Welcome to our March 2001 meeting. My comments will be brief tonight, as we want to insure that our speaker has all the time necessary to tell his wonderful story.
First, our Society continues to grow with approximately 465 members. Much of our growth is now the descendants of those who have left Surry County and even Virginia over several centuries, but want to keep their roots warm in Surry County soil. Over 115 of our last newsletters went out of state.
Next, I appreciate the help of members in publishing our last newsletter. I need some one, or a group, to assume complete responsibility for the folding, stuffing, stamping, labeling and mailing our Newsletters. It's approximately three days work four times a year. I am happy to do some writing, and have them printed, unless there is a reasonably priced source for this near Surry. Because this job has grown along with The Society's growth, we may have to go to a bi-folded newsletter as it saves the time of stuffing, stamping and sealing. We do not intend to change the overall format or reduce the print size. If there is someone or a group that can take over the responsibility for this, please let me know. I need help, and soon.
Opportunity. Along this same line, the opportunity is available to significantly increase our membership over the next year or two. In the last two years we have hosted tours or given talks to several family reunions. Included are the Meriwether Family, Descendants of Micager Rogers, Higgins-Rogers Family and The West family reunion. We have gained a number of members as the result.
Each of these organizations have name and address lists of their members. There are many others, black and white, whose roots are here in Surry. Only with receiving their permission, we could create a special mailer to their members, after deleting those already members of the Society and duplications to one address. This again will require work and help, and that must be assured before I would want to consider starting this new program. The cost of each mailer would be approximately forty cents.
Our new office: We are making a slow move into the brick building behind the Courthouse. This was the old Jail. Security should be good. In addition to brick walls, the interior perimeter walls are welded up steel plates. We are trying to file, or at least pile our books, archival material, etc. in some order as we move in. We will have a locked room for our library and archival material, and a legal sized fire proof file cabinet for our most valuable material. Thanks to The Surrey House, we are getting a computer on which we can keep our inventory and other information. Hopefully, we will be able to tie in to our web site and the Internet.
I want to thank the Surry County Board of Supervisors for making this facility, and some furniture available to us. We also must thank the Town of Surry for the use of our old office.
Rogers Store has progressed slower than anticipated. It's a matter of matching funds. Within the next month or so we expect to have a day of cutting bushes and moving fixtures and inventory into the first floor of Rogers Store. We expect to replace the porch floors and try to begin stabilizing Gwaltneys Store.
Our New Property in Surry: Over the next several months we plan to have a plat made of the property, and start the process of deciding what we need in the way of permanent facilities. This will require working with the Tourism Bureau and other organizations. From this process I expect will come a preliminary plan of development. Of course, without funding, no development can start.
Our Web Site. Our Web mistress, Eve Gregory, has scanned into her computer many of the photos and slides of Lorena Leath which you saw at our last meeting. You must see these! Eve has done an outstanding job. Look at http://www.rootsweb.com/~vaschsm/, or you can find it by calling up Surry County, Virginia, (in a Search Engine, such as Google.com). I have a paper on our table here with the number for those who want to copy it down.
Elections of new Board members will be held at our next meeting on May 14, 2001. A nominating committee was appointed at our last board meeting. Nominees will be named in our next newsletter. Per our bylaws, we have a rotating board, with approximately one third being elected each year. Of course, nominations will be accepted from the floor. Officer elections will be in May next year.
Recognizing that some of you may not have a copy of our bylaws and articles of Incorporation, I have around a dozen copies available here on the table.
Again, Welcome to our March 2001 meeting!