Chapter History

            Chapter No. 2 (after Spokane) was originally organized as a chapter of the Oregon and Washington Society.  The charter members were Ell Stone Smith, No. 11, Robert C. Strudwick, No. 108, Arthur S. Gibbs, No. 3, George Alexander Virtue, No. 52, Arthur Elwood Hanford, No. 30, Edgar Ray Butterworth, No. 17, Frank Hanford, No. 28, and Carlisle Paterson Blanchard, No. 15.

 

            On the organization of the Washington State Society, Seattle chapter became Chapter No. 2 of the Washington State Society.

 

            In the year 1896 this Chapter observed Bunker Hill Day and Flag Day.  In the year 1897 the Chapter presented to the High School of Seattle a portrait of George Washington and a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, and observed patriotic services on the Fourth of July at the First Presbyterian Church.  This presentation was an auspicious occasion and can best be described by Miss. Leora Conn, president of the High School's graduating class: "We desire to express to you our gratitude for the deep interest you have manifested toward our school and for the favor you have conferred upon us by making us the recipients of these gifts.  We shall treasurer them here because they represent to us, first your kindness toward our school, and, second, the great principle that underlies all our institutions.  This one shows us the Declaration of our forefathers that our country should be free; the other is the portrait of him who made the Declaration true.  Your society is striving to foster that spirit of patriotism which animated the breast of Washington and his colleagues.  Our school is endeavoring to inculcate that same patriotism and aiming to make the pupils the truest and most loyal citizens!" This is an example in the Chapter's early formative years of the patriotic, historical and educational objectives being assiduously pursued.

 

             In 1898 the Chapter observed Ticonderoga Day and Flag Day.  At the annual meeting of the Chapter in 1900, Hon. Charles Delaus Emery was elected President of the Chapter, and died shortly thereafter.  Owing to the fact that none of the other officers assumed any responsibility, there was no meeting of this Chapter until March 19, 1904, and in this year Lexington Day was celebrated.

 

            Beginning with the year 1905, Seattle Chapter has had an active life and has held meetings nearly every month in every year, patriotic subjects being discussed at these meetings.  In April, 1912, the Chapter presented a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence to each of the following educational institutions in Seattle:

            University of Washington

            Adelphia College

            Ross Seminary

            Mercer Island Parental School

            Holy Names Academy and Normal School

            Immaculate Conception School

            Sacred Heart School

            Ballard High School

            Franklin High School

            Lincoln High School

            Queen Anne High School

            West Seattle High School

 

            During this year and also during the years 1913 and 1914, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Bunker Hill day, Lexington Day and other anniversaries of these events of the American Revolution have been commemorated.  This Chapter was never more in a flourishing condition than at the present time.

 

OFFICERS OF SEATTLE CHAPTER

Seattle

1914-1915

 

President................................................................................................Dr. Clarence Austin Smith

Vice President.........................................................................................George Alexander Virtue

Secretary...................................................................................................................Irving T. Cole

Treasurer......................................................................................................Herbert Whiton Mead

Historian....................................................................................................William Douglas Johns

Chaplain..............................................................................................Rev. John Onesimus Foster

 

Additional Members of Board of Managers

Moses Rideout Maddocks            Orison James Charles Dutton

 

 

OFFICERS OF SEATTLE CHAPTER

Seattle

1915-1916

 

President..............................................................................................Rev. John Onesimus Foster

Vice President..................................................................................................Orison J. C. Dutton

Secretary...................................................................................................................Irving T. Cole

Treasurer......................................................................................................Herbert Whiton Mead

Historian....................................................................................................William Douglas Johns

Chaplain.......................................................................................Rev. Benjamin Franklin Brooks

 

            On April 20, 1925, the 150th Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord was almost universally observed in the schools and higher institutions of learning in Washington State.  After considerable correspondence and negotiations, the order was given for a U. S. Navy ship to fire A thirteen-gun salute in Seattle Harbor at 1 p.m. at which time all the city's school children, in their respective classrooms, sang AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL.  The Honorable Edwin J. Brown, Mayor of Seattle, under the auspices of the SAR, addressed immigrant classes seeking naturalization that evening.

 

            During World War II, the Seattle Chapter supported the Allied effort in many ways.  On February 22, 1945, our chapter presented medals to three High School students for excellence in patriotic addresses and joined with the DAR in the placing of wreaths at the statue of George Washington located on the campus of the University of Washington.  That evening, the chapter hosted a banquet, invited the DAR members to join with them in listening to patriotic addresses.  During the last war bond drive, the Secretary sold U. S. War Bonds totaling $11,000.00.

