Colonial Dames Chapter Holds Spring Meeting
The Deep River Chapter Colonial Dames XVII Century held its spring meeting at the Country Club of North Carolina Friday, May 2.
Chapter President Anne Ratcliffe called the meeting to order and presided over the opening ritual. Following lunch, Parliamentarian Mae Cooper introduced guest speaker Mary Ann Hepler. Hepler is honorary state president of The National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, having served as state president from 19971999. Hepler, a native of High Point and a graduate of High Point University and Massey Institute of Interior Design in Atlanta, has run her own interior design company, My Own Design, since 1983. During her career she has designed interiors for homes all over the United States as well as in the United Kingdom and Japan.
Hepler has done extensive research into her family background and belongs to: Daughters of the American Revolution; Colonial Dames XVII Century; Daughters of the American Colonists; Magna Carta Dames; The Huguenot Society; and Society of Southern Dames of America. In each of these organizations she has held significant offices and contributed generously her time and talent.
Hepler shared with the group that there are over 400 genealogical groups women can join, but that Colonial Dames XVII Century is the second largest genealogical organization for women, behind the DAR, in the United States.
Having recently returned from the national conferences of both Colonial Dames XVII Century and DAR in Washington, D.C., Hepler shared her insights and observations on the conferences, the Colonial Dames National Headquarters, and protocol and procedures.
Hepler opened her remarks with a description of the Colonial Dames National Headquarters which is located on New Hampshire Avenue in Washington D.C. The headquarters is a Victorian brick house built in 1884 by George Whiting. Each state is responsible for maintaining one of the rooms. North Carolina and Virginia share responsibility for decorating and maintaining the largest of these rooms -- the ballroom, which is a magnificent room with a 15-foot ceiling and 12-foot French doors. In this room, the armorial coats of arms are displayed along the walls, making it both the most interesting as well as the loveliest room in the building, said Hepler.
In addition to the ballroom, she described the other rooms in the house, which include offices and a library where members can do research. The first-floor rooms are decorated in 18th century antiques and Victorian reproductions. Hepler commented that the headquarters is well worth a visit by members when they are in Washington.
Plans are already in the works for the 2015 100th Anniversary Celebration of the National Society. For this event, Hepler announced that the N.C. State Society will be donating an anniversary display case that will display memorabilia from prior annual conferences.
Hepler summed up the topic of protocol and procedure as basically "doing your homework and having good manners." She walked through a series of scenarios for how one conducts herself at the society meetings and noted that Roberts Rules of Order and U.S. Marine Corps flag etiquette guidelines are the basis for the procedure and protocol of Colonial Dames XVII Century.
Ratcliffe thanked Hepler for her remarks and announced that an honorarium would be donated to the National Headquarters Museum for the North Carolina Room in Hepler's honor. She was also presented "The Martha Washington Cookbook."
Ratcliffe opened the business meeting by introducing three guests -- two prospective members as well as Bobbi Lou Rae of Red Springs, who was N.C. State President from 1999-2001.
Bettye Spence, chair of the committee on National Defense, read an excerpt from the U.S. Military Reserve Commission Report about the current shortages of equipment, training and personnel for our military reserves. The report stressed the need to upgrade the reserves to allow them capabilities similar to what exists with the active military so as to be able to respond to potential chemical, biological and nuclear threats.
Nathalie Scott, chapter librarian, read a letter from State Librarian Margaret Johnston on the process of verifying and preserving records. Ratcliffe announced that four Deep River Chapter members attended the State Conference in Winston-Salem in March, and the Chapter received three awards of recognition. Committee reports followed and the meeting was closed with the benediction by Chaplain Connie Tingley.
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