Minutes of the Ohio Division Convention

 

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Worthington Public Library

 

Participants met at the Worthington Library at 11 AM. From the Library all proceeded to the Worthington Inn for lunch. It was an exceedingly raw day with snow and brisk winds. After lunch, everyone walked to the Ripley OHS historical marker in front of the Ripley House to view the marker and take photos. Returning to the library, the meeting commenced at 1:40 PM.

 

Those present:

 

Ripley Camp #1535: Brian McKee (Lt. Commander), Bob Croye, Chet Bennett, John Bennett, Jeff Yoest, John McAlister, KC Jones, Jim Baugess, Fred Wilson, and Rich Sevy (who had to leave after lunch).

Bressler Camp #1536: Ron Powell

Longstreet Camp # 1658: Scott Morris (Commander), Mark Hankins (Lt. Commander), Mark McClain, Jeremy McClain, George Schrader.

Johnson Camp # 1720: No representatives.

Patton Camp #2021: Ron Johnson (Commander), Mike Lawson (Adjutant),

AOT: Commander Tarry Beasley and his Adjutant, Bill Wilson

 

 

The Convention began with Commander Morris distributing the letters or credentials and information packets to the respective Camp commanders. The Pledge to the American Flag, Salute to the Confederate Flag, and an invocation by Division Chaplain Ron Powell were offered to initiate the proceedings.

 

Commander Morris introduced special guests Tarry Beasley, SCV Commander of the Army of Tennessee and his Adjutant, Bill Wilson. Both gentlemen drove to our convention from Memphis.

 

Next, the Camp Commanders (Morris, McKee, Ron Powell for the Bressler Camp, and Johnson) gave brief reports about the activities and accomplishments of their respective Camps. It was obvious that each Camp was active in a variety of educational, memorial, and social activities.

 

Commander Morris provided a summary of the status of the Division. He and Joe Farmer were elected Division Commander and Lt. Commander, respectively, at the last Division meeting in November. There positions were of an interim basis until elections, to be held today. Mr. Farmer unfortunately could not attend today’s meeting. Commander Morris had unsuccessfully tried to fill all officer positions (ie. Adjutant). However, he did appoint Ron Powell Chaplain, Ed James Heritage Officer, Dave Reed Genealogist, and himself as Division Recruiter. Two members of the Ripley Camp, Brandon and Jordan Epperson, transferred to the Cincinnati Camp. He also summarized the February events within the International arm of the SCV when Commander Sweeney was relieved of his position as Commander by Court order, as well as his response to this action in the form of an Ohio Division Proclamation denouncing this action by a faction of the GEC. He informed the members of the UDC Convention to be held ay 13-14 in Westchester (near Cincinnati) and extended their invitation to any SCV member who wished to attend. Mr. Morris plans on being there. Last month was the Upper Dixie Conference in Kentucky that he attended. He reviewed a number of issues and initiatives addressed at that meeting. He reminded us of our tax-exempt number for donations under 501.3C. Each Camp has a specific number. Ripley Camp’s is 58-1917716. These can be used for receipts for members donating to causes that apply. A recording of a recruiting commercial was played. This professionally produced advertisement was available for Camps that wished to purchase air time on local radio stations to promote the organization. Commander Morris used this opportunity to talk about recruitment goals for the Division. He believes it is quite possible to double the Division’s numbers if all individuals and Camps actively make efforts to recruit family and associates into the SCV. He informed those present that he had recently approved the application for a Charter for a 6th Camp in the Cleveland area. Lastly, he presented the group with a proclamation from Ohio Governor Bob Taft designating April 23rd as Confederate Memorial Day in Ohio. This was a very pleasant surprise to all present!

 

Bob Croye gave a brief history of the Ohio Division. He was the first to serve as Division Commander, appointed in 1994 by CiC Hawkins. He recalled his associations with later CiC’s, such as Dasinger, Orlebke and Griffin. His goal was to try to promote unity within the Ohio Division. Unfortunately, his attempts to organize meetings and conventuions were sometimes less than successful. He also gave us numerous examples of his efforts while Division Commander to promote goodwill and a favorable image of the SCV by his presence at events and contributions (personal) to worthy causes.

