called these two special meetings.
I am asking your help in having your chapter represented at both of these special meetings in the desire to have all chapters participating in the conduct of our business, and also to meet the quorum requirements to conduct business in these meetings.
The first meeting, that of the Board of Managers, will consist of all elected state officers and two members of each chapter. To have a quorum we must have half of the elected officers and at least one member from half (14) of our chapters.
Following the Board of Managers meeting, the second meeting will be that of the General Membership, which consists of all Virginia Society members in good standing. To have a quorum we must have at least one member from half (14) of our chapters.
Each Special Meeting can only consider the business specified when the meeting is called. In this case we can only consider the amendment to the Bylaws. If the amendment proves non-controversial the meetings will be very brief. It is very important that we at least meet the quorum requirements, but it is also desired that every chapter be represented at these meetings. It is not required that a chapter is represented by its president, but I ask each chapter president to find at least one chapter member to represent your chapter at these meetings.
Arrangements have been made for a special room rate for those who wish to spend the night at Berry Hill. Please watch this space for details on how to book your room.
When you come, be sure to bring a mask and we are working on the plan for social distancing.
President, Virginia SAR
MORE INFORMATION ON LODGING AND MEALS
Date; Friday, July 10, 2020
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Berry Hill Resort and Conference Center
3105 River Road
South Boston, VA 24592
Room: The Ball Room
All rooms have been reserved according to your requests and you must check in at the hotel registration desk before incurring any miscellaneous room charges.
Those compatriots who did not specify the type of room have been assigned a "Queen Bed" room.
Cost per night is $125.00 plus applicable taxes
Check in time is 3:00 pm; check out time is 1:30 pm
Friday Evening Buffet
You may partake of a grilled hot dog and hamburger buffet including condiments, cookies and sweet/unsweetened tea at a cost of $22.00 per person with payment to be made preceding the 6:00 pm meeting. The buffet will be available at 7:30 pm with a cash bar consisting of beer, wine and soft drinks starting at 7:00 pm.(The hotel requires a count for the buffet so I need to know by Tuesday, July 7th whether or not you and/or your guest(s) will attend the buffet)
Saturday Morning Breakfast
Continental Breakfast included with the room, 7:00am - 10:00am
The Raffle for the Jamestown and Yorktown Knives will be held 8:00pm EDT, July 10th at Berry Hill in South Boston, VA. It will be broadcast online - details will be provided later.
Raffle Tickets will be available online through
2020 SAR National Congress Website.
Medals, Brooches, and Lapel Pins are also still available on the 2020 SAR National Congress Website.
CANCELLATION ANNOUNCEMENT BY
PRESIDENT GENERAL JACK MANNING
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly presented challenges and cancellations this year. Regretfully, the Executive Committee, pursuant to the authority granted to it by the April 17, 2020 ballot vote of the Board of Trustees, has concluded that the 2020 Annual Congress, originally scheduled for Richmond, Virginia, must be canceled. The Executive Committee waited as long as possible to see how Virginia’s, and more specifically Richmond’s, reopening plans would impact the Annual Congress. The continuing restrictions enacted by governmental authorities concerning meetings, dining and travel, as well as the health and safety of our membership, has led the Executive Committee to conclude that holding the Annual Congress in Richmond is not possible. The Richmond Marriott, the designated Annual Congress hotel, has been informed that the Congress contract is terminated due to impossibility.
The Executive Committee understands that many State Societies and Chapters have conducted successful meetings electronically during this pandemic. The Executive Committee fully supports these efforts and encourages other State Societies and Chapters to use alternative means to continue the local recognition of our Patriot ancestors, especially as the calendar moves closer to the Fourth of July. The Executive Committee, meeting weekly since March 20, 2020, and Congress Planning Committee Chairman Paul Callanan, devoted considerable effort to researching whether a “virtual” or “Zoom” Congress would be feasible. However, Bylaw No. 17 of the Bylaws of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution does not permit the National Society to hold a Congress by “alternative means.” Therefore, the Executive Committee has reached the conclusion that there will be no Annual Congress held in 2020. This is not only consistent with what other similar organizations, such as the American Legion, have determined this year, but with our own precedent concerning both the 1918 and 1945 Annual Congresses.
No Annual Congress means there will be no election for General Officers, Vice Presidents General, Trustees, or Alternate Trustees in 2020. Pursuant to the National Society’s bylaws, the current General Officers, Vice Presidents General, Trustees, and Alternate Trustees will continue in their present positions until July 2021.
