Brunswick Senior Center
President Doug Rawlings called the meeting to order at 7:00pm with 27 present. The Recognition Ceremony for Honorary Member was followed by a personal statement by Maria Holt, the recipient. She spoke eloquently of her lifetime commitment to Peace.
Minutes were distributed by the Secretary Pro Tem. The Treasurer reported recent donations and dues, many resulting from the distribution of our new membership application form, with a balance of $3554.19.
Of 60 participating groups, VFP placed 3rd with its disp1ay of over 600 miniature crosses in the Memorial Day Parade (May 31) in Brunswick. Twenty five VFP members were present as President Rawlings and VFP member Richard Clement received the award.
Jack Bussell and Bruce Gagnon reported on the Flag Day (June 14) Ceremony in Monument Square. Portland. It took an hour and a half to read the names of the 700+ names of members of our armed forces killed in the Iraq II war. The miniature crosses were also displayed. Passers by stopped to listen; approximately 57 stayed for the entire memorial.
Approximately 140 participated in a Peace demonstration June 19 in Eliot. Maine. Most Maine VFP’ers were otherwise engaged or attending the Peace Conference in Orono on that date. See www. Americans-who-tell-the-Truth.org – for further details on the demonstration in Eliot and vfpmaine.org for the text of the talk by our Treasurer at the UMO Peace Conference. The title is “Passion & Peace” by Arthur Whitman (transcribed by VFP’er Katherine Patrick of Wells – she makes good cookies, too). Other Maine VFP speakers were Dud Hendrick (moderator), Bruce Gagnon (Nuclear weapons in Space), Michael UhI (Editor and writer for the VFP National News Letter) and Tom Sturtevant (counter-recruiting in Maine Schools). *
National VFP Convention (July 23, 24, 25): Maine VFP members were urged to attend and participate in Work Shops and meet key speakers (one of whom is Bobby Mueller, a veteran wounded in Vietnam -a dynamic speaker for VFP & Peace.)
VOTED: $100 was designated for long-time VFP member Miles Freeman of Ogunquit so that he might attend the Convention. Tom Sturtevant and Paul Brailsford also contributed to the fund. Recognizing that VFP funds are limited,
a request was made for the names of other VFP members experiencing financial difficulty in attending.
Tom Sturtevant presented a first-draft of the counter-recruitment flyer for use in Maine Schools. Plans include mailing the brochure to Guidance Counselors and others so that the option to military service is more visible. Final copy to be approved by the Board. It was suggested that Questions for Students (questions that should be asked of any recruitment Officer) be drafted, possibly to accompany the flyer.
Hiroshima Day (August 6 & August 12): Congress Street in Portland will be shut down to thru traffic between State and High Streets. Activities will include a vigil and march by Women in Black beginning at High Street on the 6th and the folding of 1000 paper cranes for distribution
on August 7 & 8.
VFP-Family Peace Picnic at the home of Dud Hendrick in Deer Isle: The available weekend is September 18 & 19. By consensus the 18th was selected with Sunday the 19th a rain date. The Treasurer will endeavor to obtain a tent from the E. Auburn Community Unit. VFP participants are asked to bring favorite main dishes, salads, and desserts. The Hendricks will be reimbursed for other items as required (grill, tables, drinks…)
Common Ground Country Fair. Unity (September 24, 25, 26): Volunteers will be needed to set up and staff a corner table.
Bruce Gagnon outlined the October 2 & 3 weekend plans for – Worldwide demonstration for Keep Space for Peace – with Global Network and co-sponsors VFP and Peace Action Maine. Churches are encouraged to initiate public discussion the Morality of America’s Engagement in a Long-term War. This is the birthday (October 2. 1869) of Mohandas Gandhi, a date to be celebrated by an action for Peace rather than re-starting Star Wars.
October 11 & 12 Vigil and lunch at the United Church of Christ in Bath. A public display is also planned.
The Children’s Rescue Project was opened for general discussion. Twenty-six children (six in Maine) were brought to the U.S. for medical treatment in 1996-97. It is necessary to determine the need in the present situation and be sure that the UN and the 10M (International Office of Migration) are committed to the project. Support of a Peace Village was mentioned. and it was noted that Jerry Genesio has agreed to look into these issues. Following discussion the subject was tabled.
The Director of Maine Share is leaving mid-July for a new position. and a search for a new Director is planned. Tom Sturtevant praised the work of the outgoing director. Bob McElwain (our recently appointed representative on the Maine Share Board) and Jack Bussell and Tom Sturtevant (past representatives) expect to attend a June 30th meeting. A straw vote supported the appointment of the current second in command, Hildi Lipsom, as Director.
November 11th Veterans Day Parade & VFP participation. We have been participating since 1991. November 13 – Demonstration at the launch of another Aegis Destroyer. Bath Iron Works.
VFP/Maine members were reminded that as of September 1. 2004 annual dues will be $15: with National, a total of $40. 2005 dues may be paid in advance at that time.
A volunteer member is needed to oversee the inventory & sale of VFP supplies (arm bands, hats, T-shirts, pins, etc.)
The next meeting will be at the Peace &: Justice Center in Portland. August 26 at 7:00pm.
Arthur Whitman, Secretary pro tem