 

Commander Beasley next offered his comments. Our goals should be to build and strengthen the SCV. This can in part be done by telling our story….what we are about and what we believe. There are many ways to do this. Brochures and other printed literature can be helpful. For example, he showed us a brochure about the Flags of Our fathers, which could be distributed to potential members or used as an educational aid (available by calling 870-972-9655). Various Camps in the Confederation have produced such publications. He also encouraged each Camp to get a P.O. Box as a permanent address for Camp business and correspondence. He also echoed Commander Morris’s call to recruit…get family, friends and neighbors to join! Also, for those who have an interest, yet do not have Confederate ancestors, create associate memberships. There is strength in numbers, and all with Confederate sympathies should be welcomed into the fold of the SCV, either as full-fledged members with CSA ancestors, or associates. Associate members could enjoy all the benefits and privledges of full membership, except voting rights. Concerning fund-raising, he encouraged the Division to explore the Kroger Card option, whereby 5% of gross sales of people who used this card shopping at this major grocery are returned to the organization. It is a no-loose opportunity to generate significant monies for the Division. Commander Beasley praised our Division Commander for his efforts, and especially for keeping the AOT in touch with our Division through frequent communications. Commander Morris was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for the excellent job he has done. On the subject of communication, he emphasized the importance of the Camp newsletter and offered as an example one produced by Ripley Camp. At the conclusion of his comments, Commander Beasley was asked to give us a summary, in his view, of what has happened within the International leadership, specifically the GEC, that has led to the partisan disputes within the SCV. He provided, what this editor would regard, as a very well-balanced and non-biased account of the history of the dispute, and the present issues involved. He told us he was basiclly in the middle (the GEC has 23 members, with 11 lined up on either side), an unenviable position, refusing to embrace either the “Old School” or “New School”. He recounted his frustrations when his advice (an attorney by profession) would be universally agreed upon then promptly ignored. He described the “meet, eat, greet, retreat” “Old School”, comprised of those uncomfortable with the “Radical Activists New School” who had philosophic differences on the role of the SCV and how it should fulfill it’s mission. He knew that any action by either faction to gain an advantage over the other via the Courts would be a mistake. In all, he concluded by saying that there was enough fault by all to explain the present situation.

 

At 3:55 PM the meeting was adjourned for a 25 minute break.

 

Commander Morris reconvened the meeting with a plea for all Camps to have as many members, or at least one representative, to attend the special Convention to be held on April 23rd in North Carolina. A quorum of Camps is required to finalize the business planned, so good attendance is critical.

 

Division business was next addressed:

The Division Constitution was amended with 12 changes. Each proposal was read, discussed for comment, and voted upon. All 12 changes were approved by vote unanimously.

 

Elections. For Division Commander, Croye nominated Brian McKee. Seconded by McAlister. Morris was nominated by Johnson, seconded by Hankins. Fot Lt. Commander, Mike Lawson was nominated by Johnson and seconded by McClain. KC Jones was nominated by McKee and seconded by Schrader.

Based on March rosters obtained by Commander Morris from Intern’tl HDQTRS, every camp had 1 vote per 10 members, plus an additional vote for fraction of 10 over 5 remaining. Thus, the following shows the votes of each camp:

Longstreet (53 members)    5 votes

Ripley (27 members)           3 votes

Johnson (32 members)        3 votes, however, since no representative was present,                                                                

                                             Johnson Camp was ineligible to vote

Patton (15 members)            2 votes

Bressler (9 members)           2 votes

Serving as delegates for the respective Camps were McClain for Longstreet, Yoest for Ripley, Johnson for Patton, and Powell for Bressler.

Each Camp was granted a short time to privately consult within to discuss how their votes would be cast.

The results of the election were thus:

Commander. Ripley cast its 3 votes for McKee. The remaining Camps cast their votes for Morris. Morris wins election by a vote of 9 to 3.

Lt. Commander. Ripley and Bressler cast their votes for Jones. Longstreet and Patton cast their votes for Lawson. Lawson wins election by a vote of  7 to 5.

 

Certificates of appreciation were given by newly-elected Commander Morris for those whose contributions to the Division warranted recognition, especially those who served as provisional officers since November. Recipients included Bob Croye, Joe Farmer, Ed James, Ron Powell, Derek Morris (who helped his father as unofficial Adjutant), and AOT Commander Beasley. Mr. Morris gave some closing comments about his upcoming new term and his desire to represent all the Camps in upcoming appointments of officers. Chaplain Powell gave the benediction,

 

The Ohio Division Convention was adjourned at 5:30 PM

 

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