2014 Henshaw Chapter Annual Meeting

 

The Colonel William Henshaw Chapter of MASSAR held its annual meeting at “The Oaks” in Worcester on December 7, 2014.  Once again, the ladies of The Colonel Timothy Bigelow DAR Chapter were our gracious hosts.  During our meeting, we held our officers election.  When the meeting was over, everyone enjoyed a terrific luncheon and we were all entertained by renowned Abigail Adams reenactor, Ms. Patricia Bridgman, who did a tremendous job bringing to life one of American history’s most beloved first ladies.  The following is a report of the minutes of our annual meeting, as well as results of the election.

Col. Henshaw Annual Meeting 2014

Col. Henshaw Annual Meeting 2014.  Top Row – Verne Thayer, Steve Perkins, Allan Van Wert.  Seated – Patricia Bridgman and Wesley H. Wratchford  

 

December 7, 2014 – Col. William Henshaw Annual Meeting

Opening

President Wratchford called to order the 2014 meeting of the Colonel William Henshaw Chapter.  With Father Peter Preble absent, Mr. Wratchford acted as Chaplain & offered the Invocation.  Wes specifically called for a prayer for our leaders.  A moment of silence was also called in remembrance of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.   Verne Thayer then led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.  The SAR Pledge was led by Allan Van Wert.

 

Meeting

Our last “official” meeting was in Sturbridge at the Publick House in March 2014.  That meeting was a fairly informal gathering, with no official business conducted and no minutes; therefore the President suggested we move to the Officer’s reports.

 

President’s Report – Principal events involving the Colonel William Henshaw Chapter during 2014:

Our first event was the “Marching Forward” meeting in Sturbridge on March 8, at the Publick House Inn.  The event was well attended by many compatriots and guests; totaling approximately 50.  We also enjoyed the company of many members of the Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter DAR, and “George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest” finalists from Worcester’s South High Community School.  Our guest speaker was Robert Briere, President of the Sturbridge Historical Society.  The Publick House is a great historic venue and they did a fantastic job taking care of us.

On May 10, several members of MASSAR’s Color Guard, including a large contingent from the Col. Henshaw Chapter, participated in Grafton History Day at the invitation of the Grafton Historical Society.  President Wratchford recognized Verne Thayer for his efforts in setting up the Grafton History Day event.

The Col. William Henshaw Chapter presented the SAR Flag Certificate to VCA Northborough Animal Hospital on May 16.

During the spring of 2014; President Wratchford had the pleasure and privilege to personally present awards to many young men and women participating in local ROTC programs.  Among these were Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Oxford High School; Burncoat High School; and North High School in Worcester.  President Wratchford made these presentations in uniform; and the recipients and administrators were very appreciative of that, and of our presence there.  Wes also had the privilege to present an Eagle Scout Award at a Court of Honor to a very inspiring young man, Daniel Fitzgerald of Northborough, who has overcome many difficult personal challenges to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  It was an honor to spend time with him and his family.

Wes mentioned that any compatriot is more than welcome to assist in presenting these awards.  It is a very rewarding experience, meeting these students and their families, and the faculty that are part of these programs.  They appreciate what we do, what we represent, and everyone is encouraged to become involved.  There are quite a few schools who would love to have us participate, and we need compatriots to step up and represent the SAR.

The Col. Henshaw Chapter picnic was held on July 20 at Rutland State Park.  The event was its usual success, and enjoyed by many.  As always, it takes many individuals to help plan and put this event on, and their contributions are very much appreciated.  Verne Thayer and Brent Andersen were recognized for their efforts and assistance.

The Chapter and Color Guard had representation at the Colonial Faire at the Wayside Inn – Sudbury by Verne Thayer on September 27th.  Verne and Liz Arnow, from the DAR (and Sudbury Ancients), met with the public and distributed about 70 pamphlets each (140 total); describing their respective SAR and DAR organizations.

