Sunday, June 10, 2012

Alabama Division Sons of Confederate Veterans 2012 Reunion

The 2012 Reunion of the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans was held at the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge on Saturday June 9th, 2012.  Prattville Dragoons Commander Chris Booth, 2nd Lt Stuart Waldo, Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley, SWC Brigade Commander Bill Myrick, and Alabama Division Chief of Staff Larry Spears attended the reunion and enjoyed a well run convention and the beautiful panoramic views off the back patio of the lodge overlooking Lake Guntersville. A welcome to all the attendees was extended by Capt. John Rayburn SCV Camp 452, the host camp for the reunion, Commander David Currey.  Dixie was sung by all and the colors were posted with a salute to the Confederate flag and a reading of Gen. Stephen D. Lee's SCV Charge.  Local and state politicians and Confederate dignitaries were well represented with a statement read by Commander Strain from Commander in Chief Michael Givens and State Senator Clay Scofield, State Representative Kerry Rich, and Marshall County Commision Chairman James Hutcherson welcoming everyone and citing their Confederate ancestry and local War history.  Ms. Tonia Maddox from the Order of Confederate Rose challenged everyone to get fired up about the Confederate cause as they left the reunion.  After the convention was called to order by Commander Thomas Strain, Chaplain Dr. Charles Baker conducted the Invocation. Larry Muse provided the Financial Report which showed the budget and a solid balance for the Division treasury - it was highlighted that no scholarships were warded in the past fiscal year and it was encouraged to get applicants. The Adjutants Report presented by Adjutant David Myers stated that 27 of 62 camps in the Division were in attendance so a quorum was declared; there were more than 150 SCV members attending the business portion of the convention.  The Membership Retention System MRS was highlighted as a method for providing membership renewal notices. The Chaplain Report by Dr. Baker stressed that notices of deaths of members need to be provided in order to include in the Final Rolls and so that condolences can be properly sent to widows. Dr. Baker also recommended a number of books as must reads including The UnCivil War, The Coming of Glory (about the horrors of Reconstruction), Robert E. Lee on Leadership, and That Devil Forrest.  An Audit Report was submitted by 2nd Lt. Gary Carlyle for the 2010 and 2011 periods and then he provided a Recruiting and Retention Report encouraging everyone to recognize those who invite and bring visitors to camp meetings and to read the Confederate Veteran magazine and Division newsletter to become better informed. There are currently about 1750 compatriots in the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Reports were then provided on the 10th Alabama cemetery monument preservation in Virginia - a dedication will be held September 22nd there to commemorate these fallen Confederate soldiers.  The 4th of May there will be a memorial service at the Forrest Monument which was originally rected in 1939 by the UDC but additional information tablets will be installed on the monument grounds.  Brigade reports from the eight Brigades which comprise the Alabama Division were provided and elections were conducted later in the afternoon - David Curry was elected NE Brigade Commander, Johnny MacDonald NW, Joe Clark SE, Terry Batey SW, Larry Warren SEC, Bill Myrick SWC, Leroy Cobb NEC and Mike McMurray NWC Brigade Commander.  Congratulations to our Dragoons Bill Myrick who ran unopposed for another 2 year term.  After a delicious lunch of BBQ and potato and fruit salads, those receiving Meritorious Service and Certificates of Appreciation were recognized. Both proposed Ammendments to the Division Constitution were passed as was a Resolution commending the John Rayburn camp for hosting an outstanding reunion. The Trussville Camp Commader announced his camp's project to restore Confederate graves including placing headstones in the cemetery in Trussville across from the city hall and offered T-shirts for purchase to help raise needed funds - $250 was authorized from the Division to help with the project. The Commander of the Enterprise Camp suggested that an effort needs to be made to provide remedial computer literacy instruction for members to help in the electronic communications which the SCV is adopting and encouraging more of each day.  It was also announced that the Blakely Camp will host an SCV National Leadership Workshop in Foley on March 2, 2013. The importance of attracting younger members to the SCV including the youngest compatriots in the Cadet program was mentioned repeatedly as well as the retention and reenlistment of existing and former members. NWC Brigade Commander Carl Jones was nominated for 2nd Lt Commander and was elected unopposed.  Commanders Dan Williams and Jimmy Hill ran for 1st Lt Commander with Hill winning the balloting.  2nd Lt Commander Gary Carlyle was nominated and elected unopposed as the new Commander of the Alabama Division SCV.  Commander Carlyle gave a rousing speech likening the SCV cause and fight to that of David against the Goliath of political correctness.  He reminded us that the Confederate soldiers fought for us, their grandchildren and concluded his speech wth a Hooray for the Bonnie Blue Flag. Commander Tom Strain announced he is again running for the position of Commander of the Army of Tennessee and then Lt Commander in Chief Kelly Barrow and Commander Paul Grambling delivered campaign speeches as they are running for compatriot Barrow's position which is of utmost importance as the SCV pursues growing the membership to 50,000 strong.  An enjoyable reunion in a beautiful conference facility.

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