Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

December 2020



          Meeting Announcements

          Dues are Due

          Revolution History note

          Program Schedule

          Color Guard Activity

          Wreaths Across America

SAR and events update          

          Misc. reminders and information


Meeting Announcements


It is hoped that everyone is healthy, safe, and coping with the current situation as best as they can.  While the hotel is available, due to concerns of many members, we will have a virtual meeting on Saturday, Dec 19 at noon our usual day and time.  President Dave Bryant will send out a zoom link to everyone prior to the 19th t so you can log on and participate. 


Our November meeting featured a live virtual presentation by Susan Gillette Meer, Commander-in-Chief of the Society of Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge.  Susan told us about the Society, the events at Valley Forge, debunked a few myths and told us how to search the VF Muster Roll.  She also gave us some hints on how to check to see if our Patriot Ancestors served at Valley Forge but are not listed on the current Muster Roll.  We also elected our officers for the 2021 calendar year.  See the November newsletter for the slate of officers.


Dues are Due

Dues for 2021 are due.  Deadline is December 31.  Dues are $80 as they have been for the past few years.  Of that $35 goes to National, $20 to Florida SAR and $25 stays in Tampa.  Send your

check or money order to Paul Ergler, Treasurer

                                      503 Surrey Lane

                                      Lutz, FL  33549

Paul says he can take PayPal, too, but you will need to contact him for that one at paulergler@hotmail.com. 


American Revolution Notes


This is a revised/updated version of a column from 2016 about Christmas

in the colonies that may be apropos this year.


       Over the years several members have wondered why I have rarely addressed Christmas in colonial America.   The simple answer is that most of the trappings we associate with the celebration of Christmas today---trees, ornaments, cards, gifts, the focus on children—all come to us from the mid to late 1800’s.  Having said that, this month’s column will look at how the holidays were celebrated in colonial America.

They observed Advent but, except for going to church, there was no “build up” to December 25th.  Once December 25th rolled around, they did begin the observance of the 12 days of Christmas—Dec.25 to Jan. 6.



December 25th would have meant going to church, maybe hanging some greens around the windows, and maybe having a slightly bigger main meal.  Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, was the day gifts were given.  Some cash, little books and some sweets were given in small portions by masters or parents to dependents—whether slaves, servants, apprentices, or children. There was no reciprocal gift giving.  It was not expected that those receiving these small tokens would give back likewise.  Gift giving on New Year’s Day was very much from the top down.  Also, on Jan. 1 people visited friends and neighbors and wished them a happy new year—that part has not changed.

The main event of the holiday observances occurred on the twelfth night—the night of Jan. 6.  On Jan. 6 there would have been large feasts, dances, balls, and parties to celebrate the end of the holidays.

Due to the influence of Prince Albert of England, Charles Dickens, Clement Moore and the Dutch and German immigrants to the U.S., our celebration or observance of Christmas changed during the 1800’s.  But it is perhaps refreshing to remember a time when the focus of December 25 was church, gift giving was top down and low key, and parties were mostly reserved for the end of the season. 


Program schedule

Since we are unsure when we will actually have our next in person meeting, hopefully in January, there are no program particulars other than at one of our in-person meetings, for your planning purposes, the dates for the next few months are below.


January 16            Officer Installation

February 20

March 20

April 17

May 15



Color Guard Activity

Currently, there are plans to hold the Commemorations of the Last Naval Battle on Merritt Island on March 6 (maybe 13), the Battle of Thomas Creek in Jacksonville on March 27 and the Battle of Pensacola on May 8.  More information will be provided as we get closer to those events. 



Some Chapters and State Societies are performing their local commemorations and memorials virtually so members unable to attend in person can still participate.  Those details will be passed on to the Chapter Color Guard as they are made available. 


Your Color Guard Commander, with members of the Fort Brooke Society of C.A.R., participated virtually in the Commemoration of the Battle of Great Bridge (Virginia) on December 5. 


Wreaths Across America

We had originally planned to hold our December meeting in conjunction with the Wreaths Across America Ceremony at the American Legion Post #5 Veterans Cemetery.  The American Legion is having its Ceremony and wreath laying, but not with the public attending the Ceremony and participating in wreath laying at the same time.  There will be a Ceremony, with a presentation of the National Colors, a 21-gun salute and taps, but in a much more controlled environment.  Our Color Guard has been asked to present the Colors. A few of us will miss the Chapter Meeting to represent the Tampa Chapter at this event.  Individuals will be permitted to come to the Cemetery from 11:00 – 1:00 to lay a wreath.   Perhaps some of you can drop by early, place a wreath, Honor and Remember a veteran and be back home in time for the Zoom meeting. 


Many thanks to all of you who donated wreaths this year.  This year’s participation was one of the best ever for the Tampa Chapter. 


Other important dates

December 14             Death of George Washington

January 11                Alexander Hamilton’s Birthday

February 22             George Washington’s Birthday

March 5                    Boston Massacre

March 20                 Last Naval Battle Commemoration

March 27                 Battle of Thomas Creek Commemoration

April 13                     Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday

April 19                     Battles of Lexington & Concord

May 8                       Battle of Pensacola Commemoration


SAR Events

Various National SAR meetings continue to be held virtually.  At the virtual Fall Meeting of the Trustees, they emphasized the need for all members participating in any SAR related youth activities to complete Youth Protection Training.  This has been emphasized for a few years; however, it is reported that the Trustees are working on a transition policy after which it will be a requirement for individual members.  The SAR has developed its own program which is to be posted on the National website.  More to come.


The 2021 Congress is scheduled to be held in-person in Renton, Washington (Seattle) on July 8 – 14.  Information is available on the SAR website.  The 2022 Congress will in Savanah, Georgia.  The 2023 Congress will be held in Orlando.  Plans are being made and volunteers will be needed. 


Miscellaneous Reminders

The new face book page for the Tampa Sons of the American Revolution is

Tampa Sar. The password to add anything is American1776.  Please feel free to upload pictures or comments. Invite all your friends to take a look.


Chapter Website—remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.   http://www.tampasar.org/


One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick. Another is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone that should be the recipient of these cards please mention it to Chaplain Sessums or one of the other officers.


 Chapter officers and committee chairman are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the editor.