Also in September, The Henshaw Chapter made up the majority of the Col. Henry Knox Continental Artillery Regiment at a 9/11 Tribute banquet called “Thanks to Yanks” held in Milford, MA.  It was an honor to be in the company of so many men and women who have served our country; to hear their stories, and share in the remembrance of the events of that tragic day on September 11, 2001.  Participants included Verne Thayer; Wesley H. Wratchford; Allan Van Wert; and Commander Jack Cunningham.

Verne reported he will also be doing a clothing drive with his Milford veterans contact, Mike Sheehan, from the “Thanks to Yanks” program.  We’re looking forward to more information on that event when it becomes available, so that we may lend our efforts.

On October 25, in Leicester, the Chapter and CG held a grave marking ceremony for Col. William Henshaw.  We were honored by the participation of several Guardsmen from MASSAR’s CG, members of American Legion Cherry Valley Post 443, local dignitaries, members of the public, and Mr. and Mrs. Ken Starbard who were on hand to help us honor Ken’s 3rd Great Grandfather and Revolutionary War hero, Col. William Henshaw.

Reports or Comments by other Chapter Officers: 

Treasurer Steve Perkins offered a report on the chapter’s financials.  Secretary Allan Van Wert suggested we send out reminder post cards in order to improve Chapter attendance.  Allan Van Wert typed these minutes to be included in the official 2014 Report.  CG Commander Allan Van Wert, reported on the great success of 1774 Worcester Revolution held on Sept. 7, 2014.  A scaled down version of 1774 Worcester Revolution is to be held on October 4, 2015.  Other CG activities are planned, with Sudbury Militia providing musket training for those interested in joining the squad.

Awards Chair, Verne Thayer, has been doing a great job in representing the SAR at several Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremonies.  The Membership Chair and past Genealogy Chair were not in attendance, and had no report.

New members and guests were introduced; with new member Gerald Legueux, of Chester Street, Worcester, who’s been involved with a career in Web Design joining the SAR ranks in succession of his son Rick.

Unfinished business: The T-shirt Fundraiser for 2016 Congress has yielded an $81.00 profit to date. A few shirts remain for sale, but are of smaller sizes.

New business – Wes announced the names of nominees for office of the Colonel William Henshaw Chapter for 2015.  Chapter Officers include: 

President – Wesley H. Wratchford

First Vice President – Brent Andersen

Vice President – Douglas Harris

Secretary – Allan Van Wert

Treasurer – Stephen G. Perkins

Membership Chair – William Higgins

Awards & Medals Chair – Verne Thayer

Chaplain – Father Peter Preble

Genealogy Chairs – Richard Pierce and Rick Legeaux

 

There were no further nominees from the floor.  The record showed that the slate was voted on, and passed unanimously.  Secretary Allan Van Wert conducted the installation ceremony of the newly designated officers at the meeting.

 

Additional New Business Discussed:

Steve Perkins suggested the Henshaw Chapter create a “Log of Speakers”, so the DAR, SAR, or whomever has access to excellent programs.  Wes agreed that this is a great idea.  The genealogy and new member discussion centered on Rick Lagueux having experience with “Ancestry.com”, and has a .pdf file to start any research process.  There was a suggestion that Rick call Richard Pierce – current and past Genealogy Chair, so both can work together in helping potential new members find qualifying ancestors; plus help existing members research “Supplemental Ancestors”.

Closing of Col. Henshaw Chapter meeting:

President Wes Wratchford thanked all of the members and guests for attending, adding, “Each of you has an important role to play in your chapter and its success.  I hope as we go forward that each of us is mindful to do our best to honor our patriot ancestors by continuing the work they began as best we can.”

