Department of Maine
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
135th Annual Encampment
April 29, 2017
Minutes of the 135th Annual Encampment respectfully submitted by Eric Boothroyd, P.D.C., Department Secretary.
Joint Opening Ceremony with the Auxiliary to the SUVCW was held at 9:45 A.M.
The 135th Annual Encampment of the Department of Maine SUVCW was held at Governor’s Restaurant, Waterville, Maine, on Saturday, April 29, 2017. The encampment was opened with full ritual at 9:57 with Department Commander David Sosnowski presiding.
Roll Call of Department Officers:
The roll was called with Commander Sosnowski making temporary appointments to fill vacancies as needed.
- Commander David Sosnowski – present
- Sr. Vice Commander Larry Bonney – present
- Jr. Vice Commander Scott Mairs – absent (chair filled by Morris Berry)
- Council #1 Eric Boothroyd – present
- Council #2 Charles McGillicuddy – present
- Council #3 Paul Dionne– absent
- Secretary Eric Boothroyd – present
- Treasurer Clyde Berry – present
- Patriotic Instructor Peter Redman – present
- Chaplain Charles McGillicuddy – present
- Counselor Eric Boothroyd – present
- Historian Eric Boothroyd – present
- Graves Registration Officer – vacant
- Civil War Memorials Officer – vacant
- Guide Morris Berry – present
- Color Bearer Stephen Morgan – absent
- Guard James Bonney – present
- Signals Officer – vacant
- Eagle Scout Coordinator Paul Dionne – absent
The Commander appointed the following Brothers to the Credentials Committee:
- Eric Boothroyd
- Morris Berry
The Commander then introduced our guest and National Representative, PDC Ed Norris of the Dept. of Massachusetts, who serves as Chief-of-Staff to the Commander-in-Chief and offered greetings from C-in-C Donald Martin.
The Credentials Committee reported 10 Brothers of the Department and 1 guest present. All Department Brothers were Members and eligible to vote. $18 in registration fees was collected and submitted to the treasurer. The roll call of the Encampment membership was reported by the secretary as follows:
|Clyde Berry, CC, Treas||Camp 1||David Sosnowski, DC||Camp 56|
|Charles McGillicuddy, PDC||Camp 1||Morris Berry, PDC||Camp 56|
|Paul Berry, Jr., delegate||Camp 1||Steve Bunker, delegate||Camp 56|
|Eric Boothroyd, PDC, Sec.||Camp 3||Larry Bonney, SVC, CC||Camp 69|
|Peter Redman, delegate||Camp 3||James Bonney, delegate||Camp 69|
Appointments to other standing committees were as follows:
Constitution & Regulations
Larry Bonney, Steve Bunker
Peter Redman, James Bonney
Morris Berry, Charles McGillicuddy
Written reports (to be included with the encampment proceedings) were received from Commander Sosnowski; Secretary, Counselor and Historian Eric Boothroyd; and Eagle Scout Coordinator Paul Dionne.
Verbal reports were presented by SVC L. Bonney, Treasurer C. Berry [amended to report as “verbal and written” – EJB], Patriotic Instructor Redman, and Chaplain McGillicuddy (who stated he will also submit a written report).
No report was submitted for Junior Vice Commander
The written reports were referred to committee.
A resolution was presented from Camp #3 to revise the Department By-laws. (referred to C&R committee)
Brother Morris Berry reported that he has submitted paperwork to nominate Tanya Pasquarelli for the SUVCW Founders Award for her work in organizing the burial ceremony for Pvt. Jewett Williams in Hodgdon and submitted a proposal to create a Department of Maine Dirigo Award, to be an in-state award similar to the Founders Award. (referred to new business)
A letter of thanks was received from the Betsey Ann Ross House of Hope for last year’s donation.
A letter of thanks and a certificate of appreciation were received from Wreaths Across America for last year’s donation and participation.
A short recess was called by the Commander so that committees could confer. The Bible was closed at 10:46.
The Encampment was reconvened and the Bible was opened at 11:14. All members were reported present.
- Constitution & Regulations: Recommends approval of by-laws amendment resolution.
- Resolutions: No report.
- Officers’ Reports: Committee recommends that the reports be accepted.
- Fraternal Relations: No report.
The report of the Department Council (not referred to committee) was presented at this time in two written reports; one from Councilor Paul Dionne, and another from the Council at large (to be included with the encampment proceedings). The Council had audited the accounts of the treasurer prior to the Encampment.
Aldie Fund – This project began around 2007. Brother Bunker reviewed the role of the 1st ME Cav. at the battle of Aldie and how the campaign occurred over three locations; Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, VA. The original owner of the battlefield farm site in Aldie agreed to the placement of the monument, but the property has changed hands since, and the new owner doesn’t want it. Steve could get an easement, but he doesn’t have the time. He used to have a point man in the area during the early efforts to place the monument, but he has since died. One of his 1st ME Cav. reenactors, Chris Wilson, has become involved in the project. Although Aldie was the preferred site, Chris found that Middleburg would welcome the monument. Steve reported that a stone has been chosen and is at Forgotten Stoneworks in Manchester, ME. It has not been engraved, but Steve showed a proposed sketch. Steve has negotiated transportation costs and estimates that the cost of the stone, engraving, and transportation would be around $4000. Reenactors and volunteers would do the setting and placement of the stone. The key step now is to get a written agreement with the town of Middleburg. If that should fail, Steve thinks that Upperville would accept it. He proposed that funds be released for payment or partial payment of the stone. He will contact the yard next week and get a figure to submit to the Department. He admitted that the process has been slow, but it is moving forward.
