The Units Overseas Conference

Written by: Diane Hamill, National Chair, Units Overseas Committee
November 1, 2017

Following the Franco-American Alliance Tour, we invited Chapters from outside the United States to join us in trying something new.  I have asked Diane Hamill, the National Chair of Units Overseas to write a blog about this event.

- President General Ann Dillon

It was my great pleasure to chair the Units Overseas Conference where representatives of ten Units Overseas Chapters gathered October 14, 2017, at the Hotel du Collectionneur in Paris, France. Units Overseas is a unique part of the National Society. There are currently 950 members and 3,974 Associate Members in 21 Chapters located in twelve countries and one U.S. Territory. Some Units Overseas Chapters are the DAR presence in an entire country! As our world continues to become smaller and smaller, our outlook is becoming more and more broad, encompassing our global role and embracing DAR members around the world.

Old friendships were renewed and new ones formed as almost fifty Units Overseas members and Executive Officers shared ideas, heard reports and discussed various aspects of DAR membership and service in countries outside of the United States. 

The opening exercises of Continental Congress served as a model for the conference with Virginia Lingelbach, Corresponding Secretary General and Past National Chair, Units Overseas giving the invocation. Anthony Startz, National Vice Chair, Units Overseas Luncheon led the Pledge to the United States of America. Cary Costa, National Vice Chair, Units Overseas Chapter Master Report led The American’s Creed and Cindy Toone, National Vice Chair, Units Overseas Finance led the National Anthem. 

The President General shared information about the President General’s Project highlighting the recent changes to the DAR Museum Gallery, updates to Constitution Hall including the restoration of the mural above the stage, and the America 250! Committee and Membership Task Force. Each Executive Officer attending also explained a bit about the duties of her office.

Reports of the Chapter Regents or representatives included: France, Lucy Morin, Regent; Rochambeau Chapter, Paris, France--Caroline de Navacelle, Regent; Walter Hines Page Chapter, London, United Kingdom-- Adrianne Pitman, Regent; Captain James Cook Chapter, Sydney, Australia—Glenda Marsh-Letts, member; Upper Canada Chapter, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sally Alshouse reading for Jayne Holland, Chapter Regent; St. James Chapter, Westminster, United Kingdom—Laura Taylor, Regent; Sasebo Chapter, Tokyo, Japan—Ruth McCreery, Regent; Palatinate Chapter, Ramstein, Germany—Sherrill Koken, Regent; España Chapter, Madrid, Spain—Elizabeth Wise, Regent and Pax Romana Chapter, Rome, Italy—Candace Biamonti, Regent. Units Overseas Chapters focus on the historic preservation, education and patriotic endeavors of DAR just as chapters do across America.

After a break for photos and refreshments, the meeting continued with a moderated discussion of various characteristics unique to our Units Overseas. 

Appreciation was given to the conference Pages, Frederique de Beaumont of the Rochambeau Chapter and Christine Herron of the Lady Washington Chapter, Houston, Texas.

Following the adjournment of the meeting, the delegates, Executive Officers and their husbands attended a reception hosted by the Rochambeau Chapter at the home of Chapter Regent, Caroline de Navacelle. During the evening Mrs. Dillon spoke to the group about the history of the Units Overseas and the goals and accomplishments of the National Society.  

The surprise highlight of a delightful evening came when Rochambeau member Desiree de Montebello presented the National Society with a sketchbook or carnet de croquis she made at the 126th Continental Congress. The book was created in honor of Mrs. Dillon and presented by Desiree and the Rochambeau Chapter Daughters in France in French-American Friendship.

Units Overseas Chapters are truly moving forward in service to the world!

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