SAR Recessional was led by V.P., Brent Anderson

Benediction was by President Wratchford

Introduction of the speaker or program. – After the Col. Henshaw meeting was adjourned, we joined the DAR upstairs in the meeting room at The Oaks for a performance by Patricia Bridgman, who is a professional Abigail Adams re-enactor. Wes learned of Ms. Bridgman while doing research for chapter events.  Ms. Bridgman did a wonderful job bringing to life Mrs. Adams in her one-woman show and took Q&A from the audience afterward.

 

 

 

Colonel Henshaw Remembered

On the 25th of October, 2014, the Col. William Henshaw Chapter of the Massachusetts Society Sons of the American Revolution (MASSAR) hosted a ceremony at Rawson Brook Burial Ground to honor the life of its namesake and one of Leicester, Massachusetts best known Patriots – Colonel William Henshaw.

The memorial, led by chapter President Wesley H. Wratchford, featured several Guardsmen from MASSAR’s Colonel Henry Knox Continental Artillery Regiment and members of American Legion Cherry Valley Post 443.  They marched into the cemetery, flags blowing in the wind, and presented an impressive musket volley.  Father Peter Preble, the chapter’s Chaplain, delivered the invocation.  Local residents also attended to pay tribute to Col. Henshaw.

Honored guests included Chairman of the Leicester Board of Selectmen, Mr. Thomas Buckley, Chairman of the Leicester Historical Commission, Mr. Don Lennerton, and President of the Leicester Historical Society, Ms. Diane Calvano.

Our special guest was MASSAR Compatriot and WWII veteran Kenneth Starbard, who is a 3rd Great Grandson of William Henshaw.

Who was Colonel Henshaw, you may ask?  William Henshaw (1736-1820) was a family man, Leicester resident and a vigorous participant in the political and military activities leading up to the American Revolutionary War.  His military career began in the local militia company in 1759 and lasted nearly 20 years.  He was noted for helping plan the defense of Massachusetts against British forces by raising seven regiments from Worcester County, “ready to act at a minute’s warning”, and originating the concept of the “Minute Men”.

Henshaw’s surviving correspondence from before and during the Revolution provides many details about grievances and actions against British authorities.  In an entry in October 1775, just six months after the events at Lexington and Concord, Henshaw wrote:  “The times & the importance of the great cause we are engaged in allows no room for hesitation and delay.  When Life, Liberty & Property are at stake, When our Country is in Danger of being a Melancholy scene of Bloodshed & desolation – When our Towns are laid in ashes and innocent Women & Children driven from their peaceful Habitations, it little becomes the Character of a Soldier to shrink from Danger.”

During the Revolution, Col. Henshaw saw action during engagements at Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, Princeton and Morristown, before retiring from service in February 1777.  He later became active in local politics, serving as a justice of the peace in Leicester and as a Massachusetts State Representative.  He died on February 21, 1820.

At the memorial, details of Henshaw’s service to his country were recounted by many of those in attendance.  Compatriot Kenneth Starbard unveiled a family keepsake; a framed 1936 full-page Worcester Telegram newspaper article describing Henshaw’s life.  As remembrances concluded, Father Preble offered the benediction and the Honor Guard fired another musket volley before retiring the colors – a fitting final salute to a local hero and American Patriot.

Honor Guard fires a musket salute at the opening of the Henshaw Ceremony

Honor Guard fires a musket salute at the opening of the Henshaw Ceremony

Colonel Henshaw's 3rd Great Grandson, Compatriot Ken Starbard displays a family keepsake with Chapter President Wesley H. Wratchford

Colonel Henshaw’s 3rd Great Grandson, Compatriot Ken Starbard displays a family keepsake with Chapter President Wesley H. Wratchford

The Gravesite of Colonel William Henshaw

                      Gravesite of Colonel William Henshaw

Remembering the life of Henshaw.  L-R - Thomas Buckley, Diane Calvano, Ken Starbard, Wesley H. Wratchford and Don Lennerton

Remembering the life of Henshaw. L-R – Thomas Buckley, Diane Calvano, Ken Starbard, Wesley H. Wratchford and Don Lennerton

