President Phil Newman, called the meeting to order. Chaplain Harry Boyd gave the Invocation, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag, and the pledges to the SAR and Tennessee flags.
All visitors were recognized. A special guest was recognized who was the young granddaughter of member Joe Peters from Birmingham, Ala. Sophie Brint who provided the musical entertainment during the meal.
Stan Evans announced this was the seventh birthday of the chapter, since it was installed on Dec. 9, 2003. He also announced the chapter’s year long goal was to have 100 members by year end. He said four more members had been approved for the chapter, allowing the chapter to finish the year with 102 regular members.
After a great prime-rib dinner, Newman introduced the State President of the Tennessee Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Rick Hollis, who was the guest speaker.
Hollis announced since the Col. Benjamin Cleveland chapter now had 102 members it was the largest chapter in the state. He bragged about the chapter and stated it was the best “well-rounded” chapter in the State with its members participating in not only local, but at state and national functions continually, and had members holding state and national positions.
He also commended the chapter for “hallmark” projects such as “Patriots Day In Tennessee” and the “ Col. Benjamin Cleveland Statue project.”
Hollis’ speech was on “Sharecropping” but with a twist which concentrated on all being sharecroppers working on a common goal (as sharecroppers worked toward a common goal on the large farms and plantations) to preserve the heritage for which our forefathers fought and sacrificed so hard; and to teach our children’s generation about our great republic and how to defend its principles and our liberties against aggression.
President Newman presented Hollis a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the chapter.
Newman showed his appreciation to those who helped him to have a great year, by presenting them award and personal appreciations.
These are as following: The Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Tommy McLain, James Stone, Judge Van Deacon, Dave Hicks, Harry Boyd, Joe Spencer, Chris Wyllie and Jack Murphy; the Bronze Good Citizenship Medal was awarded to chapter secretary Joe Brock and chapter treasurer Bill Spencer; and the highest medal that a chapter can award, the Meritorious Service Medal, was awarded to James Stone.
Newman gave a personal show of appreciation to Stan Evans, the chapter’s founder, since he already had received all the awards over the years.
A special award, the Stanley A. Evans Outstanding Service Award, unique only to this chapter, was presented this year to past chapter president Lynn Freeman.
This award is only given at the chapter’s annual Meeting, and to only one member each year. Freeman was the fifth recipient of this award.
A special election was conducted to elect member Roy Queen as chapter treasurer. This position was left open at the last meeting, and Queen had since volunteered to take it.
The new officers of the chapter for 2011 were installed by State President Hollis.
These new chapter officers are President, Tommy McLain; first vice president, James Stone; second vice president, Van Deacon; secretary, Joe Brock; treasurer, Roy Queen; registrar/ genealogist, Lynn Freeman; sergeant at arms, Sam Allen; and, historian, Bob George
Hollis presented the chapter president’s neck ribbon to Anita McLain to place on the neck of her husband, McLain, the new chapter president. The president’s gavel was then presented to McLain.
Hollis presented outgoing president Newman a Distinguished Service Certificate for his excellent work this past year.
Incoming chapter president McLain gave an inspiring closing talk on the upcoming year. He called Brian Webb up to give a special report on the Statue Committee, and Stan Evans to report on the Wreaths Across America program on Dec. at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Dave Hicks was also recognized for chairing the Christmas parade float preparations, and its success with the big cannon in the parade.
McLain thanked all for making this Annual Meeting such a success, with close to 75 people present. He announced the next meeting will be held on Jan. 13 and proceeded to close the meeting.
After the recessional, Chaplain Harry Boyd gave the benediction, and the closing gavel was struck.