An Excellent Day for Multiple Birthdays and a Roast!
By Capt. Phil Walters-GatorGuides.com
It was a gloriously beautiful winter day in Dixie as the sun arched across the heavens, warmed us to the mid 70’s while our "Pig of Honor: Dis-honest Abe the Divider" (formerly known as Michael Moore) roasted to a wonderful & succulent tenderness upon the hot grill. A multitude of folks interested in the history of the South had gathered in Dover, Fl. to mingle, feast, be merry, to hear the day’s speakers and celebrate the birthdays of these great Southern Americans. After an invocation and the singing of Dixie by Rachel Bruce, a call to chow was cast out for all to gather at the buffet and satisfy their hunger.
This was the resurrected "Lee, Jackson, Maury & Pickett Too!" annual birthday BB-q co-hosted by the Augusta Jane Evans Wilson chapter #1640-UDC and the fresh "Camp in Forming" Judah P. Benjamin "Confederate Cabinet” camp. After all had satisfied their dinner hunger, the birthday cake for our Heroes was placed upon the table, the candles lit, then in unison all sang “Happy Birthday!” Needless to say, the sweet taste of the cake was enjoyed by all.
During dessert, the speakers of the day’s event began to rally at the podium. Brenna Rutland, President of the Wilson chapter, UDC opened with news from the chapter. A big surprise was had by longtime Southern Heritage activist and Wilson UDC chapter founder Lunelle Siegel as she was presented with an achievement award for service “Above & Beyond the call of Duty” for her unselfish devotion to the chapter, Southern Heritage and in organizing and conducting multitudes of events. Next, Brenna announced that we had a fellow Southern Heritage Patriot “in need” within our ranks. The proceeds from the day’s fundraising was donated to this cause. From the passing of the hat and the auctioning of donated genuine American alligator belt, a few hundred dollars was netted for the relief effort and will be soon delivered to this worthy family.
Next, Capt. Phil Walters, an organizer and driving force of the Benjamin camp, was introduced by Brenna, came to the podium and presented an overview of the proposed camp, it’s goals and it’s intensions. “We intend to create an image of success, “can do,” motivate, mentor and challenge all like minded folks and organizations to advance the truth of Southern Heritage,” he said. “There is a need for innovation, creativity, execution, accountability and leadership within our ranks. We will strive to encourage these goals to all involved,” he added.
Founder and past Commander of the General Jubal A. Early camp #556-SCV, Marion Lambert, rose to address the crowd on the goodness of growth in the Southern Heritage community and offered his support for the “camp in forming” by accepting the post of “Acting Commander and Mentor in Chief” until the Benjamin camp is operative with it’s charter.
Immediately following past Commander Lambert’s well received comments, Capt. Walters nominated Early camp member Ron Queen to become the new camp’s Adjutant and called upon Compatriot Queen take the podium. Ron’s words were short and sweet relating to why growth within the SCV is welcomed and accepted the challenges presented to him. Next, early camp member and Florida Division Judge Advocate David McAllister was nominated for the post of camp Commander by Capt Walters.
Compatriot McAllister made his way to the podium and delivered a cohesive and motivating speech. “Ignorance, Indifference and Intolerance. “ After elaborating on the keywords and how we might could address these real issues, Compatriot McAllister closed with there words: “The Judah P. Benjamin Camp is well named, for we hope to emulate his intelligence as Benjamin was known as the "Brains of the Confederacy", and whose skill was in diplomacy. We hope to return to the original vision of education in history, culture and politics; welcome of fellow Southerners into our ranks and encouragement of their participation, active engagement with our fellow citizens openly in the public forum and teamwork with our sisters of the Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter, UDC. Let us believe in Benjamin, and build with Benjamin!”
With the speakers concluded, many men in attendance rose to the challenge by signing up for the camp with Adjutant Queen. After the last man signed, the tally for the day was nearly 20 men as charter members of the “Confederate Cabinet” camp with a goodly amount of funds raised as seed money for the camp and also for it’s initial cause of charity. A better day in Dixie could not be had!