 

            The three prime Society objectives, namely patriotism, history and education, were all combined in the National Historical Oration Contest based on the best extemporaneous delivery of a speech keyed to the principles of the Constitution and their present day meaning.  In 1957, a 16 year old Highland High School Junior, Thomas Ing, won not only the local contest sponsored by the Seattle Chapter but also the National Finals that were held at the Annual Congress, held that year in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

            Some 11 years later, during the Viet Nam conflict, the Seattle Chapter supported Radio Station KIRO in their project "THANK YOU", a program expressing gratitude to our men and women in Viet Nam.

 

            No history of the 20th Century would be complete without mention of the protests of the late 1960's relating to the Viet Nam conflict.  The 1968 Seattle Chapter President, Robert F. Booard, who was also administrator of the Virginia Mason Research Center, expressed concern about the forthcoming Governor's Day Parade.  In a letter dated April 23, 1968, to Charles E. Oldergard, President of the University of Washington, Mr. Boord wrote: "We believe that we, and other participants, have the right to honor University of Washington students who have elected to prepare to serve their country through the Armed Forces of the United States without heckling or disorder.  We further believe that it is the responsibility of the University Administration to ensure these conditions.  To take this position is not to deny the free right of expression to anyone of different views.  These rights have been freely and properly, accorded by the University Administration in the past and I am sure, will be in the future.  It is our opinion that these rights are not properly expressed by interfering with the rights of others on such occasion."

 

            In 1962, the Century 21 Exposition, a fair destined to commemorate the start of the Space Age, was held in Seattle.  It was the first world's fair in this country in 22 years and was featured in national magazines and on network TV.  It was a huge success drawing 9.6 million visitors and turning a profit.  The Seattle Chapter extended a special welcome to the SAR membership nationally.  The Chapter meetings during this period were attended by many visitors and included speakers from all parts of the country.

 

            For the most part, Seattle Chapter meetings were held on a monthly basis (for years at noon on the second Saturday of the month) at various downtown restaurants; Ivar's Captain's Table, and later at the Sand Point Naval Station Officers Club and Combined Officer's Club.  During the 1980's , the Chapter met at the Nile Temple Country Club.

 

            The Chapter has maintained a close association with the University of Washington and a number of other colleges and universities throughout the state.  The Chapter has also kept a close working association with the DAR Chapters in the greater Seattle area.  Every year on President's Day, the chapter meets with other patriotic/hereditary societies, at the invitation of the DAR, to place wreaths at the statue of George Washington.  This follows a program of patriotic music and speakers, which takes place in Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.

 

            Each year the Seattle Chapter presents SAR ROTC medals to the outstanding recipients at the University of Washington and Seattle University, as well as Junior ROTC medals at various nearby High Schools.  This is very impressive and a well attended ceremony.

 

            In 1983, Seattle Chapter Compatriot Vance Senter, while serving as President of the Washington State Society, eloquently wrote in the SAR Newsletter as follows: "As Thanksgiving season approaches, it is appropriate to stop and reflect upon the many reasons that we, as Americans, have for being thankful.  We live in the freest nation on earth.  We have farmers who have developed their techniques to a point where a very small percentage of our population raises food in surplus for the rest of us.  We have developed our technology educated our young, and are the world's champion for the oppressed and the destitute.  All this has not come about by accident.  Our forefathers fought for freedom.  Their children tamed a continent and their children built our cities and our nation as we know it today.  It is therefore a proud legacy we inherit as descendants of American Revolutionary hero's.  Let us take a moment to reflect on our many blessings this holiday season and give thanks for our ancestors, country, and the American way of life."

 

            The regular monthly meetings have sometimes been festive occasions.  On December 13, 1986, newly elected President, Kenneth H. Slaker, called the meeting to order.  Soon after the business meeting was completed, Santa Clause suddenly appeared at the door accompanied by two pretty elves - Mrs. Slaker (LeeAnn) and daughter Laurie.  They delivered presents to members and guests.  When their task had been completed, Santa disappeared as quickly as he appeared.  Following the gift presentation, song books were distributed.  With Geraldine Gillespie at the piano, Alice Senter on trombone, and Compatriot Vance Senter on his famous trumpet, the group joined in singing many familiar Christmas carols.  The Rev. Bill Gillespie won first prize for his rendition of "Holly Night".