Remembering Colonel William Henshaw. (Back Row) Stephen Perkins, Joseph Gauthier, Verne Thayer, Wesley H. Wratchford, Kenneth Starbard, Charles Kingsbury, Allan Van Wert, David Conkling, Father Peter Preble. (Front Row)   Andrew McCue, Patrick McKeon, Bruce Swett, Jon Clark, Jeff Wood, Don Lennerton

Remembering Colonel William Henshaw.
(Back Row)
Stephen Perkins, Joseph Gauthier, Verne Thayer, Wesley H. Wratchford, Kenneth Starbard, Charles Kingsbury, Allan Van Wert, David Conkling, Father Peter Preble.
(Front Row)
Andrew McCue, Patrick McKeon, Bruce Swett, Jon Clark, Jeff Wood, Don Lennerton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invitation to Ceremony at the Grave of Col. William Henshaw

Greetings Compatriot!

You and your family are invited to join us as we honor the Revolutionary War Patriot for whom our chapter is named, Colonel William Henshaw.

At 11 a.m., Saturday, October 25, 2014, we will gather at the grave of Col. Henshaw at Rawson Brook Burial Ground in Leicester, MA, for a special ceremony to remember Col. Henshaw’s life and contributions in helping establish our freedom.  Members from the Col. Henry Knox Continental Artillery Regiment of MASSAR will present the colors and fire a musket salute.

Compatriot Kenneth Starbard, who is a 3rd Great Grandson of Col. Henshaw and a Henshaw Chapter member, will be with us to present a family heirloom as a gift to the Leicester Historical Society at the ceremony.  The Leicester Historical Society has also graciously invited us to enjoy a light lunch and refreshments afterward.

Rawson Brook Burial Ground is located on Main St. (Route 9) in Leicester, just 6 miles west of Worcester.  We hope you will join us for this commemoration as it has been 10 years since the SAR formally gathered at Col. Henshaw’s resting place.  Please let me know at your earliest convenience if you plan to attend so that the Leicester Historical Society will have an idea of how many of us to expect.  Thank you.

Libertas et Patria

Wesley H. Wratchford

President Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter 

MASSAR   

ma.compatriot@yahoo.com                                                                                                                              

 

MASSAR Color Guard honored to participate at local 9/11 tribute

On September 11, 2014, “Thanks To Yanks”, a non-profit organization, hosted their 8th annual 9/11 Tribute Dinner to “Remember, Respect and Revere” our military men and women, veterans and their families, first responders, and all whose lives were deeply impacted by 9/11.

The event took place this year at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milford, MA and was attended by over 350 people.  Those in attendance included veterans of all ages, some having served during WWII, Korea and Vietnam, as well as military members who are currently serving.  Also in attendance were many Gold Star and Blue Star families, and several local dignitaries.

Colors were presented by members from Col. Henry Knox’s Continental Artillery Regiment of MASSAR.  Forming the Color Guard that evening were Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter President, Wesley H. Wratchford, Past President Verne Thayer, Secretary Allan Van Wert and MASSAR Color Guard Commander, John Cunningham.

The Worcester Civil Air Patrol Cadets conducted the POW/MIA table ceremony, and the Patriot Guard Riders stood at attention with their flag line, while the Rhode Island Highlanders Bag Pipers welcomed guests.

The mission of Thanks To Yanks is to support our military, our veterans and their families. For more information or to get involved with the organization, visit www.thankstoyanks.org You can also “like” them on Face Book.

Thanks To Yanks 2014Knox CG - Thanks to Yanks 2014Thanks to Yanks 2014

Allan Van Wert, Wesley H. Wratchford, Verne Thayer and Jack Cunningham

Allan Van Wert, Wesley H. Wratchford, Verne Thayer and Jack Cunningham

Colonial Faire and National Muster of Fyfes and Drums – September 27

Hello Compatriots!