Brother M. Berry made a motion to authorize a payment for the stone that is to be placed at any of the locations. The motion was seconded by Brother P. Berry, and APPROVED unanimously. No time limits were imposed.
As a side discussion, Brother Bunker commented that SUVCW meetings shouldn’t just be about meeting. We should be involved in active projects to preserve the memory of Civil War veterans and promote membership.
Brothers C. Berry and Bunker discussed obstacles to acquiring V.A. stones.
The Commander called a recess for lunch. The Bible was closed at 11:56
A joint Memorial Service was held by the SUVCW and ASUVCW after lunch.
The meeting of the Department Encampment was reopened by Commander Sosnowski at 1:45. All members were reported present.
- Brother L. Bonney announced that a gravestone dedication ceremony will be held at 10 AM, May 20, at the South Woodstock Cemetery in Woodstock for George L. Whitman, who served in Co. G, 23rd ME Inf. His grave had been previously unmarked. The secretary will disseminate this information to the Camps.
- Brother C. Berry announced that Camp #1 will be holding its annual memorial service for Gen. Isaac Bangs (mandated by Dept. by-laws) at 6:30 PM on May 11 at Pine Grove Cemetery in Waterville, followed by their regular Camp meeting.
Brother Boothroyd submitted receipts totaling $147.71 for reimbursement for out-of-pocket Department expenses including file storage bins, postage, and a PDC Badge. Brother L. Bonney moved to authorize payment to the Dept. Secretary. With a second by Brother McGillicuddy, the motion was voted and APPROVED.
Brother Boothroyd put forward a motion that the Department pay to the Allied Orders fund $25 for the cost of our National Representative’s lunch. The motion was seconded by Brother Bunker, voted, and APPROVED.
The principal changes proposed to the by-laws are the deletion of the allowance for appointed Department Officers to have automatic voting rights at the Department Encampment (a violation of the C&R) and added policy language for the protection from abuse for Brothers 18 years old and under. The Commander put forward that the Encampment accept the recommendation of the Committee to accept the resolution, unless objected. No objections were offered. The resolution was APPROVED.
Brother C. Berry made a motion that when the current term ends at the end of this year, the funds in our Certificate of Deposit be renewed for a two year term or placed in a money market account, whichever offers the most favorable return. With a second by Brother M. Berry, the motion was voted and APPROVED unanimously.
Brother Boothroyd moved to maintain the Department per capita tax at $4. Brother C. Berry seconded the motion. Brother Bunker made the case for increasing the per capita tax, depending on what the Department wants to do with it. Brother C. Berry mentioned that we have an annual recurring cost of $99 for a domain name. Brother Redman spoke about the availability of free websites. Brother Berry said he would be glad to turn social media contact over to Brother Redman. Discussion also involved the effect on individual Camp annual dues, which currently range from $30 to $40. Brother M. Berry moved to amend the original motion to $5. Brothers Boothroyd and C. Berry accepted the amended motion. Brother Bunker seconded the amended motion. The motion was APPROVED with 8 in favor and 1 opposed. The Department per capita tax is now $5.
Brother Boothroyd moved to maintain the Encampment registration fee at $2, and with a second by Brother M. Berry, the motion was voted and APPROVED.
Brother M. Berry spoke about his proposal to create a Dirigo Award to recognize non-Allied Orders individuals or groups in Maine for service performed in promoting our Order’s goals. He said it doesn’t necessarily need to be a plaque. Brother Redman asked if it was to be presented at the Encampment and who would oversee the selection process. These questions could not be answered at this time. The Commander appointed Brother Berry to work with the Dept. Council to develop the details of the award and selection process. Brother Ed Norris mentioned that the Dept. of RI gives a similar award.
The conversation then turned to the future of Maine and the other Departments in New England. The Dept. of VT has been in trouble since the passing of PDC Tuffy Doyle and has been under suspension for over a year for non-filing of reports. There have been informal conversations in other Departments and at the National level about combining the Departments of VT, NH, and ME, but Brother Norris was quick to point out that National cannot dictate that consolidation. Merging of Departments must be by mutual agreement between the affected Departments.
Brother Norris also spoke on the fate of the New England Regional Association (NERA).
For the last two annual meetings at the Weirs in NH, only two Brothers showed up. The NERA Auxiliary group disbanded a couple of years ago. Ed reported that at this year’s meeting in July they may propose to disband and disperse the funds among those Departments that are in attendance, unless those attending offer an alternative as to what to do.