 

            Since there was no record of any existing Chapter Constitution and Bylaws, copies of the Seattle Chapter's Constitution and Bylaws, compiled by President Kenneth H. Slaker, were distributed to all Chapter members on April 11, 1987.  These documents have since provided the Chapter with operating guidelines and objectives.

 

            On September 12, 1987, the Seattle Chapter Executive Board approved a request to co-sponsor the Bicentennial of the Constitution Luncheon along with the Greater Seattle Regent's Council, held at the Sand Point Naval Station Officer's Club.  In the skit written by Sherry Raatz, Ken Slaker portrayed George Washington; Keith Laws of the Alexander Hamilton Chapter, Tacoma, portrayed James Madison.  Special guests was Debbie Armstrong of Seattle, Gold Medal winner of the Woman's Giant Slalom, held at the 1984 Winter Olympics held at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.  President and Mrs. Slaker presented two pewter "Constitution" plates to the Greater Seattle DAR Regents Council.  The attendance at this activity exceeded expectations and was considered one of the most memorable joint SAR-DAR functions.

 

            On July 10, 1976, a "Time Capsule" was buried in commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution.  Among the items included in the capsule was an envelope containing Washington Delicious Apple seeds and a Bi-Centennial "Frisbee".  Adding official recognition to the event, United States Congressman Joel Pritchard attended the ceremony, which took place in the backyard of Compatriot Morris.  Upon the sale of the Morris home, the capsule was removed and looked after by Compatriot Bill Gillespie until June 1, 1990.  After consulting with Rainier Chapter, NSDAR officers, permission was granted to place the capsule in the yard of the Rainier Chapter House, Roy and Broadway Streets, Seattle.  Once again, Rev. Bill Gillespie was called upon to re-bury the capsule.  Some months later, a sewer line broke and the contents of the capsule had decomposed, were unrecognizable and the odor was unbearable.  Again, Compatriot Gillespie was called upon to dispose of the "remains".  Thus ended the intent of the committee to have the capsule opened in the year 2076 will never be fulfilled!

 

            At a meeting held on November 13, 1999 at the College Club of Seattle, membership decline was discussed.  It has been difficult to gather a quorum at our monthly meetings.  A full slate of officers who are willing to serve is nigh impossible.  The difficult decision was to dissolve, merge with another Chapter or struggle along as before.  Compatriot State President, Raymond de'Yarmin, attended the meeting to assist in our discussion and options and it was determined to continue on with the Chapter.

 

            The Chapter meeting was moved to the All City Dinner, 423 Airport Way South, Renton Washington before the year 2000.  In 2007, it was moved to the Old Country Buffet, Shoreline, Washington.  When this restaurant closed its doors in 2008, the Chapter meeting was again moved to Marie Calender's Restaurant, 9501 First Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington. 

 

            At the Chapter meeting on April 9, 2005, Compatriot Andy Cowan introduced Kevin Binz as the Seattle Chapter Knight Essay winner.  He read his essay titled “A Virginian’s Reflection”.  Kevin is a high school junior who is home schooled.  Kevin was presented with a certificate and a check.  Runner up essay winner Alex Binz, who is also home schooled, read his essay titled “Federalism in America”.  Compatriot Abbott presented Alex with a certificate.

 

            During 2007, the Chapter updated its Bylaws and began working on the Standing Rules. 

 

            The year 2008,  President John Berg began a new Internet webpage geared to attract new members.
 
            For 2009, Douglas Nelson took the helm as Chapter president.
 
            Craig Lawson was elected for 2010 and re-elected for 2011.  The meeting location, Marie Calender's Restaurant at Northgate, closed its doors the summer of 2011 and the meeting location was moved to Tukwila at the SouthCenter Courtyard by Marriot.

            Stefan Kovalenko was elected President for 2012 and re-elected for 2013.  The meeting location was changed to Thirteen Coins Restaurant in Seattle.

            John Berg was again elected President for 2014, and re-elected for 2015.  Jon Christoher Meis was awarded the SAR Medal for Heroism for his actions in subduing a gunman attacking fellow students at Seattle Pacific University.  The chapter bylaws were extensively revised in 2015.

            John Ernest was again elected President for 2016.  The meeting location was changed to Robb's 125th St Grill.

            
   
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