Summer is winding down quickly, but there are still plenty of family friendly events to look forward to.  One such event is the Colonial Faire and National Muster of Fyfes and Drums at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn located in Sudbury, MA.   http://www.wayside.org/event/colonial-faire-and-muster-fyfe-drum-companies

On Saturday September 27, 10:00am to 6:00pm (Parade begins at 11:45 A.M.) the late 18th century will come alive on the fields by the Wayside Inn. This annual Colonial Faire and Muster of Fyfe and Drum is hosted by the Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute and the Sudbury Ancient Fyfe and Drum Companie.

Throughout the day, there will be living history demonstrations of life in colonial New England and vendors selling their wares and refreshments. Admission, including entry in raffle for a gift certificate to the Wayside Inn, is $2 per adult, children get in free.

For a look at a performance by the Middlesex County Volunteers at a previous Colonial Faire, click here.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK-QXsRDbdo

We look forward to seeing you there!

Wesley H. Wratchford
President, Col. William Henshaw Chapter
Massachusetts Society
Sons of the American Revolution

 

2014 Chapter Picnic A Hit!

The weather was perfect.  The conversations lively.  The grill was sizzling.  And if you missed it, well, I suppose there’s always next year.  The 2014 Henshaw Chapter Picnic is now over, but we’ll look back on this afternoon and add it to the long list of enjoyable moments in our chapter’s history.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the company of their compatriots.  And it’s particularly nice when our wives accompany us.  Not only do they liven things up and add so much to the occasion, they also do a great job of keeping the guys from getting into trouble.  Not that we didn’t try anyway.

“Best hamburger I’ve ever had”.  That was the compliment offered by the lovely wife of one of our compatriots.  With that kind of praise, I insist the ladies attend all of our events.

There was also a special presentation.  Compatriot Kenneth Starbard donated a newspaper article his grandmother took from the Worcester Telegram in 1936 about Ken’s 3rd Great Grandfather and the namesake of our chapter, Col. William Henshaw.  Ken said he would donate it on the condition we have it framed and preserved for posterity.  I assured him we would take excellent care of it.  Thank you, Ken.

Kenneth Starbard presents chapter President Wesley Wratchford with a 1936 Worcester Telegram article about Col. William Henshaw.

Kenneth Starbard presents chapter President Wesley Wratchford with a 1936 Worcester Telegram article about Col. William Henshaw.

Many, many thanks to everyone who joined us.  Special thanks to Sharon Wratchford and Barbara Thayer for their hard work preparing and cleaning up.  Thanks to Vern Thayer and chapter VP Brent Andersen for helping with supplies and to Brent for helping me with the grill.  Also thanks to everyone who brought a dish, dessert or drink.  You all made the day a whole lot of fun!

Chapter VP Brent Andersen takes a turn with the burgers & dogs.

Chapter VP Brent Andersen takes a turn with the burgers & dogs.

Everyone having fun at the 2014 Henshaw Picnic

Everyone having fun at the 2014 Henshaw Picnic

We’ll see you at the 2015 Col. Henshaw Chapter Picnic in Rutland next July!!!

Libertas Et Patria

Wesley H. Wratchford

Canceled – The Great American Summer Baseball Outing

Update:  Canceled – The Great American Summer Baseball Outing

 

baseball

 

 

 

 

Compatriots,

Due to our apparent inability to reach a minimum number of participants for this Henshaw sponsored MASSAR event, it is with much regret that I announce its cancellation.  It is my hope that we will be able to organize this with more success at another time.  Mostly, I want to thank those individuals who demonstrated their commitment.  Your support for your chapter and the ideals of the SAR is greatly appreciated.

Libertas Et Patria

Wesley H. Wratchford

                

 

 

Time for the 2014 Chapter Picnic!

Greetings Compatriots!

It’s time again for the annual Col. William Henshaw Chapter Picnic!

cookout time!

