VFP TOM STURTEVANT CHAPTER MINUTES
July 27, 2017, Brunswick, Maine
Richard opened meeting at 7:05
Members present: Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Dan Ellis, John Morris, Clarence Smith, Martha Morrison, Peter Morgan, Carl Smith, Dave Crowley, Suzanne Hedrick, Peter Woodruff, Peggy Akers, Bud Buzzell, Regis Tremblay, Robin Spencer, Don Kimball, Doug Rawlings
Meeting opened by Richard Clement at 7PM
Dan read a poem by Jay Wenk, “Thank You For Your Service”. The poem was about U.S. veteran suicides and won first prize in the 2017 Heroes’ Voices National Veterans Poetry Contest.
Cards were signed in memory of Mary Sturtevant and Loukie Lofchie and also one for Gerry Kampke.
Secretary’s report for the June meeting (Peggy Akers) was accepted as written
Treasurer’s report by Dan. Total assets as of 7/27/2017 were $7,124.66. This was an increase of $220.57 0ver the previous month.
Membership report by Dan. Total membership is 104, with 70 of 79 regular members currently paid-up.
Maine Share report by Richard. Maine Share is asking for input from employees of organizations and companies in an effort to increase participation in Maine Share.
Regis reported that he is planning two more tours, in September and October, to promote his film “Thirty Seconds to Midnight”. The film continues to generate interest throughout the country and the world.
Doug distributed copies of the summer 2017 issue of “Peace in Our Times” and reported that an updated version of the Vietnam “Full Disclosure” issue will be forthcoming.
Doug reported on the calendar project. The calendar is finished and has been printed. The cost of $1350 has been met, primarily with donations from VFP and the Zinn Fund, and copies will be available at the Brunswick Peace Fair, Common Ground Fair, and the VFP convention, as well as for general distribution.
Dan was awarded $500 by the chapter in appreciation for his work on the calendar.
Richard again expressed his desire to step down as chapter president. Discussion was held as to the possibility of splitting the position among two or three people. It is hoped that new leadership can be in place by the end of the year.
Peggy volunteered to replace Gerry Kamke on the board of directors until the end of 2018.
Richard asked for volunteers for our booth at the Brunswick Peace Fair on August 5th. Several members present did so.
Richard also asked for volunteers for the Common Ground Fair on September 22-24. Again, there were several volunteers and the schedule will be finalized at the August meeting.
Members are encouraged to participate in the protest of the Blue Angels Air Show at the Brunswick Airport from 9am to noon on Saturday, August 26th. REAL ANGELS DON’T DROP BOMBS!
A meeting to continue planning for the October 13-21 Maine Peace Walk will be held at Bruce Gagnon’s house on Center Street in Bath immediately after the air show protest. All are welcome.
Doug will attend the VFP National Convention from August 9-13 in Chicago
Maine Public is hosting a series of three screenings of Ken Burns’ documentary film on the Vietnam War. The first, on Aug. 22nd in Damariscotta, is sold out but tickets are still available for Aug. 24th in Portland and Aug. 29th in Bangor. To order,go on line to mainepublic.org and click on events. The film will be followed by a discussion.
Bruce Gagnon will speak in Deer Isle on Thursday, Aug. 3 on the topic of weapons in space.
A documentary film “Almost Sunrise” about veterans will be shown at the Portland Public Library at 6:30pm on Aug. 31. For more info go to pbs.org/pov
The next court appearance for the “Aegis Nine” will be at 8:30am on Wed., Aug. 23rd at the District Court in West Bath. (New Meadows Road).This is a motions hearing (dismissal of charges possible but not probable). Try to be there if you can.
Civil disobedience action is currently being considered for the next “christening” at BIW A large number of participants would make a large impact and a dozen or so activists have already either committed or expressed strong interest in taking part. If you are considering joining the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org. A firm commitment is not necessary at this time.
Peggy attended the 7th Annual Conference of the Maine Military and Community Network on July 20 in Augusta. She was a panel member but as such found the experience, due to the militaristic tone of the event, to be somewhat unpleasant and discouraging.
Peter (Morgan ) and John represented VFP at the Old Hallowell Parade on July 15. The entire peace contingent numbered about fifteen.
Peter (Morgan) represented VFP at the Penobscot River Sovereignty Rally in Bangor on July 16. His presence was peripheral but nevertheless significant.
VFP members are also present at the Women in Black weekly vigils in Augusta, Farmington, and Portland.
Doug gave out copies of two of his poems, “The Girl in the Picture” (for Phan Thi Kim Phuc) and “Unexploded Ordnance” (for VFP member Chuck Searcy), both of whom have worked tirelessly for years to bring about reconciliation and make amends for the atrocities perpetrated during the Vietnam War.
The meeting was adjourned at 9pm after a brief and informal discussion of issues, some local, some regional, some national and some international, that are currently facing us as members of the race we call human.
The next meeting will be Aug.31 in Augusta. Robin will secure the venue.