First Vice President James Stone called the meeting to order. Since this was Veterans Day, he recognized all members who were war veterans, then all veterans.
The invocation was given by Joe Brock, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag led by Jim Edgemon, the pledge to the SAR flag led by Lynn Freeman and the pledge to the Tennessee flag led by Owen Cook.
The visitors attending this meeting were Carol Spence, Debbie Arp and Heather Carpenter; also present were prospective member Dan Crook and many wives. All visitors and ladies were introduced and recognized.
Two new members, Matt Damron and Hal Taylor, were sworn in, and membership certificates presented by Stan Evans, while Stone read the history of the Society rosette, and presented each a rosette as new members. They each said a few words showing their appreciation for those helping to become members of this prestigious Society.
Claude Hardison, East Tennessee vice president, made presentations to the chapter members who are charter members of the newest SAR chapter, State of Franklin chapter, recently chartered in Rogersville. These members were Hardison, Evans, Stone, Judge Van Deacon and Dave Hicks. Evans and Hardison presented to Stone a streamer for the chapter flag, which was presented to the Col. Benjamin Cleveland chapter from the new State of Franklin Chapter for its members’ support and participation in the planning and installation of their new chapter. Hardison also reported on upcoming Veterans Day events, the Christmas Parade, and the Wreaths Across America event.
Hunter McLain, grandson of chapter president Tommy McLain, reported that Tommy was much better, especially after getting his arthritis under control with new medicine.
The meeting was recessed for a fine dinner and fellowship.
Afterwards the guest speaker Cameron Fisher, director of communications for the Church of God and chairman of the Greenway Board, was introduced by 2nd Vice President Van Deacon, a longtime friend.
He spoke on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway and that its 10-year anniversary was celebrated Nov. 9, with much publicity in the Cleveland Daily Banner. He noted that with all the 10-year celebrating, the original concept and early work were started in 1991 by Judge Van Deacon. And, he considers Deacon the godfather of the Greenway plan!
Fisher noted that to date there are five phases to the Greenway, with the fifth close to being completed. The five phases, from Willow Drive, to 25th Street, to Raider Drive, to Mohawk Drive to Tinsley Park/Mouse Creek road, stretch over 4 miles. There are many spurs and connectors, some of which are already completed, such as the trailway at Mohawk Drive. There has been a new restroom installed and two Rotary Club water fountains (one yet to be completely installed). There are two historical markers, one for the city’s namesake, Col. Benjamin Cleveland and one for Edward Bradley, the county’s namesake.
This Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway project has been such a success that other areas are building their own greenways. One is the greenway to the Spring Creek development under APD 40, while local schools are also installing them. The one at Black Fox School is called “the Fox Trot,” and the Charleston Greenway is being planned which will be almost 2 miles in length and have site lines to 10 historic/cultural landmarks, and various interpretation and marker sighs throughout.
Nominating committee chairman David Whaley announced the slate of officers for the year 2012. Election was conducted and the officers will be sworn in at the Annual Meeting in December. They are:
President: James K. Stone
1st Vice President: C. Van Deacon
2nd Vice President: David L. Whaley
Secretary: Joe E. Brock
Treasurer: Doug E. Carpenter
Genealogist/Registrar: E. Lynn Freeman
Chaplain : Eddie G. Cartwright
Sergeant-at-Arms: Sam H. Allen
Historian: Robert L. George
Chancellor: Jim S. Webb
Chapter members Evans, Hardison and dual member John Echerd participated in the installation and chaptering of the new “State of Franklin Chapter” in Rogersville on Oct. 22. All three participated in the Color Guard and presenting and posting of the Colors.
Phil Newman gave a report on the Statue Fundraising committee, noting there are new developments.
Allen is to be the chairman for the Christmas Parade float. During the meeting he was gathering volunteers from the members for this committee. Newman has again volunteered his large cannon and caisson for the float.
Evans announced it was the time of year when the chapter has fundraising efforts to sell wreaths that will be placed in Chattanooga National Cemetery on Dec. 10, prior to the formal program at noon. Evans reported that at the end of the meeting the chapter had gathered a respectable amount, with further contributions still to come.
Chapter members who will be a part of the formal Wreaths Across America program are Kevin Brooks, Evans, Stone, Allen, Hardison, Hicks and Jack Murphy. Cleveland resident Bill Norwood will also be involved.
Evans also announced the chapter Color Guard was to participate in a special program at First Baptist Church on Tuesday. This program was put on by the Cleveland Community Concert Band and honored veterans of all wars, starting with the Revolutionary War up to the present Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Stone thanked all who came out and announced the next meeting will be held on Dec. 8. This will be the chapter’s Annual Meeting with the installation of officers for 2012. He then proceeded to close the meeting while leading the Recessional. Joe Brock gave the Benediction and the closing gavel was struck.