Psalm 100: 5
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Members often ask what path pointed me to DAR. The answer is simple – family! My maternal grandmother wanted me to find friends when I moved to the big city. At the age of 67, she joined the Peter Early Chapter in Blakely, Georgia so that I could join the Lady Washington Chapter in Houston, Texas. Four years later, my paternal grandmother, at the age of 75, also joined DAR through the Thronateeska Chapter in Albany, Georgia. For several years, our family celebrated four living generations of membership – my grandmothers, mother, sister, daughter and me. Today, we have lost my grandmothers, but added our daughter-in-law (a Junior currently serving as chapter regent of the Rio Grande Chapter in McAllen, Texas) and our granddaughter (an organizing member of The Hogg Family, Children of the American Revolution, Houston, Texas.)
The first time I attended a meeting of my 600+ member chapter, I knew DAR was for me. Members of all ages welcomed me even though I did not know a soul in the room. That very day, two special friends, Claudia Cannon and Dean Bybee introduced themselves. Claudia was my first DAR friend, first Junior roommate and my DAR sister. Dean became my first mentor and my DAR mother. They taught me how to participate as a Junior; organize my DAR calendar; register for state conference; enter contests; write reports; and observe the rituals and traditions of our chapter. Things that seem simple now were so overwhelming then.
Joining a chapter with an active Junior Membership Committee afforded me the opportunity to learn DAR from the ground level up. Paging at Continental Congress and state conference coupled with serving as a senior leader in the Children of the American Revolution led to lifelong friends around our nation. Earlier this month, I reminded Connie Olde, Reporter General, what fun we had when she served as National Page Chair. Connie then quickly reminded me that my chief page during that time was her daughter, Victoria Voris, our current National Page Chair. Don’t you love when arrows point you full circle in life? I do!
My first official duty as your Chaplain General will be speaking at the Cathedral in the Pines event hosted by the New Hampshire Daughters in August. Throughout the year, my responsibilities include not only birthday greetings for 90 and 100 year old members and sympathy cards for the current and past members of the National Board of Management but also coordinating dedication ceremonies. Working closely with the President General, plans will be made for the wreath-layings at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Of course, one of the most important duties will continue to be planning and conducting the Memorial Service during Continental Congress.
Prior to leaving for Congress this year, I took my granddaughter cemetery hopping, a grand tradition in our family. At last, she met an old friend of mine, Claudia! I miss her and so many others who guided me through the years. My beloved grandmother was correct; DAR led me to many new friends who have now become my family.
As we move forward in service to America during the Dillon Administration, please accept the challenge to become a DAR sister or mother to a shy prospective member searching for friendship pointing to the path of service.