A MESSAGE FROM NATIONAL COUNCILOR RICHARD BEPPLER: March 19, 2020
Greetings to all members of the Jr. Order United American Mechanics
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which has gripped our nation, I as your National Councilor, am hereby suspending all meetings and functions of all Jr. Order Lodges throughout our order. Effective immediately all regular Council meetings will be suspended through April 30th, 2020. Also any and all planned functions such as dinners, banquets, State Sessions or Conventions are suspended for the same period. We will continue to monitor the national policies put into play regarding the restrictions on gatherings and inform all members of any further restriction in the future.
It is with great sadness I find these steps necessary to help curtail the spread of this terrible virus and insure the well-being of our membership of whom many are in the age bracket most vulnerable to the dire effects if contracting the virus. I ask all to join me in prayer for any we may know who has been afflicted with this virus.
I welcome any contact or correspondence from any of our members seeking further information on this or any issues. My contact address, phone and email are listed above.
In loving service,
Richard A. Beppler
A reminder from State Secretary Joyce Everett:
The 2020 WV State Scholarship Applications must be in hand or postmarked by April 1, 2020 to be considered for the scholarship.
If you need a form - contact you local council. Forms were mailed earlier to each council.
Dear Brothers and Sisters;
We recently lost a dear Brother. Below is a copy of his obituary. Brother Bob was on the National Board of Control where he served faithfully for many years. We just saw Brother Bob in June at the National Session. I’m so glad we had that chance to visit with him. He will be missed.
Robert C. Reeves Jr., 79
Nov 4, 2019, 4:52 pm
Robert C. Reeves Jr. of Orient, died on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at the age of 79, from complications related to cardiac arrest.
He was born on Jan. 3, 1940, to Robert C. and Gertrude (King) Reeves.
He was employed at Clinton A. Hommel Inc. Plumbing and Heating Supply for 49 years, the last 28 years as owner of the business.
He was an active member of the Orient Fire Department since February 1958, and he held numerous leadership positions over the years.
He was a cofounder and organizer of the Orient Fire Department Rescue Squad. He was a member of the Junior Order United
American Mechanics since 1965. He was past president of the Orient Community Activities organization and a member of the Orient Congregational Church.
His hobbies included hunting, fishing, ice boating, community service, and being with and enjoying his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marge (Geehreng). Memorial donations may be made to the Orient Fire Department, P.O. Box 130, Orient NY 11957.
The Galloping Gavel is a trophy established in 1989 by Brother Carroll Bonnett.
The Gavel may be taken from any Council by a visitation during a meeting with at least four visiting Council members.
This Gavel promotes fellowship and visitation of members of one council to another.
It has made it's way throughout the State to every council through the years.
A record book in the base of the Gavel tracks the Gavels movement over the years.
Fidelity Council #182 paid a visit to St. Albans Council #123 on November 14, 2019 to retrieve the Gavel and take it to their Lodge Hall.
In a brief ceremony, St. Albans Councilor Harry Vance presented Fidelity Councilor Jeannie Dolin with the Gavel.
It was with pride the Gavel was turned over and the fellowship was very welcome.
Let it be known to all of West Virginia Councils that the Galloping Gavel is now located at Fidelity Council #182. Congratulations Fidelity!
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
At the National Session in June, the members discussed ways to raise money for the National Council.
A suggestion was made that a Go Fund Me page should be made for the National Council.
Ms. Jane Fisher, State Secretary of Ohio, volunteered to make this Go Fund Me Page for the National.
Ms. Jane, working with the National Board, has now got this page up and running.
For any member wishing to contribute, below is the link to the account.
Obituary of Buddy Kilgore posted in Herald-Dispatch on 06/17/19
Buddy was a member of Fidelity Council #182. He routinely functioned as the reader for the West Virginia State Sessions. His smile, chuckle and positive spirit will be missed by all.
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.