Fall Meeting of The Mayflower Society
On Saturday, November 18, 2017 at noon, KSMD Governor Ben J. Talbott opened the Fall Meeting of the Kentucky Society of Mayflower Descendants by welcoming all the members and guests in attendance. As is usual, the meeting was held in Louisville at the Pendennis Club.
Following opening remarks, Governor Talbott also noted that November 18 just happened to be the 75th birthday of his wife, Sandy, and so the day was very special to him for that reason also. He then gave a special welcome to guest, John Harralson, photographer of the Voice-Tribune, who recently had his own 90th birthday, yet remained today as active as ever. Governor Talbott also gave a special welcome and thanks to Robert R. Silverthorn, Jr., who later gave the main address to the gathered crowd. In Talbott’s later more formal introduction of Bob Silverthorn, he pointed out that not only was Silverthorn a highly decorated Major General of the Army, an accomplished attorney, constitutional legal authority, and dedicated public figure, but he had just recently served for fifteen months in Governor Matt Bevin’s Cabinet as the Inspector General for all Health and Family Services required to be licensed in Kentucky.
Following an Invocation by KSMD Elder and Chaplain Martina Ockerman and the Pledge of Allegiance conducted by KSMD Captain David Hampton, the KSMD Historian and First Deputy Governor Anissa Davis informed the group that the KSMD had once again reached a record high number with the inclusion of the following members:
Gregory Charles Landon (descendant of George Soule)
Susan (Dillard) Lawrence (descendant of William Brewster)
Michael Gilbert La Vean (descendant of Henry Samson)
Teresa Carol Earley (descendant of Edward Fuller)
Joan Marie (Day) Raymont (descendant of Francis Cooke)
Governor Talbott also presented to Fay Charpentier-Ford a very special award which was granted to her at the General Society of Mayflower Descendants at its International Congress held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in mid-September. Because Fay was not able to attend that Congress, Governor Talbott accepted it on her behalf. The award included a Certificate of Commendation and Appreciation and a beautiful gold medal given to her by the
GSMD as a consequence of her terrific service to the GSMD and KSMD, including the remarkable results achieved thereby. To illustrate the importance of this honor granted to Fay Charpentier-Ford, Talbott noted that in a society of almost 129,000 members, the GSMD had awarded only twelve such honors this year. As the former KSMD Governor herself, Fay then awarded a special Certificate to John Ward for his service to the Kentucky Society.
Following a typical delicious Thanksgiving type luncheon, including turkey and dressing, corn pudding, green beans, cranberry sauce, apple pie and ice cream, Robert Silverthorn delivered his address. In doing so, he noted especially the hardships endured by the Mayflower passengers, including their very limited space aboard the ship itself, the extreme cold and violently stormy seas, the lack of fresh fruits, vegetables and other necessities, and the unsanitary conditions resulting in part from the inclusion on the ship of sheep, goats and other animals they would require in America. Silverthorn also discussed the fact that the Mayflower passengers not only included the religiously devout protestants who were coming to America in search of religious liberty and independence, but also others who had been selected for their special skills, but who did not share in the particular religious views of the more puritan pilgrims. To make certain that these two different groups were all treated equally, they entered into the Mayflower Compact which guaranteed equal voting rights and fairness to all the male passengers. This document became a foundational instrument in the development of colonial law towards the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. Silverthorn also noted that in 1620 when the pilgrims came to America there weren’t any immigration laws which controlled them. Later, such laws as existed were adopted by the various states that came into existence. Even the U.S. Constitution did not directly create any immigration law, but only appropriated to the Congress the power and authority "To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization" and "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
Following Silverthorn’s informative and fascinating talk, Governor Talbott presented him with an engraved julep cup showing his name, topic of discussion, date, drawing of the Mayflower ship, and the name of the Society itself. Shortly thereafter the meeting adjourned.
The next meeting of the Kentucky Mayflower Society will be held on April 28, 2018, beginning at 11:30 am, in Lexington, Kentucky at the Idle Hour Country Club.
Stay tuned for further details. Members and guests, be sure to sign up for this event ASAP!