Sisters Elsie Bonney and Anne Sosnowski were then summoned to join the discussion. Elsie reported that the Maine DUVCW has over 100 members. Their annual Convention last June was attended by about 20. Anne reported that the Maine Auxiliary is down to 12 members, total, with only 2 attending this Encampment. There is talk at their National level about reorganizing the New England states into one Dept. of New England with rotating locations for annual Encampments. Brother Boothroyd spoke about discussions in the past of recombining the annual meetings of the Allied Orders. The DUVCW is obligated by their bylaws to meet in June. A Committee to Combine Encampments, consisting of Brothers Boothroyd, C. Berry, and L. Bonney, was created last year but had not taken any actions.
Brother Redman spoke about the importance of social media in recruiting younger members. He suggested that radical changes must take place in the mindset of our current (older) membership and that they need to be willing to move out of their comfort zone. The best bet for this Department may be to target recruiting new members 40 years and older. Brothers Redman and Bunker acknowledged that there is a wide generational divide in today’s society. Brother Bunker feels that National needs to reach out to the younger membership to see what they want out of the Organization. Commander Sosnowski appointed Brothers Redman and Bunker to a Recruiting Committee tasked with defining who we are, what we want to do, and what we are willing to change in order to entice new (preferably younger) members.
Brother M. Berry commented that this conversation had taken quite a bit of time, it was getting late, and we had a lot more business to attend to.
In regards to the time and location of next year’s Encampment, Brother C. Berry proposed a motion asking if the Encampment was in agreement to moving our meeting date from April to June if the Committee to Combine Encampments, in consultation with the Commander, decides that it is in our best interests. The motion was seconded by Brother L. Bonney, voted, and APPROVED unanimously.
Brother M. Berry moved to donate $150 to Wreaths Across America, which was seconded by Brother Bunker. The motion was voted and APPROVED.
Brother C. Berry moved to donate $50 to the Taconnett Genealogical Society, with a second from Brother L. Bonney. The motion was voted and APPROVED.
Brother McGillicuddy moved to donate $50 to the Betsey Ann Ross House of Hope, with a second from Brother P. Berry. The motion was voted and APPROVED with 8 in favor and 1 opposed.
Nomination of Officers for 2017-2018
The Commander opened nominations for the elected officers of the Department with the following results:
- Commander: David Sosnowski
- Sr. Vice Commander: Larry Bonney
- Jr. Vice Commander: Clyde Berry
- Council (1 yr.): Peter Redman
- Council (2 yr.): Morris Berry
- Secretary/ Treasurer: Eric Boothroyd
Nominations for (4) delegates to the National Encampment were as follows:
- Clyde Berry
- Larry Bonney
- James Bonney
- Peter Redman
Brother Boothroyd further nominated all Department members in good-standing as of this date to be eligible as alternates to the National Encampment.
Brother C. Berry moved, with Brother M. Berry’s second, to have the secretary cast one ballot for all uncontested nominations. Motion CARRIED.
The Commander called a brief recess prior to the installation of officers. The Bible was closed at 3:36.
The Encampment was reconvened at 3:50 with all members present.
Installation of Officers
Commander Sosnowski surrendered the chair to Brother Norris, who served as the Installing Officer. Brother M. Berry served as Installing Guide, and Brother McGillicuddy served as Installing Chaplain. The secretary called the roll of officers-elect and staff appointees. The Commander-elect made the following officer appointments:
- Patriotic Instructor: Peter Redman
- Chaplain: Charles McGillicuddy, P.D.C.
- Counselor: Eric Boothroyd, P.D.C.
- Historian: Eric Boothroyd, P.D.C.
- Graves Registration Officer: Stevens Bunker
- Civil War Memorials Officer: Paul Berry, Jr.
- Guide: Morris Berry, P.D.C.
- Color Bearer: Stephen Morgan, P.D.C.
- Guard: James Bonney
- Eagle Scout Coordinator: Paul Dionne, Jr., P.D.C.
- Signals Officer: Peter Redman
The officers were duly installed according to Ritual. The gavel was once again returned to Commander Sosnowski to preside over the remainder of the Encampment.
Brother C. Berry, as outgoing treasurer, made a motion that new treasurer Brother Boothroyd’s name be added to the Department’s accounts at Bangor Savings Bank and that Brother Gowen’s name be removed. This still allows two Brothers access to the accounts. With a second by Brother Boothroyd, the motion was voted and APPROVED.
The Commander asked if there was any other business to come before the Encampment. With none offered, Brother Norris asked to speak on the Good of the Order. He reported that after all of the hard work over the last year in trying to move our Order to a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, the IRS this past week has denied our new group exemption request, citing late or missing filings. The Order will continue to pursue this goal. He also made an appeal to register C.W. memorials and monuments with National and offered a challenge to the Dept. of Maine from the Dept. of Mass.
Minutes of the Encampment
Secretary Boothroyd read back the minutes of the meeting. Brother C. Berry corrected that he had provided both an oral and a written treasurer’s report. Brother L. Bonney moved to accept the minutes as read and amended, which was seconded by Brother J. Bonney and CARRIED.
The 135th Encampment of the Department of Maine was duly closed at 4:32 PM by Department Commander Sosnowski.