Where:  Rutland State Park – at the Pavillion.  (ask a Ranger at the gate if you need directions)  http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-central/rutland-state-park.html

When:  Sunday July 20, 2014

Time:  1:00 P.M.

Cost:  It’s FREE!

You can RSVP to me at ma.compatriot@yahoo.com.  This is not a meeting.  As we’ve done before, this is a chance for old friends, as well as new ones, to get together for a fun afternoon of burgers, hot dogs, salad, refreshments, fun & games.  It’s very casual.  Feel free to bring something if you like, such as a drink or dessert.

Please reply by July 16, so I’ll have a proper head count and can make sure we have enough of everything for everyone.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Libertas Et Patria!

Wes

 

 

 

 

 

Awards Awards Awards!

It’s that time of year again, when we have the honor to represent the SAR at celebrations of young men and women committed to excellence through their participation in local ROTC programs.  I can tell you firsthand that it’s not only a privilege to meet the instructors and their cadets and present these patriots with an SAR medal for their hard work, it’s also a heck of a lot of fun.

We’re also fortunate to be involved with the Boy Scouts of America and recognize young men who have gone above and beyond by attaining the rank of Eagle.  The past several weeks have been busy, and very enjoyable.

Any Henshaw compatriot is welcome to join in and participate.  If you would like to learn more about these programs and assist in presenting at future events, please send me an e-mail at MA.Compatriot@yahoo.com

Here are a few photos from recent ROTC banquets and an Eagle Court of Honor.

Libertas Et Patria!

Wesley H. Wratchford

 

 

Opening Ceremony - NJROTC Unit Banquet, Oxford High School

Opening Ceremony – NJROTC Unit Banquet, Oxford High School

 

Using a sword to assist Naval Junior Reserve Officer Cadets with cutting the cake.

Using a sword to assist Naval Junior Reserve Officer Cadets with cutting the cake.

Burncoat High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard perform during opening ceremonies.

Burncoat High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard perform during opening ceremonies.

Presenting Eagle Scout Daniel M. Fitzgerald with the SAR Eagle Scout Award in Northborough, MA

Presenting Eagle Scout Daniel M. Fitzgerald with the SAR Eagle Scout Award in Northborough, MA

 

Opening ceremonies for North High School Naval JROTC Awards

Opening ceremonies for North High School Naval JROTC Awards

Wesley H. Wratchford pins the SAR medal on Cadet Petty Officer 1st Class Maldonado

Wesley H. Wratchford pins the SAR medal on Cadet Petty Officer 1st Class Maldonado

 

Henshaw Chapter Presents SAR Flag Certificate

From:  Northborough.Patch.com

Flag Certificate Presented to VCA Northborough Animal Hospital

Posted by Tony Schinella (Editor) , May 21, 2014 at 04:00 AM

        Wesley H. Wratchford and Sheryl Gray-Brown. Courtesy               

  • Wesley H. Wratchford and Sheryl Gray-Brown.   Courtesy

 

The Col. William Henshaw Chapter of the Massachusetts Society Sons of the American Revolution presented the SAR Flag Certificate to VCA Northborough Animal Hospital on May 16.  The SAR Flag Certificate is presented to individual citizens, businesses and government agencies that fly the U.S. flag in the proper manner and for patriotic purposes – not as a means of advertising.

 
Chapter President Wesley H. Wratchford presented the commendation to VCA’s Hospital Administrator Sheryl Gray-Brown.  Wratchford said, “VCA was chosen in recognition of their exemplary patriotism. Their prominent display of the flag of the United States of America is deserving of this honor.”

 

 

Compatriots!  

If you know a citizen, local business, or government agency that flies our flag in a display of exemplary patriotism, we would like to recognize them too!  Please contact Chapter President Wes Wratchford at ma.compatriot@yahoo.com or  Chapter Vice President Brent Andersen at brentjandersen@gmail.com 

Thank you!