The Delaware State Conference

Written by: Susan Meade-Beachell, Delaware State Regent
May 1, 2019

Following a busy week of Executive Committee meetings, Ginger Trader, Historian General, and I met our “Uber Driver,” Don Trader. What should have been a two and a half hour drive with no traffic became a four and a half hour drive on a Friday afternoon. Now I understand what members mean when they talk about it taking so long to get “to the shore.” I thought Denver traffic was bad!

- President General Ann Dillon

On Friday evening, April 12, 2019, the officers of the Delaware State Society, NSDAR gathered at Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, DE to await the arrival of President General, Ann Dillon, escorted by Historian General, Ginger Trader.  Also in attendance were State Regents, Karen Stroever of New Jersey and Mindy Davis of West Virginia.

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library is an American estate and museum which houses one of the most important collections of Americana in the United States and was the former home of Henry Francis du Pont, a renowned antiques collector and horticulturist. A private tour of the museum was arranged weeks in advance as a surprise for Mrs. Dillon once we learned a visit to the museum was on her bucket list.  The guest of honor arrived on time for the tour and was greeted by her friend, Honorary State Regent, Patricia Marshall, whom she had not seen for over two decades after serving together as State Regents.

After touring one section of the museum, we were escorted to the new exhibit, Costuming the Crown, based on the Netflix series, “The Crown” featuring the gowns and other apparel worn by the cast who portray members of Queen Elizabeth II’s court and family. The evening ended with an intimate dinner held at the Westin Hotel adjacent to the Chase Center on the Riverfront where the State Conference would be held the next morning.

On Saturday morning, April 13, the 111th Spring State Conference began with an enhanced morning ritual that featured the University of Delaware’s Air Force ROTC color guard comprised of four female cadets. 

During the morning session, Delaware Daughters proudly delivered their Officer, Chapter Regent and State Committee reports which highlighted their volunteer efforts in the communities served.

Since this was my last State Conference, the election and induction of the new officers for the 2019-2022 term was successfully conducted.  Although Mrs. Dillon was our special guest for this conference, she graciously lead the induction ceremony which I know the new officers appreciated.

The Awards Ceremony followed lunch and provided time for us to recognize two New Horizons graduates, Carol Evans and Ginger Trader, and present the DAR History Award to Richard Cooch.  Mr. Cooch’s family recently gifted their historic home to the State of Delaware, the site of the only battle fought on Delaware soil, during the Revolutionary War.

Before adjourning the meeting, I had the special privilege of unveiling the portrait of Elizabeth Newkirk Seimes, Delaware's Honorary President General who served1968-1971.  The commission of this portrait was the major focus for my State Regent’s project. 

Currently, a photograph of Mrs. Seimes hangs outside the entrance to the Delaware Period Room on the third floor of the DAR Museum.  Over the years, the photo has degraded from the natural light above which compromises the beauty of Delaware’s first President General.  So in September 2016, I proposed this project as a revised tribute to Elizabeth Seimes and the commission was awarded to Shawn Faust, an accomplished artist and Delaware native. 

From the level of applause generated at this first unveiling, I can proudly say Delaware Daughters shared their mutual approval of the portrait which we will now donate to the DAR Museum.  A formal unveiling will take place during Continental Congress week on June 26 at 10:00 AM.

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