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!    

 

 

Grafton History Day Celebrated

On May 10, 2014, MASSAR’s Continental Color Guard participated in Grafton History Day at the invitation of the Grafton Historical Society.  Each year they choose a different period in our history.  This year was the American Revolution.

We were well represented by several Guardsmen:  Jack Cunningham (Commander), Steve Perkins (State Secretary & First VP), Wesley H. Wratchford (President – Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter).  Allan Van Wert (MASSAR & Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter Safety Officer), Charles Kingsbury (Color Guard Treasurer) and Verne Thayer (Past President – Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter).

Also taking part were Michael Fishbein (MASSAR President), Dwight Smith (Col. Wm Henshaw Awards & Medals Chair) and Joe Gauthier (Old Middlesex Chapter).

We were joined by Linda Carter, President of the Grafton Historical Society and Elizabeth J Tivnan, Regent of the Col. Timothy Bigelow DAR Chapter.  We had information available to the public about how to join the SAR, our Eagle Scout Awards and Scholarships, and Flag Certificates.  We also had a small uniform and a tricorn hat for children to wear as they had their pictures taken with our Guardsmen, along with a special certificate saying the child was a member of the Colonial Militia.

We shared our information tent with Beth Tivnan and a few other members of the Col. Timothy Bigelow DAR Chapter, and also the Worcester 1774 Org.  Next to us, Joe Gauthier (OMC) set up a table of his own. He had Color Guard bumper stickers available for sale and a large banner that said, “Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard”.  Joe also had some replica colonial currency that he would pay the kids when they signed up for the militia.

There were many other groups there as well, including a few Civil War reenactors, craftsmen, cooks, and horticulturalists, which made for an enjoyable time for everyone.  Our Guardsmen were all present by 10:00 a.m. and engaging the visitors.  We drilled on the Grafton Common and gave a musket volley for the public in preparation for two grave markings.

Before we left for the cemetery, a local reenactor offered a presentation on the life of Col. Luke Drury (1737-1811).  Col. Drury’s activities spanned the period from the French and Indian War to the Federal era.  He served in the militia during the French and Indian War, fought at Bunker Hill, and was then based at West Point during the Revolution and later served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Worcester County Militia.  He later was elected as the Grafton representative to the Massachusetts House.

Our Guardsmen, along with some interested members of the public, marched ½ mile to the Old Oak Cemetery, where there are numerous patriots interred – many with SAR grave markers.  After a brief prayer service, we shot a musket volley at the grave of Col. Drury.  We also paid our respects at the grave of Major David W. Leland (1758-1831).  Maj. Leland was an ancestor of our Guard Commander Jack Cunningham.  A second musket volley was fired in his honor, and to honor all patriots buried at the Old Oak Cemetery.

After the long ½ march uphill toward Grafton Common, we gathered for lunch (and ale) at the Grafton Inn where we were well received and took several photos with patrons.   By 2:00 pm. we packed up and headed for home.  A great day and our mission accomplished.

By Verne Thayer and Wesley H. Wratchford

Guardsmen from the Massachusetts Continental Guard drill on Grafton Common - May 10, 2014. Pictured from left to right are:  Verne Thayer, Charles Kingsbury, Wesley H. Wratchford, Steve Perkins, and Commander Jack Cunningham.

Guardsmen from the Massachusetts Continental Guard drill on Grafton Common – May 10, 2014.
Pictured from left to right are: Verne Thayer, Charles Kingsbury, Wesley H. Wratchford, Steve Perkins, and Commander Jack Cunningham.

Guardsmen firing a musket volley at Old Oak Cemetery, Grafton MA, in honor of Col. Luke Drury. Pictured from right to left are:  Verne Thayer, Commander Jack Cunningham, Steve Perkins, Wesley H. Wratchford, and Charles Kingsbury.

Guardsmen firing a musket volley at Old Oak Cemetery, Grafton MA, in honor of Col. Luke Drury.
Pictured from right to left are: Verne Thayer, Commander Jack Cunningham, Steve Perkins, Wesley H. Wratchford, and Charles Kingsbury.

 

“Marching Forward Meeting” Enjoyed By Many!

The Col. William Henshaw Chapter held its annual “Marching Forward” meeting in Sturbridge on March 8, 2014 at the Publick House Inn.  The event was well attended by many compatriots and their guests.  We also enjoyed the company of many members of the Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter DAR, and this year’s “George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest” finalists from Worcester’s South High Community School.

Our guest speaker this year was Robert Briere, President of the Sturbridge Historical Society.  Bob shared some wonderful stories with us about the history of Sturbridge, its involvement during the American Revolution, and efforts to restore the Veteran’s Memorial in front of Sturbridge Town Hall.  The completed monument now lists the names of over 100 Patriots who served the cause of freedom and independence during the American Revolution!

In addition to enjoying the fine luncheon of stuffed turkey and all the trimmings served up by the friendly staff at the Publick House, we congratulated several award recipients.