What does this mean for Districts and State Societies? As the Vice President General, Trustee and Alternate Trustee are National Society offices, the presently serving individuals will remain in office. Vacancies in these positions may be filled according to the National Society’s governing documents, however, because no election will be held in 2020, any individual filling a vacancy will not be a member of the Board of Trustees unless elected to such at the July 2019 Congress.
What does this mean for General Officer candidates? As there will be no elections in 2020, all individuals wishing to run for General Office will be required to seek nomination through the normal nominating procedure. Candidates for National Office will be permitted to announce their candidacy ten days after the 2020 Annual Congress would have ended (Saturday, July 25, 2020).
What does this mean for National Committees? Committee Chairs should submit their annual report by no later than July 1, 2020. The National Society will publish an electronic report book, available to all members on Share file, detailing the General Officer and Committee operations for 2019-2020, by the end of July 2020. Committees wishing to meet during the summer should reach out to either their General Officer liaison or the Executive Director.
What does this mean for my hotel reservation in Richmond? Congress Planning Chairman Callanan will handle canceling room reservations which are part of the SAR “block.” The Richmond Marriott or the Richmond Hilton will send out a cancelation verification email on or after June 1, 2020. If you made your own reservation using Marriott BonVoy, Hilton Honors, another travel program or made reservations using a discounted rate (e.g. military, government, AAA, etc.), you must cancel your own reservation. Questions, concerns, difficulties with the hotel may be referred to Chairman Callanan (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will help work the issue.
As with all of you, Sheila and I enjoy attending the Annual Congress to see our friends, participate in the youth competitions, and enjoy the fellowship with our compatriots and family. The members of the Executive Committee feel the same. Notwithstanding canceling the Annual Congress is the correct decision based on the factors outlined above. It is certainly my goal to continue moving the Sons of the American Revolution forward during the coming year. More details will be disseminated as they become available. I urge all trustees and alternate trustees to attend the virtual Trustees meeting scheduled for May 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
National Society Sons of the American Revolution
PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS TO THE VIRGINIA SOCIETY UPON THE CANCELLATION OF THE RICHMOND CONGRESS
As many of you already know, our National Society’s Executive Committee has decided that there will not be a physical 2020 Congress in Richmond. This decision protects our compatriots from the danger posed by this pandemic, and reflects the uncertainty of future pandemic restrictions by several layers of government.
This is an appropriate time to give thanks to the many compatriots and family members who worked hard on making the Richmond Congress a success: those who participated in organization and planning, financially supported this effort, or volunteered to serve during the Congress. Your willingness to serve and your efforts would have made this a memorable Congress. Thank you very much.
Now is a good time to focus on what does lie ahead. The pandemic is with us, and we must not be deterred by it in our efforts to keep alive and spread the Spirit of 1776; and to continue our original purpose in helping reunite a divided country, needed today just as much as it was in 1890. Take advantage of the ability to hold our ceremonies and conduct our business online. Then, as we begin again to do these things in physical meetings, be sure to protect each other, and follow the current guidelines to the best of your ability.
Thanks again to each of you who have participated in our preparations for the Richmond Congress. Keep in mind that we have a strategic goal of hosting the 2031 Congress, called by Chancellor Eric Monday the “Victory Congress”, to celebrate victory at Yorktown. I pray that God bless our great country, and bless each of you, and yours, with good health and prosperity in these difficult times.
William L. Schwetke
President, Virginia SAR
SubmitOn 5 July, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) held an event at the Warren County Administrative Building in Front Royal to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The CJWII commemoration was led by the chapter color guard presenting the colors with an invocation by Larry Johnson and the Pledge of Allegiance led by compatriot Fred Gill. Chapter President Marc Robinson provided opening remarks. Compatriot Nathan Poe presented a brief vignette of Thomas Jefferson on his death bed 50 years after the Congress adopted the document. He was followed by Compatriot Charles Jameson giving a presentation on two African-American patriots who made great contributions for the colonies during the War of Independence. This was followed by seven compatriots reading the Declaration of Independence. They were Chapter President Marc Robinson, Compatriot Brett Osborn, Virginia State President Bill Schwetke, Compatriot Sean Carrigan, Chapter Vice President Chip Daniel, Compatriot Erick Moore and Compatriot Dale Corey. A list of patriots buried in Warren County was read with wreath presentations by Compatriots Fred Gill and Charles Jameson. This was followed by a musket salute fired by Marc Robinson, Brett Osborn, Sean Carrigan, Erick Moore, Mike Dennis, Eric Robinson and Art LaFlam.
