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The 129th annual convention of the West Virginia Junior Order United American Mechanics (Jr.O.U.A.M.) was held July 20-22 2017 at the Holiday Inn in Martinburg, WV. Registration was held in the pre-function lobby from 1:00-4:00 as well as a hospitality of refreshments offered in the Opequon Room. Attending from North Carolina and representing the National Council was Charles Riehs, National Councilor.
The convention opened Thursday evening with Past State Councilor and Master of Ceremonies, Chris Puffenburger. Invocation was given by Acting Chaplain David Kendig followed by Conductor Barbara Hewitt leading all in the Pledge of Allegiance.
After the Welcome Address was delivered by Douglas Copenhaver, President of the Berkeley County Council, State Councilor Dale Dailey introduced the West Virginia State and National officers. Prizes were awarded to the golf winners from a tournament held at The Woods Resort earlier in the day and then drawings for various door prizes were given throughout the evening.
Before retiring to the adjacent room for hors d’oeuvers, fellowship and entertainment, song leader Jerry Frye led everyone in one verse of “God Bless America” with all joining hands in singing. Entertainment was then provided by Rick Vance and Live Stream.
A memorial service was held on Friday morning in remembrance of our deceased members of the past year.
Friday’s business session opened at 9:30 with State Councilor Dale Dailey presiding. After new members were installed and visitors welcomed, a Jr. Order member and prominent businessman of Berkeley County, Lewis Braithwaite delivered a well received keynote speech based on the Jr. Order Motto of Virtue, Liberty and Patriotism. Committee appointments were made and National officers were introduced. The remaining of the business day was comprised of 14 resolutions that were reviewed and approved.
While dinner music was being played by DJ Rick Rohn, everyone enjoyed the delicious banquet food and good fellowship. The speaker for the evening was WV State Police Chaplain, Corporal Mathew Gilmore who delivered a most inspirational and moving speech. Past National Councilor Dennis Everett and Past State Councilor Chris Puffenburger auctioned a money cake and a donated quilt. Many enjoyed dancing to a variety of music provided by DJ Rick Rohn and all enjoyed the fellowship of the evening which included door prizes and Chinese auction drawings.
Reconvening on Saturday, one more resolution was acted upon. National Councilor Charles Riehs addressed the session concerning various ways we can grow our membership to include the use of face book and our “Hello Neighbor” pamphlet. Officers were elected and installed by the National Councilor. The new State Councilor presented his program for the coming year which was adopted and the members pledging to work with him.
The State Council officers for 2017-18 are:
Councilor Gary Vance
Vice Councilor Barbara Hewitt
Secretary Joyce Everett
Treasurer Jerry Frye
Chaplain David Kendig
Conductor Carroll Bonnett
Warden Pat Mosco
Inside Sentinel Gary Harshman
Outside Sentinel Chris Puffenburger
State Councilor Gary Vance ended this State Session until the July 2018 convention at Mineral Wells. Chaplain David Kendig closed in prayer.
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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.