WV STATE CONVENTION PRESS RELEASE
The 131st annual session of the West Virginia State Council Junior Order United American Mechanics was held August 8-10, 2019 at the quaint Country Inn in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. National Councilor Rich Beppler and his wife Maryann – from Pennsylvania – were attending and taking active roles during the session.
On Thursday morning, a beautiful day awaited those playing in a golf tournament held at the Woods Golf Course. In the afternoon, a ‘CORN HOLE’ competition was enjoyed in Berkeley Springs Park. In the evening, opening ceremonies were held at the Inn, emceed by Past State Councilor Mike Roberts. A welcome address was given by Corp. Samuel R. Smith of the WV State Police. Interestingly, he included personal stories in relating his faith, his family, and his years in uniform. State Councilor Gary Vance – St. Albans #123 – introduced the state and national officers. Past National Councilor Greg Frye presented golf awards.
Pete Gordon entertained the group with his singing and guitar playing. Most of his selections were from the 1930’s – 1980’s era and he encouraged all to sing along. He provided the history of some of the ‘oldies’ music and shared stories of his past musical presentations.
A delicious buffet reception was enjoyed by all as the evening festivities came to a close.
On Friday morning, State Chaplain, B.J. Ruppenthal conducted a memorial service for the deceased members of the local councils in the past year. A carnation for each one was laid on the altar in their memory; Joan Myers provided music.
The business session opened with State Councilor Gary Vance presiding. Past State Councilor Dan Collis gave a keynote address to ‘spark’ those in attendance to ‘be their best’. Resolutions were presented for consideration and officers were nominated for the ensuing year.
A Fellowship Banquet was held in the Garden Room of the Inn, with Dick Myers as toastmaster. The speaker for the evening was Daryl Cowles, representing the 58th District-WV House of Delegates. He explained that West Virginia is in ‘transition’ and shared statistics and evidence to support his claims. He reported that a great amount of money has been appropriated for various projects throughout the state, including the many improvements to nearby Cacapon State Park.
A buffet dinner was enjoyed by all. Afterward, Virgil Ruppenthal - Swingin Virg – shared his DJ talents by playing tunes that all could sing or dance to. Throughout the evening, Chinese Auction numbers were drawn for merchandise as well as door prize tickets. National Councilor Rich Beppler conducted a 50/50 raffle, with all proceeds going to support the National Bowling Tournament in Parkersburg, WV.
On Saturday morning the business was finalized. The election of officers was completed and Nat’l Councilor Rich Beppler performed the installation. The officers for 2019-2020 are:
Gary Vance #123 – Past State Councilor
David Kendig #117 – State Councilor
John Mason #117 – State Vice Councilor
Joyce Everett #117 – State Secretary
Jerry Frye #15 – State Treasurer
Dan Collis #15 – State Chaplain
Dick Myers #117 – State Conductor
Jennifer Dailey #117 – State Warden
David Bailey #15 – State Inside Sentinel
David Dolan #182 – State Outside Sentinel
Chuck Petro #182 – 4 yr term
John Ditto #117 – 4 yr term
Jerry Frye #15 – 2 yr term
The 2020 State Convention will be held July 16-18 in District 1 – TBA.
A REPRESENTATIVE’S PERSPECTIVE
August 1, 2019
The 94th Regular Session of the National Council Jr. OUAM was held on June 17 – 19, 2019 at the Red Lion Hotel in High Point, NC. This was the first time that I served as a representative. Although I have attended a few National Sessions as a visitor in my home state of WV, I never sought the office of National Rep. – there were always an ample number of “veteran” members wanting to serve as a delegate. Strangely, two out of three WV Reps who attended the National Session this year were first time Reps.
Arriving on Sunday, my wife and I found the accommodations and spacious meeting rooms made for an enjoyable stay. I want to express my thanks to the members / hosts of NC for their warm welcome and genuine hospitality.
A golf tournament was held at the Old Homeplace Golf Course on Monday morning and I enjoyed a great day. I was on the winning team along with Don Wyatt from Kentucky and Scott Harris and Jon Fogarty from New York. This was my first opportunity to get to know the gentlemen from NY. (A round of golf will always show one’s character.) I appreciated their camaraderie.
While I was golfing, my wife was able to go with the arranged tour to the American Children’s Home in Lexington. She was pleasantly surprised by the campus and with the staff who answered questions.
The Memorial Service on Tuesday morning was especially meaningful, as I presented and laid a flower in memory of my good friend, Jim Pritt. I appreciated the service conducted by my brother, Greg Frye, for the deceased members.
During the business sessions, the issues concerning the insurance dept. and the process of locating the beneficiaries of deceased policy holders took most of the attention. Many thanks go to those who are actively trying to rectify these issues. Also, ideas to generate funding for the National Council were discussed. A ‘Go Fund Me’ page is being created to accept donations.
A Monday evening reception meal, a Tuesday evening catered banquet, a NC State Trooper sharing highway travel wisdom, and the guitar playing / singer duo for our entertainment all contributed to a very pleasant experience.
Finally, I’d like to thank National Councilor Charles Riehs (outgoing) for his hospitality, his dedication to the Jr OUAM, his tireless efforts to locate “beneficiaries”, and for the individual gifts he bestowed to all members in attendance.
With incoming National Councilor Rich Beppler of PA leading these next two years, the National Council needs to be as productive as ever!
Respectfully submitted by
Jeremy N. Frye – WV Rep
Gary Vance, State Secretary
2019-2020 WV State Officers
Past Councilor John Mason
Councilor Jennifer Dailey
Secretary Gary Vance
Treasure Joyce Everett
Chaplain Dan Collis
Conductor Dick Myers
Warden Jeanne Dolin
Inside Sentinel David Bailey
Outside Sent. Brenda Petro
GO FORTH AND SPREAD THE NEWS OF OUR BELOVED ORDER'S PRINCIPLES. OUR NATION NEEDS US DURING THESE TROUBLED TIMES.