Who am I? Why am I here? These are questions which I have asked myself since assuming the office as President of the Mississippi Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. You may be asking the same questions about me. I have no answers.
On the other hand, I appreciate the opportunity to serve. As members you have put your confidence in me to lead you. I will do my very best to not disappoint you. We are truly in for a ride.
As President, I have been busy. There was paperwork to do—mounds of paperwork. I have defeated it. Great thanks goes to Pam Mauldin, Mississippi Division Vice-President, Sharon Tallman, Editor of Our Heritage, and Sandy Gaddis, outgoing Recording Secretary, for all their assistance. Others who have been there for me are Ruth Allbritton, Ruthie Murdock, Pauline Watkins, Frances Woodruff and Celeste Young. I appreciate all of them for being so generous with their knowledge.
To all the members who so willing said, “I will” when you accepted committee assignments and other positions, I sincerely thank you. You have made your ancestors proud. If you were not given a position don’t feel left out. I found myself in the unique position of having more willing people than I had positions. This is absolutely wonderful. I will find missions for more of the willing members to carry out as time goes by.
As your new President, I issued a challenge to write the history of the name given to your chapter. These are to be mailed or e-mailed to me. These histories will be placed in the UDC Room in the chapter files. I am waiting for this challenge to be met. There will be other challenges as the year progresses. The chapter meeting the most challenges will be rewarded at Division Convention. The challenge is on. Step up to meet it.
November is the month in which we observe Veterans’ Day. It is the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month on which the Armistice was signed ending World War I. It was the war to end all wars. In honor of Veterans’ Day let us meet challenges honoring veterans and their families. The challenge for each chapter is to award at least one Military Cross of Service to a veteran. There is one waiting for this honor in your community. Contact the Division Recorder of Military Crosses for information on presenting these awards.
Let us extend this challenge by inviting a waiting spouse (military term waiting spouse-one who is waiting for husband/wife to return from overseas) to a chapter meeting. Note I used the term spouse. We now have waiting male spouses for the return of their spouse from overseas. Check in your community to find a waiting spouse. You would be amazed how much they would appreciate your invitation. They feel very alone in a unique situation. There may not be another waiting spouse in the community with whom they can relate. Your chapter can give them a place of belonging. Who knows you might gain a new member or an associate member.
As your new President, it was with much delight I visited the H. D. Money Chapter in Carrollton. Sylvia Purvis and I presented the program, “The Little White Table”. Thank you for inviting us.
Winston Guards of Louisville wanted to know the “Appropriate Dress for Surveying a Cemetery”. It was my pleasure to present this program to them. Even though I did forget my hat and my shoes. I remembered my gloves. Every well-dressed UDC member must have gloves. Well, I somewhat remembered them. I only had one glove. There was much laughter and teasing about this program.
The Executive Committee met October 22 at the serene setting of Lake Tiak –O’Khata in Louisville, Mississippi. This serene place left us not wanting to leave. We adjourned and sat by the lake enjoying being together. That is what sisters do. Those attending were: Pat Parrish, Pam Mauldin, Lynda McKinney, Sylvia Purvis, Frances Woodruff and Cynthia Blalock. We missed having with us Susan Dunn who was busy ginning, Margaret Murdock who was having a good time, and Mary Landin who was recuperating from surgery. Hopefully, they can join us next time.
We did do a little business. Each officer discussed and ask questions about her office. The whole attitude of the meeting was to reach out to the chapter officers to help them with their duties. We want to include everyone in our efforts. If you have any questions please contact your counterpart at the Division level. She will be more than happy to help you.
One of the things which we discussed is the project for this administration. Each Division President suggests a project for her term. The one I suggested is one which has been very much on my mind. I have entitled it “Disaster Relief”. As you all know, Mississippi is hit hard by tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes. The members of the Mississippi UDC always give generously. A Disaster Relief fund would allow us to do so much more. This fund would be held by the Treasurer in a separate fund from the Division budget. When a disaster strikes, the Executive Committee would determine the amount to be donated and how the donation to the stricken area would be made. This might be to a chapter in the area which would determine the most urgent needs. A report by the chapter or individual utilizing the funds will prepare a report to the Executive Committee as to how the funds were used. This is a fund for only Mississippi. The Disaster Relief Fund would be financed by donations. This would be the same as when an individual or as a chapter makes donations. We will look into contributions through the coming year to have some startup funds. We will pray no disaster strikes until funds are available. All donations would be made to the Treasurer with a designation of Disaster Relief. I will accept donations to be turned over to the Treasurer. Please take this worthwhile project into consideration and let me know your opinions and questions. With much prayer we set forth on a new mission.
Until then keep the objects of the organization in mind as you begin your new year!
MS Division President