The regular meeting of the Chimney Hill DAR was called to order Sept. 10 by Chapter Regent Mary Scalf.

Opening ritual

Regent Mary Scalf and acting chaplain Ruth Ann Taylor presided over the opening ritual. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Janet Barrett and the National Anthem was led by Ruth Ann Taylor, accompanied by Rita Floyd on the piano. The Oklahoma Pledge was led by Elaine Bearden. The Preamble to the Constitution was led by Phyllis Oxenham Gibbs, and the American’s Creed was led by Margaret Mouser.

Proclamation

Bryan Morris, vice mayor, read a proclamation from the city of Ada declaring Sept. 16-20 as Constitution Week for the city of Ada. He presented the proclamation to Regent Mary Scalf and committee Chairman Ruth Ann Taylor. The proclamation called for all citizens to reflect on our Constitution and our freedoms.

Program

The speaker for the meeting was Dr. Christopher Bean. Dr. Bean is a professor of history at East Central University. He needs no introduction because he has presented our September program for the past several years. He has spoken about the roles of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in the writing of the U.S. Constitution, and about the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and also the War of 1812. Today he is speaking on the most important person that no one knows at the Constitutional Convention, George Mason.

If anyone knows his name, it’s probably because of George Mason University in Virginia. George Mason was born in 1725, the fourth in the family line of Virginia. His father was a well-to-do planter in Fairfax County, Virginia. His father died when George was 10 years old. 

Mason’s plantation, Gunston Hall, was located next to the plantation of George Washington. Mason was the second-largest slave owner in Virginia behind George Washington. Mason was a loyalist who was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1759. By 1760, he had become more and more anti-British. His main interest was in his home state. He didn’t want to be involved in politics outside his state. 

During the Revolution, Mason served on the Patriot Committee in his home county of Fairfax. He authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which served as a model for the Bill of Rights. This document included freedom of the press and religion, the right to trial by jury and civilian control of the military. It also proclaimed that “all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, (including) life and liberty with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing an obtaining happiness.”

Mason was a participant at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. At the convention, he was bored and wanted to leave, but he stayed. In many of the notes from the convention, George Mason is often quoted. His name came to be known as a strong voice for central government. But his beliefs were that the national government should not trample states rights.  He understood the fallibility of man, what we create will outlive us. 

Mason was one of three who refused to sign the Constitution because it failed to include a Bill of Rights. He believed that the new government might even descend into a “corrupt, tyrannical aristocracy.” Mason advocated strong local government and a weak central government. What set Mason apart from the other founding fathers, and what kept him in a sense less known than many others, is that he objected to powers granted to the new government, which he believed to be ill-defined and overzealous.

His criticism of the rights given to the federal government over the people and states helped bring about the Bill of Rights as an addendum to the Constitution. His beliefs were that the national government should not trample states rights and the rights of the individuals. The Constitution was criticized because it was unbalanced. The Bill of Rights was needed to keep the Constitution level and to check the power of government.

In December 1791, the U.S. Bill of Rights was ratified, putting to rest Mason’s concerns about the right of the individual. He died in 1792 and was forgotten by the nation as the father of the Bill of Rights. 

Thank you, Dr. Bean, for helping us remember the great legacy that George Mason left for our country in our time. This was a most interesting and informative presentation for Constitution Week.

State workshop

Regent Mary Scalf gave an update of the state workshop. She reported that the highlight of the meeting for her was meeting the NSDAR president general, Denise Doran Van Burean. The title of her presentation was “Community Team Building.”    The theme for her new administration is “Rise Up and Shine, for America.”

She is encouraging each chapter to write their own unique story for the upcoming year and rise up in service to your community. She asked each chapter to up their number of volunteer hours over the past year. She has set a goal for her administration of 10 million volunteer hours over the next three years.

Secretary/treasurer’s reports

The reports were submitted and approved, with one correction to the secretary’s report. In the last minutes, it should read instead of “new members” in the registrar’s report, it should have been “prospective members.”   A motion was made and seconded to approve the report. The motion passed.

The treasurer’s report was filed for audit.

Registrar report

The monthly report was given by Kathy Howry in place of absent registrar Nancy Haney. She reported that there are three pending members: Brandi Johnston, Eva Hartly and Kelli Moss. Eva Hartly reported that because of her proving her Patriot, her daughter and granddaughter, who live in San Antonio, are now planning on joining a DAR chapter. Kathy also reported that we have five prospective members that are in the process of gathering paperwork for membership.

Historian report

Historian Karen Walters has three past scrapbooks for members to look at from past years. On the back table are scrapbooks from 1993-94, made by Kathy Howey; one from 2011, made by Ann Klepper; and one from 2017-2018, made by Jean Kelley. Karen also has a few pages of the scrapbook she is working on for the current year.

