A Brief History of the Tampa Chapter
The following is reprinted from the
The first incarnation of the Tampa Chapter was known as the William C. Sessions Chapter. In 1964, the Chapter President was Ernest L. Stewart. Vice Presidents were Charles J. Campbel and Wilson Baker. Secretary/Treasurer was Waler W. Lane, and the Chaplain was Dr. John D. Dickerson.
In 1965, Willard J. Staples was Secretary / Treasurer. In 1966 and 1967, Chapter officers including Chapter President Andrew P. Buford and Secretary/Treasurer James E. Washburn were installed by FLSSAR Presidents Major General Bickeford E. Sawyer and V. Winthrop O’Hara at the Benjamin Franklin birthday celebration dinner, which also served as the venue for the Douglas G. High Oratorical Contest. These contests were chaired by Austin R. Drew who, at the time, had risen to become the National Chairman of the Contest.
Twelve years later on
The letter announced a
pre-organizational luncheon meeting for all prospective Charter members of the
proposed new Tampa Chapter to be held on
On the 2nd day of
February, 1985, a charter was issued for a Tampa Chapter as signed by FLSSAR
President Richard E. Friberg and Secretary Floyd D. May. On
President: Robert Baylies
Vice President: James O. Smith, Jr.
M. Leo Elliott,
Registrar/Genealogist: Martin McKinnon
Honorary Escorts from the
The Constitution and By Laws of the
Tampa Chapter were written and approved as of
The Tampa Chapter had fairly elaborate Tampa Awards and Installation Banquets for the first several years. These meetings were typically in the evening with wives invited. The Tampa Chapter was finally able to locate a regular meeting location where attendees could order off a menu or choose from a buffet, and yet our meetings would still have some measure of privacy and quiet in order to hear our speakers.
Over the years, the Tampa Chapter sponsored the following programs:
· Douglas G. High Oratorical Contest with limited success because of lack of response from student in spite of vigorous efforts.
· Eagle Scout Awards to a decreasing pool of Eagle Scouts each year – some 41 or so by 1995.
· ROTC Awards to an ever increasing number of units. The program is now the subject of our April meeting and a highlight of our year.
· Law Enforcement and Fire Safety Medal presentations
· Gifts of genealogical books to the Tampa Public Library’s genealogical collection
· Participation in naturalization ceremonies with by awarding US flags to new citizens
· Formed a Color Guard which marches in parades and provides flags for events
· Good Citizenship Awards to local elementary schools
· The planting of a liberty tree
· Sponsored a Poster Contest for elementary school children
We have many dedicated members who
continue to work hard for our Chapter. It is from this dedicated effort that
the Tampa Chapter continues to be well respected within the SAR and the