Winter 2019 – Message from the President General
Since its 1890 inception, The Colonial Dames of America (CDA) has been proudly committed to historic preservation. The Society’s erection of the iconic entrance gates at Historic Jamestown Island, in 1907, represent one of the earliest examples of this commitment. These gates, which were designed in commemoration of the founding of the Virginia Colony — the cradle of modern democracy — proudly display CDA’s gilded insignia and Latin motto.
CDA has recently taken on the restoration of the entrance gates as a Society-wide project. After 111 years of exposure to the elements, they are sorely in need stabilization and repair. Jocelyn Lance, President of Chapter XXIII-VA and chairman of the Campaign for the CDA Gates at Jamestown, has announced a fundraising initiative of the $38,500.00 required for the restoration. I am delighted to announce that many leadership gifts have already been received. Our Society will re-dedicate these emblematic gates on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at Jamestown Island. Special plans for a two-day excursion are in the works and ALL Dames are invited!
Since taking office as President General on April 30, I have had the pleasure of visiting twelve chapters, attending their chapter meetings, as well as delivering a customized presentation at each one. I have accepted eight more invitations from chapters I will visit by the end of this summer. Travelling the country and crossing “the pond” as I have been privileged to do, I am evermore proud to be a member of our special and distinguished Society.
Along these same lines, I would be delighted to hear from any chapter willing to host a regional meeting, which only requires identifying a date and securing a luncheon venue…the Liaison Committee, chaired by Charlotte Christian, takes care of the rest!
Dames from all over the country ventured to New York and supported the CDA Christmas party, which was great fun. It was chaired by Parent Chapter member Kathleen Springhorn and her Holiday Hostess Patrons. Alex Donner’s Orchestra provided musical cheer to the spectacularly decorated Abigail Adams Smith Ballroom.
In January, the Parent Chapter had its inaugural meeting with Nicole Scholet, accomplished historian -and CDA’s Assistant Executive Director – as speaker. Her topic was the half century of work expended by Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Mrs. Alexander Hamilton) to repair and preserve her husband’s remarkable legacy.
In February, a fabulous genealogy workshop was facilitated by Registrar General Beverley Sherrid at CDA Headquarters that was attended by members and candidates alike.
Should you find yourself in NYC, in the coming months, there are several interesting programs being co-hosted with other like-minded societies – as well as events at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. Please check both websites and be sure to “like” CDA’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date.
I look forward to seeing many of you at CDA’s International Tea during mid-April’s Hereditary Week in Washington, DC. And don’t forget — the Society’s Annual Meeting and related festivities will occur April 26-29th in New York.
A warm word of thanks to those of you who have given to the Annual Appeal. Every contribution (and it is not too late!), however great or small, is deeply appreciated.