Local NSDAR holds Constitution Week meeting

Published 1:47 am Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Major George Gibson Chapter NSDAR met during Constitution Week at the Flatwoods United Methodist Church, Jonesville, Virginia. Andrea Cheak hosted; Regent Nancy Britton was program chairman. Other members present were Marisa Anders, Joy Burchett, Judy Hansard, Rebecca (Becky) Jones, Linda Lawson, Agnes Marcum, Rebecca (Becky) Royal, Augusta Sinon and Manerva Watson.

Regent Nancy Britton called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. She began the DAR Ritual with customary participation by Chaplain Manerva Watson and members. Becky Jones led the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America, Marisa Anders began The American’s Creed, and Joy Burchett started the Preamble to the Constitution. Becky Royal led singing of The National Anthem.

Chaplain Watson read a devotional story entitled “A Good Person,” stating that Psalm 112 is a pattern for Christians to follow. To make a difference in this world, let Jesus make a difference in you.

Andrea Cheak read from a recent message by the DAR President General. Some of the topics covered were the DAR Pathway of the Patriots, a project to plant 250 trees in honor of those who served at Valley Forge and the award-winning American Spirit magazine. The President General reminded chapters of the National DAR Day of Service and the need to record volunteer service hours. She also suggested checking with school libraries for needed supplies to encourage reading.

Joy Burchett’s National Defense message related to George Washington and the United States Constitution. Washington was instrumental in getting the final draft of the Constitution finished in September 1787 and had planned to retire after ratification. But he was held in such high esteem, that when the first election was held for President of the United States of America, he was unanimously elected. Washington remains the only president to be unanimously elected.

The United States Constitution is the oldest and shortest of the written national constitutions. More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty-three have gone to the states to be ratified and twenty-seven have become amendments to the Constitution.

The American Heritage Minute was provided by Hostess Cheak. She passed around a reproduction of the United States Constitution said to be printed on authentic period paper. She noted that the American Heritage Committee of DAR was established in 1963 to aid and encourage the preservation of our rich American heritage in the fields of art, crafts, drama, literature, and music.

Agnes Marcum began her Flag Minute with a reminder to keep flags in good condition. If they get torn or faded, take them down. Becky Royal mentioned the flag drop boxes in Jonesville and Rose Hill as places to retire flags. Marcum also read a flag poem. For the DAR School Minute, she reminded members to bring Box Tops, ink cartridges and silica gel packs to the next meeting.

Marcum’s Indian Minute was about tracing Indian ancestry. The first step is basic genealogical research if one does not already have specific family information and documents that identify tribal ties. Some information to obtain: names of ancestors with dates of birth, marriages and death; places where they lived; brothers and sisters, if any; and, most importantly, tribal affiliations. Among family documents to check are Bibles, wills, and other such papers. The next step is to determine whether one’s ancestors are on an official tribal roll or census by contacting the tribe.

For the Conservation Minute, Regent Nancy Britton stated that October is Fire Prevention Month, adding a reminder to change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and to have a plan of escape and practice it with family. Britton also provided the Women’s Issues Minute stating that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a reminder to schedule mammograms and check-ups.

Several items were discussed during the business portion of the meeting, including approval of the secretary and treasurer reports and dues collection. Britton again thanked those who worked on the chapter’s 100th Anniversary Celebration in July 2018.

Agnes Marcum provided an update on this year’s Bags for Veterans, stating she and the other project members need more “throws,” pencils, puzzle books, and any other items suitable for the thirty gift bags that are planned. Members also discussed plans to decorate a Christmas tree at the Wilderness Road State Park and other upcoming 2018 events.

Regent Britton presented the “Constitution Week” program with emphasis on our founding fathers. These founding fathers were a group of men seen as making the United States strong, though they were still regular people with human quirks, personality flaws, and family issues. The seven commonly recognized as our founding fathers are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton.

After offering some interesting and sometimes amusing information about each of these seven men, Britton added that our founding fathers should not be confused with the framers of the Constitution. The framers were the 55 individuals appointed as delegates to the first Constitutional Convention. Of these fifty-five framers, only 39 signed the Constitution. Nancy ended her presentation with a short quiz and discussion.

The group had a period of fellowship while enjoying the refreshments provided by Hostess Andrea Cheak. The next chapter meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27. Chaplain Manerva Watson is the program director; Becky Royal is hosting.