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The Hingham Veterans Council
The following represents the meeting of The Hingham Veterans Council held, Thursday, October 6, 2011 at the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall and was called to order at 1936 hours.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the meeting was called to order by Keith Jermyn, The Town of Hingham's Veterans Agent, with the following committee members present: J. Claypoole, A. McCawley, S. McMillan, W. Ramsey, A. Smith, L. St. Laurent, E. Sofis The chairman effected excused absences for the following committee members: B. Beal and H. Messmer. M. Demenna and J. McHugh were absent at the time of roll call, but arrived prior to end of business. There is a two vacancy status on the Council. This is a 15 member Board by statute.
The minutes, as sent by email, were read from the last meeting and a motion was made to approve, seconded, and the minutes were then accepted as submitted.
Treasurer M. Demenna was an absentee. The Chair announced that $485.20 was collected from the check off box in the Town's tax collection system plus the Veterans in need fund balance totals $1196.18. The Veteran's Benefit Fund balance is $3849.13.
The Blue Star Report is a continuing successful program and there are two (2) outstanding to be handed out which were listed in The Hingham Journal.
The Veterans Day event will be Friday 11/11/11 and the Speaker is Carolyn Mason Wholley. The program will be similar to past events with the usual participants: Police, High school students and the Veteran Posts. The plan is to have the ceremony first inside the Town Hall Auditorium and then recess to a brief outside segment as successfully done last year.
The National POW/MIA Recognition Day was coordinated by S. McMillan on Friday, September 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm with a group of Veterans and family members present. A picture and article appeared the Hingham Journal; it was a beautifully observed ceremony.
J. Claypoole reported the latest on the FBMS Veterans Home in Hingham: The Old House was razed leaving the lot empty. The funding is with a bridge loan and proceeding as planned.
The Thomas name will not be considered any further since Mrs. Thomas does not wish to have it used for the home. There will be another appropriate memory of the Thomas name somewhere else in Hingham. A naming committee will be composed of J. Claypoole, B. Ramsey and E. Sofis.
The Hingham and Scituate merger of the Dept. Veterans' Services is a work in progress. The elected officers by the Council must be completed by May 2012 and is also a work in progress.
The Warrant Articles must be in the Warrant for May 2012 and the changes are pending reviews.
The POW Excise Tax Exemption, MGL Ch.60A, s.1 is pending.
The Property Tax Exemption, Local Option, Clause 56, 2010 Municipal relief Act is pending.
The former Pledge of Allegiance Article is not ready, and may best be served as a Letter of Recommendation from this Appointed Board to all others.
Reported from the Selectman's Office is the fact that M. Demenna and R. Beal have been reappointed for 3 years to The Hingham Veterans Council.
There continues a 2 person vacancy of The Veterans Council Membership and is a work in progress.
The DAV Day was announced for Sunday, December 4, 2011 and is a work in progress.
Service Academy Information Night was held Wednesday, October 5, 2011 announced by Congressman Bill Keating for interested High School Students.
The Sweeney Award will be held Thursday, December 15, 2011 on the University of Massachusetts Campus.
The Veteran of the Year nomination and vote was taken. Steve Kelsch was unanimously voted to be recipient for 2011.
A Memorial Ceremony, at Fort Hill Cemetery, on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 1pm will be held for the 140th birthday of Seaman Herbert Lewis Foss (1871-1937). He is Hingham's only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and served in the U.S. Navy during the Spanish American War. The ceremony will include a Parade of Colors with the Hingham Police Department, participation by The American Legion Post #120 and The Veterans of Foreign Wars #6053, Family guests and Members of the Old Colony Lodge, A.F. & A.M. in honor of their fraternal Brother Foss. Senator R. Hedlund and Representative G. Bradley are expected to be present also.
The President's Fitness Challenge (PFC) will be held at 8:30am Sunday, October 9, 2011 at the rear area of Town Hall. As usual, there will be various events, and then beverages plus other refreshments. Volunteers are needed and encourage joining in to continue this important and successful youth activity.
The US Navy's 236th Anniversary will be celebrated on Saturday, October 15th 2011 and J. Claypoole will coordinate the event at Dock House in Bare Cove Park. The Color Guard is personnel from Navy Operational Support Center in Quincy. Navy Captain A. McCauley will be at West Point that day and will regrettably not be present.
The Bare Cove Park celebrates its 36th birthday on Saturday, October 15, 2011. There will be refreshments and admission is free.
The meeting was adjourned, at 2052 hours.
Ernest C. Sofis, Secretary
October 21, 2011