The first picture is of compatriots who participated in the ceremony. Front row l-r are Nathan Poe, Sean Carrigan, Eric Robinson and Art LaFlam. Back row l-r are Brett Osborn, Dale Corey, Erick Moore, Mike Dennis, Bill Schwetke, Charles Jameson, Chip Daniel and Marc Robinson. The second picture is of the musket squad, l-r Marc Robinson, Brett Osborn, Sean Carrigan, Bill Schwetke, Erick Moore, Mike Dennis, Eric Robinson and Art LaFlam.
Submitted by Dale Corey.
04 Jul 2020 Culpeper, VA
The Town of Culpeper cancelled all of their planned Independence Day activities for pandemic considerations, but insisted on keeping the SAR Ceremony and the traditional Fireworks Display.
The Culpeper Minutemen Chapter hosted the Celebration of our Declaration of Independence on the Courthouse Lawn with a crowd of over 100 looking on. Distinguished participants in the ceremony were Benjamin Franklin (portrayed by our friend Barry Stevens), Culpeper Mayor Michael Olinger, District 30 Delegate Nick Freitas, and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke. Four Virginia SAR Chapters participated: the Culpeper Minutemen, Colonel James Wood II, Colonel William Grayson and the Fairfax Resolves. The Culpeper Minute Men Chapter DAR also participated in the ceremony and the Fauquier Court House Chapter DAR provided support. CMM President Charles Jameson was the Master of Ceremonies, Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke brought greetings from the Virginia Society, Tom Hamill read the Declaration of Independence, and CMM Chaplain Len Cowherd provided the invocation and benediction. Virginia SAR Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner led the Color Guard in posting the colors and firing a three-volley salute.
The program opened promptly at 1:00pm with a Fly-By of four WWII aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force. Further highlights of the program included our remembering "Forgotten Patriots" with bios read in tribute to African-American and Native American Patriots; Remarks on the Declaration by Ben Franklin (portrayed by Barry Stevens); and a passionate reading of the Declaration of Independence by Tom Hamill.
During the celebration Culpeper Mayor Michael T. Olinger presented the Town of Culpeper's Leadership Award to our late compatriot Lon Lacey. Lon's family was present to receive the award.
Briefly removing masks for the picture, the SAR Participants included, kneeling left to right: Andrew A. Mills, Eric Robinson, Sean Carrigan, Virginia SAR Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner. Standing, left to right" Marc Robinson, Mike Weyler, Dale COrey, Ben Franklin (portrayed by Barry Stevens), Michael Dennis, CMM President Charles Jameson, Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke, Andrew L. Mills, Tom Hamill.
On July 4th 2020 the George Washington Chapter conducted their 59th annual wreath laying at George Washington’s tomb at Mount Vernon in a very innovative manner -- partly live and partly recorded, for a two-part virtual commemoration.
Earlier in the morning a select group of 10 SAR and DAR members conducted a live wreath laying ceremony at the tomb that was recorded for later viewing. The participants in the activity were: Chapter Vice-President Tom Roth, who served as Master of Ceremonies; VASSAR President Bill Schwetke, who presented greetings from SAR; Chapter co-Historian Jack Coulter, who served as co-wreath bearer to the tomb, along with Bill Schwetke; Chapter Treasurer Richard Rankin and Chapter Compatriot Don Francisco (also fifer-in-residence at Mount Vernon), who jointly presented red carnations to George Washington’s tomb; DAR representatives Dr. Sharla Rausch and Catherine Schwetke, who jointly presented pink carnations to Martha Washington’s tomb; Chapter Secretary Rand Pixa, who served as videographer for the ceremony; and Ken Bonner and Jason Northam who served as the VASSAR Color Guard. In addition, we were honored to have the presence of Mount Vernon CEO Doug Bradburn who spoke on the patriotic significance of the event.
Later that morning the George Washington Chapter hosted a virtual commemoration of the wreath laying by Zoom, with nearly 100 SAR, DAR and CAR members participating. The event included the normal SAR meeting protocols, with the additional remote playing of patriotic music by two musicians from the Frederick Town Fife and Drum Corps. As a bonus, the winner of the Rumbaugh Oration Contest Lauren Bradshaw presented a video recording of her stirring oration from the VASSAR Congress. The commemoration included the virtual presentation of additional wreaths from eight other SAR chapters, 26 DAR districts and chapters, and nine CAR societies.
Just before the SAR recessional, the video replay of the tomb ceremony was shown to the attendees at the Zoom meeting (see video below).
Submitted by Jack Coulter.