National defense report

Carol Meyers’s report was on military working dogs, honored on a new stamp. The armed forces’ furriest members appear on the U.S. Postal Service’s newest stamps, released in August.

These stamps feature military working dogs. The red, white and blue stamps were designed to “honor this nation’s brave and loyal canines,” according to a Postal Service statement. The stamps show four breeds commonly used as military working dogs”: German shepherd, Dutch shepherd, Labrador retriever and Belgian Malinois.

The U.S. has used military working dogs along side service members since World War I. Their senses of smell and sight are literally super human, allowing dogs to do what service members alone could not, according to the War Dogs Association. These stamps build awareness among civilians, helping them understand the roles of dogs in the military.

The military working dog is born into service, without anyone asking them to serve. The military working dog is the bravest and most dependable of warriors on the battlefield and at home.

Conservation report

Binnie Wilson gave a report on environmental conservation. “Environmental conservation” is an umbrella term that defines anything we do to protect our planet and conserve its natural resources so that every living thing can have an improved quality of life.

Conservation works in two ways. It is meant to protect nature by protecting vital resources, and it is also a way of living that works against the irresponsible practices of businesses and large corporations. Environmental conservation comes in many forms and reminds us to be mindful of daily choices. We must also remember to recycle and dispose of chemicals properly so that the ground and bodies of water are not poisoned.

Veterans report

On Sept. 10, 10 of the 13 members of the Veterans Committee went to the Sulphur Veterans Center for our monthly visit with our 10 adopted chapter veterans. We were saddened to find out that Claire, one of our veterans, was moving to the Ardmore Center. We will get a new veteran before our next visit.

Ruth Ann Taylor reported that Constitution Week began in 1955, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and it was started by DAR. The Chimney Hill chapter has several things planned for this year. There will be a display set up at the Ada Library, and the bells at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will ring Tuesday at noon 13 times, one time for each of the 13 colonies.

There will be a presentation at the Willard Grade Center to all sixth-grade social studies classes on Tuesday and Wednesday of Constitution Week. George and Martha Washington will be dressed in period costumes and will be presenting a skit to each class. Martha Washington will be played by Ruth Ann Taylor, and Dale Flaum will play George Washington.

The teachers will be presented books about the Constitution, and each student will receive a bookmark with facts about the Constitution from the Chimney Hill DAR Chapter.

Old business

None.

New business

New budget

Suzanne McFarlane distributed copies of the 2019-2020 purposed chapter budget to the members. She answered questions about the new budget. A motion was made and seconded to approve the new budget. The motion passed.

Day of Service

Regent Mary Scalf reported on the Oct. 11 Day of Service Project. This year’s project will help provide for some needs at Mama T’s Homeless Shelter. Members are asked to bring cleaning supplies, laundry soap, coffee, sugar, creamer, white socks, white washcloths and white towels to the October meeting. Cash donations can also be made for other needs. Make your checks to Chimney Hill DAR, and the treasurer, Suzanne McFarlane, will write a check to Mama T’s.

Announcements

1. The state workshop in 2020 will be hosted by our district. Our chapter will be responsible for either the hospitality room, registration or decorating tables for the meals. We will need help from everyone.

2. Chimney Hill received certificates at the workshop for excellence in Constitution Week leadership and for outstanding accomplishments in attaining the chapter Achievement Award, Level I.

3. Anyone wanting Christmas ornaments, make your checks payable to Mary Scalf for $25.

4. The ringing of the bells for Constitution Week will be Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 12 o’clock.

5. Officers and committee chairs, please pick up information from the state workshop. It is on the tables at the back.

7. Check your yearbook and make any corrections on the form at the back table.

8. Illness update for members.

Hostesses

The hostesses for September are Karen Walters, Kelli Moss and Phyllis Oxenham Gibbs. Thank you for the wonderful decorations.

Members and visitors present

Betty Allred, Janet Barrett, Elaine Bearden, Tommie Beddow, Beth Buxton, Bobby Darbison, Joan Elliott, Rita Floyd, Phyllis Oxenham Gibbs, Arletta, Good, Eva Hartley, Linda Hebert, Lou Ann Hoover, Katherine Howry, Jean Kelley, Suzanne McFarlane, Kelli Moss, Margaret Mouser, Carol Meyer, Marian Paniaqua, Ruth Ann Taylor, Sandra Thompson, Mary Scalf, Karen Walters and Binnie Wilson.

Door prize

The winner of the door prize was Rita Floyd.

Benediction and adjournment and refreshments

The benediction was given by Carol Meyer.

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