President Dave Whaley called the meeting to order, Rev. Sam Melton gave the Invocation. Jim Kerr led the pledge to the U.S. Flag. Shawn Pritchett led the pledge to the Tennessee flag and Bill Brown led the SAR flag pledge.
The guests introduced included Forrest Renner and his wife Emily with baby Callie, Garry Stonecipher, Brian Reed and son Aiden, Jed Pritchett, Eston Bradley, James McKinney and wife Chrissie, Jacob McKinney and Shawnda McKinney. Prospective members present were Ron Richetts and Barry Phillips. All wives were recognized, and always add grace and dignity to the meetings.
Five new regular members were sworn in by chapter founder, Stan Evans. They were William L. (Bill) Creech, Derick Anthony Greene (inabsentia; he lives in Arizona), James Ervine McKinney, Max Kenneth Moffett and John Perry Skates. Two junior members were also sworn in; Jacob Bradley Greene and Luke Forrest Renner. Their grandfather, chapter member Jim Kerr presented them their certificates.
The new members said a few words showing their appreciation of having the opportunity to join this prestigious society, and for those who helped them become a member. A supplemental application was next presented to Stanley Allen Evans, by 1st Vice President Bob George.
There was one member this month to participate in the “Pin the Patriot” program. This was Reggie Law. He spoke on his Revolutionary War Patriot, Samuel Bell, an Irishman from Augusta County, Va. He served in the 6th VA Regiment and saw action in the following: the battles of Chesapeake Bay, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and the Siege of Charleston, SC. After the War he moved his family to Powell Crossroads which is now in Knox County, Tenn. It was at a major road from Nashville to Washington, DC and Andy Jackson stopped over a lot when coming through. One of Samuel Bell’s daughters married Samuel Francis Murray and they moved to Bradley County and were Reggie’s ancestors. They are buried in Prospect Cemetery.
Whaley recessed the meeting for a fine meal and socializing among the members and guests. Afterwards he returned the meeting to order, and introduced guest speaker, S. Brett Hyberger, an Eagle Scout and a Cleveland native. He attended Austin Peay University on a scholarship where he earned his Bachelor’s degree, attended University of Nebraska earning his Master’s degree also on a scholarship, and earned a Performance Certificate from Northwestern University Brett and is currently an instructor at Chattanooga State Community College.
To mention a few of his professional credits, Brett made his Carnegie Hall debut as bass soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G-Major, with Mid-America Productions, performed the role of angel Raphael in Hayd’s The Creation celebrating the 25th anniversary of both Chattanooga’s Bach Choir and Choral Arts of Chattanooga, and was chosen as soloist with Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Scholenberg’s Moses and Aaron under the baton of Pierre Boulez in Berlin, Germany.
Brett’s program was on Revolutionary era music. He said that during George Washington’s time, in Europe there were living the greats in classical music, such as Mozart and Beethoven. Brett said that back in that period only the rich could afford music training, like piano lessons and such. But that the common folk had a strong desire for it too. When some member of the family could play a musical instrument, then this seemed to bring the families together, like the parlor music.
He centered his program around three songs of that period. The first was a song, “Chester”, which was written by the well-known composer of that time, William Billings, who was also considered as the first American composer. The song “Chester” was considered at the time as the first unofficial theme of the American Revolution. The second song was “Free America,” written by Dr. Joseph Ward, who was a minuteman in the Massachusetts colony and was offered the rank of General. And the third song was “Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier”, whose author is unknown but was an old Irish song. Brett played a recording of this song, sung by James Taylor which was very touching. He also played recordings of the other two songs.
Brett was very well received by the members and guests present. He closed stating that although he liked all kinds of music from classical to bluegrass, and was a teacher of opera music and voice, that his real passion was teaching music appreciation.
Whaley next announced that the chapter executive committee met and reviewed the findings for the actions for the chapter as how best to support our local veterans. It was decided to support the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) here in Cleveland. Any gifts and monies from the chapter should go to them, since it all stays locally and helps our veterans right here in Bradley County.
Whaley also announced that the chapter will be having grave dedications in Meigs County on September 13 for two Revolutionary War soldiers. The names of the Patriots will be announced at the next meeting.
Whaley also mentioned that the granite memorial marker project was still being worked. It will list all the names of Revolutionary War soldiers known to be from Bradley County. The dedication was decided to be on April 19, 2015 which is Patriots Day in Tennessee which was created and passed, due to the hard work of chapter member, Doug Carpenter.
Stan Evans presented a new black walnut Memorial Member plaque for the chapter, which will list each of the chapter’s Memorial Members as they are submitted and approved. The plaque was placed at the head table during the meeting, and will be used to further honor the chapter’s memorial members.
Evans also told of another issue concerning one of our Memorial Members, Paul Huff. The newest NSSAR Handbook came out and had a listing of all Medal of Honor recipients that were SAR members. Evans contacted members at National with the question, “Does a Memorial member that’s a holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor qualify to be on that list?” No one knew and finally they asked the incoming President General, Lindsey Brock if a Memorial Member would qualify. He said “Of course he would qualify! He has a National number doesn’t he?” So Paul Huff will be added to the list!
State president and chapter member Claude Hardison spoke on several issues including the National Congress in Greeneville, SC where the 70 member Color Guard was led into the opening session by two Tennessee Color guardsmen and various awards given to the TN Society and the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter and members; on the new Minuteman statue that will be placed on the sidewalk at the National Headquarters on East Main Street in Louisville, KY; and on the State Convention in March to be held here in Cleveland, using the Hampton Inn hotel and the Museum at Five Points. He also spoke on various past and future grave markings; and his goals and objectives as State President for his year. He concluded by mentioning a new program initiated at the National Congress named the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration program.
At the National Society level outgoing President General Joe Dooley signed the SAR up for this program by making the National Society a Commemorative Member and is a Task Force under the national Veterans Recognition Committee. The program requires subunits of a larger organization to become standalone Commemorative Members. Therefore all the State Societies will sign up and become Commemorative Members, as well as the chapters within them. Chapter member, Stan Evans was appointed State Chairman of the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative program in the Tennessee Society.
With no further business, President Whaley proceeded to close the meeting. Whaley then led the Recessional and Rev. Sam Melton delivered the Benediction. The closing gavel was struck and the meeting adjourned.