Chenault Family National Association
MINUTES OF THE 67th ANNUAL REUNION
15-17 Jul 2016, Charlotte, NC
Registration for the 67th Annual Chenault Family National Association Reunion commenced at 1:00 p.m., Friday, July 15, 2016, at the Hyatt Place Charlotte/Lake Pointe, Charlotte, NC. The Hospitality Room opened providing hospitality and informal visiting during the reunion, as well as displays covering both family and reunion history, silent auction items, and souvenirs.
Friday Evening, July 15, 2016 ó
The Reception and Informal Get-together convened at 6:30 p.m. with President Margaret Stockton calling the session to order. She led the attendees in a group-reading of The Chenault Prayer. Following the reading of the prayer, she introduced the local host and hostess, William and Cleo Kocik from Hendersonville, NC. They shared information about themselves and how Cleo is related to the Chenault family and then covered a few interesting tidbits of information about Charlotte and some of the entertaining places in the area to visit.
President Stockton made a few announcements about the activities for the weekend and invited Judge Jean Logue and her son/assistant, James Logue, to lead the introduction and photographing of the various family groups in attendance. After all in attendance had been introduced and photographed, President Stockton announced the eveningís entertainment....Bingo. While the urge to visit overcame some, most attendees gathered around the tables in the hospitality area where the fun began. At the conclusion of the evening, there were several happy winners who selected prizes for their victories, but everyone shared in the fun and the wonderful chocolate chunk cookies served warm by the hotel.
President Stockton adjourned the session.
Saturday Morning Annual Business Meeting, July 16, 2016 ó
The annual business meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by President Stockton, who asked her husband, Richard Stockton, to deliver the invocation. She called on Secretary Carolyn Sue Chenault to cover the minutes of the 2015 reunion. Since the minutes were posted on the website for review shortly after the previous reunion, they were not read to the group, but Sue asked if there were any corrections or additions to them. After receiving no requests for changes, a motion was made, seconded, and passed to approve the minutes as written.
President Stockton asked Treasurer Donna Mellick to provide the financial report. She deferred to her assistant, Gus Mellick, who provided a summary of the associationís financial picture. No one requested changes or clarifications to the report, so a motion to accept the report as presented was made, seconded and approved.
President Stockton asked for other officer and committee reports. Judge Jean Chenault Logue, who chairs the Bylaws Committee, said the Bylaws Committee had nothing to report. Secretary/historian Sue Chenault, who chairs the Genealogy Committee and serves as Webmaster for the website, reported that several inquiries for research guidance had come through the website, but all were handled by referring individuals to the 2008 Red Book. As a result, a number of the books have been sold over the last few months.
The Site Selection Committee report was handled by Secretary Sue Chenault since the committee chair is vacant and she is the person who has been negotiating the agreement with the hotels and others for reunion arrangements. She explained why accommodations could not be arranged in Asheville and ultimately made in Charlotte. As pointed out last year, she said that the increasingly low attendance means the association has to cover more of the expenses from its reserves since registration income will not cover them. The minimum attendance commitment to hotels makes it almost impossible to negotiate reasonable room rates and catering fees. She also reported that Hyatt Place personnel had suggested that the association might be able to arrange a more cost-effective arrangement through the national marketing group for their hotel if the association chose to use Hyatt Place hotels as their choice each year in the future. Research into possible sites for the next reunion as reflected on the Site Survey last year shows that there is a Hyatt Place hotel in Chattanooga and in Nashville. At this point, Judge Jean Logue proposed taking the 2017 reunion to Richmond, KY. She pointed out that she is now in a better position to work in that area to arrange accommodations for the reunion and believes that the nearby sites pertinent to family history will be a "draw" to potential attendees. She also suggested that the association become more visible on social media beyond the website and the limited Facebook appearance to appeal to a broader number of the younger generations. She agreed to chair a group dedicated to expanding this coverage. The motion was made, seconded, and passed to have the 2017 reunion in Richmond.
Luise deVarona Chenault, co-chair of the Nominating Committee presented a slate of candidates for officers including Judge Jean Chenault Logue for President, Elizabeth Ann "Libby" Chenault for First VP, Carolyn Sue Chenault for Secretary, and Donna Chenault Mellick for Treasurer. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to elect this slate of officers for the 2016-17 term.
No other committees had reports. President Stockton asked for any additional new business, and none was proposed. President Stockton adjourned the meeting.
Saturday Morning Session, July 16, 2016---
Following a brief break after the business meeting, the general session reconvened with President Stockton presiding. She made a few announcements, and asked Sue Chenault to update the group regarding the dinner plans for Saturday evening. Secretary Sue Chenault provided driving directions to the restaurant where the dinner would be held. She also explained that due to the low number of attendees, the arrangements for the menu had been changed to include more choices than were given in the registration packets. While the choices from the packet would still be available if anyone chose them, there would be other choices available including a beef entree.
President Stockton announced the program for the morning would be presented by secretary/historian Sue Chenault. Ms. Chenault stated that in her work as historian, she discovered a quite remarkable document in one of the files passed to her by Belle Montgomery Chenault. It is a copy of several hand-written pages from a journal kept by the maternal-grandfather of General Claire Chennault, and details the hardships of his trip from Mississippi to Louisiana in 1865 to establish a new home for his children after the death of his first wife. It also covers the first couple of months in the area of Louisiana where he settled including his first meetings with the woman who would become his wife and give birth to the baby girl who would become the mother of the General. She shared portions of the journal from the transcript she had prepared from the pages. Many of the excerpts were humorous, but all conveyed the manís determination and the values he possessed.
President Stockton adjourned the session after reminding attendees of the 7:00 p.m. dinner.
Annual Banquet and Installation of Officers,
Saturday Dinner, July 16, 2016---
The dinner was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by President Stockton. Rev. Nan Cushing offered a prayer of thanks. After dinner, President Stockton introduced other officers in attendance. She also introduced those who had joined the group since the previous sessions, and the appropriate photographs were taken.
President Stockton began the program for the evening by asking Rev. Cushing to present the 2016 Memorial Honor Roll. The reading of the names of those whose memory we honor on this occasion was followed by a memorial service responsive reading by Rev. Cushing.
A tribute to descendants of Estienne Cheneau (Stephen Chenault) who are recipients of military awards and commendations was presented by Judge Jean Logue. The names of the sixteen individuals who have been identified appeared in the program and were recognized. She asked her dad, Judge James Chenault, to share the story of Joe Prewitt Chenault, his brother, who was awarded the Purple Heart, and how the family responded. Others in the audience who shared their thoughts about their family member recognized included Donna Mellick regarding her dad, Charles Joseph Chenault, who also received a Purple Heart, and Frank Thurman regarding his half-brother, Theodore Gilliam, the recipient of two Bronze Stars.
President Stockton announced the passing of the bread basket. The results of the Silent Auction bids and candy counting guesses were announced by Secretary Carolyn Sue Chenault. President Stockton thanked everyone for their generosity.
Certificates of appreciation were presented by President Stockton to all officers and committee chair persons in attendance. Following the presentation, incoming officers as reflected by the voting in the business meeting were assembled before attendees, and the oath of office was administered by Judge Jean Logue.
The Presidentís plaque was presented to President Stockton by Secretary Carolyn Sue Chenault. In-coming President Jean Chenault Logue offered a few remarks of her own encouraging everyone to attend in 2017 in Richmond, KY. The Mellicks gave the results of the bread basket and thanked everyone.
President Logue adjourned the session until the third weekend of July 2017.
Carolyn Sue Chenault