As we ended the year, the Society received a request for a donation to Christ Church in Philadelphia to restore Benjamin Franklin’s grave. This is the historic church where George Washington and some of your ancestors worshipped. The Executive Committee granted the request with the provision that the monies would be applied to maintaining the graves of all 5 Signers who are buried there.
It is with much regret that I have had to accept the resignation of Grace Staller. For years she has, with Donald Ward, Sr., been the host for the Philadelphia Annual Meeting as well as helping with the Bell Ringers at Independence Hall. Grace has, so ably, been the head and instigator of placing plaques on the 56 Signers’ graves as well as at a few historic sites. There were a few graves in private places that did not allow the plaques, but that did not daunt Grace. She, working with Laura Bell, worked with contacts in Washington and those Signers are now honored with a cenotaph on two benches at the Historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington. We are fortunate that Grace will remain as a Member at Large as we may still call on her for her invaluable advice. On behalf of the Board and myself personally, I wish to thank Grace for all her years of dedication to the DSDI.
The Board was so very sad to learn of the sudden death of Miles McCormick. Miles served on the Board for many years in various positions, most recently as Second Vice President and Governor of North Carolina. He with his friend, Celeste Watson, hosted two very successful meetings in Greensboro and New Bern. He will certainly be missed and we send our sincerest sympathy to his family. We hope that they and Celeste will continue to be associated with the Society.
I hope that you will consider joining me and Host Laurie Croft for the spring meeting to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia. You will probably learn a bit more about Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President and Author of the Declaration of Independence. We will be privileged to visit his home and see the University of Virginia’s special collection. It should be a delightful weekend in the Shenandoah Valley.
In closing, I would like to wish each and everyone of you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Hope Middleton Wood, President General