24 Jun 2020 ONLINE
This evening the DAR began their 129th Congress "virtually" from Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. SAR President General Jack Manning brought greetings and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke was part of the "virtual" audience. These are difficult times, but the obstacles can be overcome by the Spirit of 1776. Congratulations to the Daughters of the American Revolution, who embody the spirit of their patriot ancestors.
RODERICK DEW BROWN
9 JUN 1933 - 13 JUN 2020
Roderick Dew Brown, died peacefully at home in Bon Air on June 13, 2020. He was born in Pulaski, Virginia, on June 9, 1933, the son of the late William Horatio Brown and Ellen Byrd Dew Brown. He spent his formative years in Colorado and New Mexico before returning to Austinville, Virginia, where he received the rank of Eagle Scout in 1949. Mr. Brown married Mary Carter “Pat” Younger in Blacksburg on August 23, 1958. The couple settled in Richmond, Virginia. After a successful career, Mr. Brown retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield. In his retirement, Rod enjoyed time spent with his family, painting and woodworking.
Mr. Brown traced his ancestors to Colonial America. Rod was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution where he served as president of the Richmond Chapter, Virginia State President (1980-81) and Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic States 1986-87). He was also a member of the Jamestowne Society and the Society of Colonial Wars where he served as Governor. He was formerly a member of the Sons of the Revolution.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Pat; their son, Rick Brown and his wife, Betsy of Goochland; their daughter, Ellen Blackburn and her husband, Michael of Parker, Colorado; four granddaughters and ten great-grandchildren. Rod is also survived by his sister-in-law, Jessie Brown of Surgoinsville, Tennessee, and her children, William H. Brown III, Mary Jessie Proffit and Conner Brown. He was preceded in death by his brother, William Horatio Brown, Jr.
Mr. Brown was a long-time member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church where he served as treasurer. For the last decade, he was an active member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. A memorial service will be held at St. Stephen’s at a later date. Burial will take place at Westview Cemetery, Blacksburg, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church or a charity of your choice.
On 14 June 2020 the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society and Middletown, VA combined to conduct a flag retirement ceremony. It was held at the Wayside Inn, a continuously operating Inn since 1797. Compatriots participating were President Marc Robinson, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Nathan Poe and Eric Robinson. They were joined by Mayor Charles Harbaugh in colonial attire as it was live streamed through the Middletown Facebook site. Pictured is the Chapter color guard led by Brett Osborn.
Submitted by Dale Corey
On 13 June 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution sponsored a multichapter grave marking in Rileyville, VA. The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) honor the memory of Revolutionary War Patriots by placing a marker next to their headstone and having a formal ceremony to recognize the occasion. The grave marked on Saturday belongs to Private William Robertson, a member of the 3rd Maryland Flying Camp Battalion. The Flying Camp was an organization that served as the home guard while the local militia was away with the Continental Army. Their duties were to serve and protect citizens in case of an invasion. They were a unit that could pack up and leave for duty at a moments notice. Their duties included protecting the Continental Army's supply lines, suppressing roving bands of Tories and acting as a ready reserve should General Washington have need of reinforcements. Robertson was born and raised in Charles County, Maryland. Sometime after 1802, he and his family moved to what is now Page County, Virginia. He died in 1828 and was buried in the Rileyville Cemetery. The ceremony included participation of the VASSAR President Bill Schwetke and eight SAR Chapters, three DAR Chapters and one CAR Society. A color guard was led by Virginia State Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner leading flag bearers Don Dusenbury, Chip Daniel, Nathan Poe, Andrew Mills, Charles Jameson, Brian Felps and Steve Engelbright with a musket squad composed of Marc Robinson, Brett Osborn, Eric Robinson, Sean Carrigan, Dave Cook, Paul Christensen and Mike Dennis. The chapters involved included the Colonel James Wood II, Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minute Men, Fairfax Resolves, Fort Harrison, George Mason, George Washington and General Adam Stephens Chapters. The DAR was represented by Cat Schwetke of Fauquier Courthouse, Deborah Corey of John Alexander and Anita Bonner of the Lanes Mill Chapters. The CAR was represented by Leona, Samuel and Jacqueline Gill. Also participating were SAR compatriots Ernie Coggins, Ken Morris, Fred Gill, Daryl Davison, Aron Davison and the Rt Rev Larry Johnson. After the presentation of wreaths, a musket salute was fired followed by Taps and then the retirement of the colors.
Pictured is the Ken Bonner led multichapter color guard.
Submitted by Dale Corey