On the 59th anniversary of Reece’s death, 53 members and friends of the BHR Society gathered in the Union County Community Center in Blairsville for the 14th annual meeting. The mood was upbeat, and the attendees enjoyed the renewal of friendships and the opportunity to become informed about Society activities.
Society chair Keith Jones presided over the meeting, which included approval of minutes, a financial report, an update from Reid Dyer (chair of the Farm Management Committee), an advance notice of Reece Centennial Activities that are in the works, and the report of the Nominations Committee and the election of directors for the coming year. (Check the list of directors for 2017-2018 in the Society section of the website.) Special music was provided by Jackie Elsner and Jerry Taylor, who have produced a new CD of Christmas poems set to ballad tunes and selected organ music. Jackie sang, a cappella, several of those poems, to the delight of all present.
Janice Moore, chair of the Literary Activities and Program Committee, introduced John Kay as the keynote speaker. Chair of the founding committee and then chair of the Society for 12 years, Kay spoke on the topic of “Reece’s Legacy: Songs within Our Reach.” The speech traced highlights of Reece’s literary legacy and challenged members of the Society to become faithful stewards of the songs that are now beyond the poet’s reach but remain within our own. (Go to the Features page of our website if you wish to read this message.)
Following the address, the newly elected directors convened to elect officers for the coming year, while others in attendance began to enjoy the delicious buffet meal prepared by the Community Center food service staff. The directors elected Sanford Freeman as the new chair, with Reid Dyer as vice chair, Debra March as treasurer, Carol Knight as recording secretary, and Bill Jernigan as membership secretary.
Please reserve the date of Saturday, June 2, 2018 for the 15th annual meeting of the Society, this time to be held at the Reece Farm and Heritage Center.