Second Vice President Van Deacon called the meeting to order.
The invocation was given by Joe Brock, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag led by Dave Whaley, and the pledge to the SAR flag led by Doug Carpenter.
Visitors attending included prospective members Jim Laub, Dan Crook, John Carroll, Eddie Moreland and Bill Brown. Also Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Brown, Mrs. Patsy Carroll and the many wives. All visitors and ladies were introduced and recognized.
Four new members, John Bailey Jones, W. Alan Jones III, David R. Carroll and Chris C. Hardison were sworn-in, and membership certificates presented by Stan Evans, while Deacon informed them about the society rosette, and presented a rosette to each of them as new members. They each said a few words showing their appreciation of becoming members of such a prestigious society.
Deacon announced Commander Greg Hooper from the Cleveland Fire Department who was scheduled to receive the Fire Safety Commendation Medal, was unable to attend the meeting and will be presented his medal and certificate at the Fire House.
The guest speaker, Faye Callaway spoke on the Charleston/Calhoun/Hiwassee Historical Society and how members had almost raised enough money during their fundraising efforts to purchase their “welcome center” building. She stated that some renovation will be required, such as replacing the “bulletproof glass.”
Callaway announced their plans are to teach the public the rich history of the area. They will inform them about historical events such as Charleston being the very starting place of the famous Trail of Tears from the Cherokee Removal, with the document being signed under a large oak at the Lewis Ross House, and of Fort Cass.
It will inform them about the three Civil War events which took place there, including the burning of the railroad bridge in 1861, and of Gen. William T. Sherman sleeping in a home there. She told of the Greenway Plan for Charleston, similar to the one in Cleveland. And that it would be totally funded by the Cleveland Greenway group. The Greenway will be almost 2 miles in length, and have site lines to 10 historic/cultural landmarks, and various interpretation and marker signs throughout.
Phil Newman reported that chapter president Tommy McLain in the last couple of days had really made a great improvement and this was the best he had looked since he had surgery. Cards were sighed by all present for him and for James McLain, who is undergoing chemotherapy for esophageal cancer.
It was reported that on Sept. 16 chapter members Stan Evans, Claude Hardison, David Hicks, James Stone and Jim May participated in a Marking and Dedication of the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers Col. John Carter and Capt. Landon Carter at Carter Mansion in Elizabethton.
This event was hosted by the Watauga and Kings Mountain TNSSAR chapters. The event’s guest speaker was NSSAR President General Larry Majerkerkurth. Also participating was the Combined Color Guard of the TNSSAR, and the Washington County Regiment of the North Carolina Militia with accompanying Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corps. TNSSAR Vice President-East Claude Hardison and Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter 2nd Vice President James Stone participated in the Color Guard. Wreath presenters were NSSAR Past VPG, South Atlantic District and Col. Benjamin Cleveland chapter member Stan Evans; and TNSSAR Past President John C. Echerd. Maggie Evans was the wreath presenter for the TNSSAR Ocoee Chapter.
Dave Hicks reported on Sept. 17 the 231st Gathering at Sycamore Shoals was celebrated at the Sycamore Shoals state Historic Area in Elizabethton. Chapter members Stan Evans, Claude Hardison, David Hicks, James Stone and Jim May participated in this event. The guest speaker was NSSAR President General Larry J. Majerkurth, who was the speaker the previous day at the Carter Family Grave Dedication.
Chapter members participating in the Combined Color Guard of the TNSSAR were Stan Evans, Claude Hardison and James Stone. The ceremony was conducted inside this year due to inclement weather. Hicks presented to Second Vice President Deacon a streamer that was given to the chapter for its members’ participation in the event. The streamer was attached to the chapter’s flag.
Nominating Committee chairman David White announced the slate of officers for the year 2012. Election will be conducted at the November Meeting, and the officers will be sworn in at the Annual Meeting in December.
Sam Allen reported on the POW/MIA annual at the VFW club on Sept. 16, attended by him and Dave Whaley in full frontiersman dress representing the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter.
Stan Evans reported that as the SAR chapter representative, he attended the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council on Sept. 15. The proposed Fundraising dinner at Bradley High School scheduled for Oct. 20 was canceled and rescheduled for March 22, 2012. The Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter was to provide the Color Guard on Oct. 20 but will also reschedule as well. The projected groundbreaking for the new VA Home is now for 2014.
East Tennessee VP Claude Hardison attended the Thomas Cantrell grave dedication on Sept. 25 in Etowah hosted by the TNSSAR Hiwassee Chapter, which he attended and served as the only one in the Color Guard. Hardison presented a wreath for Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter.
He stated that the tombstone was unique in that it was shaped like a sword, with the hilt portion being the headstone, the length of the blade covering the grave, and the tip of the sword sticking up like a small footstone. He also reported that there was an old cedar tree with their family names on it which was cut down. Small sections cut from this tree were symbolically placed on the grave during a quite moving moment.
Hardison also reported on the National Society Leadership and Trustees Meeting in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. He, James Stone and dual member John Echerd were in attendance while serving in the NSSAR color guard and attending various committee meetings. He also discussed the upcoming TN SAR Board of Governors Meeting in Nashville on Oct. 15, and the installation ceremony of the new “State of Franklin chapter” in Rogersville on Saturday, Oct. 22. Several members of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter will be participating in the Color Guard at this event.
Phil Newman gave a report on the Statue Fundraising committee and stated that the chapter had over $20,000 collected so far, with pledges totaling $6,000. That leaves $20,000 yet to be collected. If you wish to make a donation to Col. Benjamin Cleveland Statue Fund, please contact Phil Newman at 284-5081 or Stan Evans at 614-0014. The chapter is hoping to have these funds collected in the next few months, so that work can begin on the bronze statue for the First Street Park.
The next meeting will be held on Nov. 10. He then proceeded to close the meeting by leading the Recessional. Eddie Cartwright gave the Benediction, and the closing gavel was struck.