Receiving the Certificate of Appreciation “In recognition of outstanding support given to the Sons of the American Revolution” were;   Awards Chairman Dwight Smith, Compatriot Kenneth Starbard, Col. Timothy Bigelow DAR Regent Elizabeth Tivnan, and Sturbridge Historical Society President, Robert Briere.

We were also pleased to present Certificates of Participation to Fariha Kohistani, Stacey Wainaina and Abena Badu.  Their history teacher, Mr. Josiah Burden, was presented with the Essay Commendation Certificate for encouraging his students to participate in the Essay Contest.

Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter DAR Regent, Beth Tivnan, spoke about the ongoing plans to commemorate the Worcester Revolution of 1774.   http://www.revolution1774.org/

Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter Treasurer, Steve Perkins, spoke about the “Center for Advancing America’s Heritage”  The Center will provide educational programs to school children from local and surrounding school systems through permanent and traveling exhibits and in outreach education programs distributed to SAR Chapters across the country.

Finally, many of us walked the short distance to the Sturbridge Town Hall to view the Veteran’s Memorial and observe a moment of silence to honor all veterans who have served this country.  Color Guard Commander, Allen Van Wert, and Steve Perkins fired a musket volley in honor of their sacrifices.

All in all, it was a terrific first meeting of 2014.  I would like to personally thank everyone who attended and helped make it such a successful event!

Wesley H. Wratchford

President, Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter, MASSAR

Col. William Henshaw Chapter President, Wesley H. Wratchford, addresses compatriots and guests.

Col. William Henshaw Chapter President, Wesley H. Wratchford, addresses compatriots and guests.

Compatriots, Dwight Smith and Kenneth Starbard, receive the "Certificate of Appreciation" from the SAR.

Compatriots, Dwight Smith and Kenneth Starbard, receive the “Certificate of Appreciation” from the SAR.

 

Col. Timothy Bigelow DAR Regent Elizabeth Tivnan accepts her award.

Col. Timothy Bigelow DAR Regent Elizabeth Tivnan accepts her award.

Robert Briere, of the Strubridge Historical Society, speaks about the role Sturbridge played in the American Revolution.

Robert Briere, of the Sturbridge Historical Society, speaks about the role Sturbridge played in the American Revolution.

Wesley H. Wratchford, Josiah Burden, Abena Badu, Stacey Wainaina and Fariha Kohistani

Wesley H. Wratchford, Josiah Burden, Abena Badu, Stacey Wainaina and Fariha Kohistani

Members of the Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter - SAR, Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter - DAR, and honored guests at the Veteran's Monument, Sturbridge, MA

Members of the Col. Wm Henshaw Chapter – SAR, Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter – DAR, and honored guests at the Veteran’s Memorial, Sturbridge, MA

The "Sturbridge Honor Roll", Veteran's Memorial, at Sturbridge, MA.

The “Sturbridge Honor Roll”, Veteran’s Memorial, at Sturbridge, MA. The Memorial honors U.S. Veterans who served during the American Revolution, Korea, World War II, Vietnam, and there is a space reserved to honor those in Iraq-Afghanistan.

Color Guard Commander, Allen Van Wert, and Steven Perkins fire a musket volley at the memorial.

After the group observed a moment of silence at the memorial, Color Guard Commander Allen Van Wert and Steven Perkins fired a musket volley.

A New Year’s Message

Greetings and Wishes for a very Happy New Year to our Compatriots and their families!

As we begin 2014 with all of the anticipation that usually comes with the arrival of a new year, I would like to take just a moment to look back with appreciation at a very special 2013 for the Col. William Henshaw Chapter.

Last year was filled with many great events and social gatherings for our members.  Among these were our visit to the Higgins Armory Museum in January, our luncheon in Sturbridge at The Publick House Historic Inn last March, Concord in April, our annual chapter picnic in July, the Yorktown celebration in September, and our annual joint chapter meeting with the Bigelow DAR chapter in December.  And those are just naming a few!  It was quite a year.

The gentleman leading us through each occasion, event and celebration was our President, Verne Thayer.  I would like to thank Verne for his outstanding service as Henshaw’s President during the past two years.  He has been a good friend.  He has led by example and has set a very high standard for me to follow.

I am looking forward to serving as your President and working with our Officers to continue growing our chapter and planning events that you will find enjoyable.  I will communicate with you by e-mail and by phone during the upcoming months.  And, I ask that you please let me know of your interests and your thoughts on ways we can further improve our chapter.  Thank you kindly for your support.

 

Yours in Patriotism,

 

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

 

Eagle Scout Award

I’ve been busy giving out Eagle Scout awards this summer. Three in Uxbridge, MA  this past June to  Jonathan Robert,  Jack Coyne , and  Thomas Bullock  of Troop 1122. Then two  to  Samuel James Hockenbury and Stephen James Foley of Troop 1 in Hopedale, MA.
And today I gave out an Eagle Scout Award to Paul Edmond Howarth of Troop 107 in Grafton, MA.  One thing that all these young men have in common is a strong Character, great parents who take an active role in their son, and a dedicated team of scout leaders. A lot of people do not realize the work that these Scout Leaders put in. They are workers just like you and I. They have a family to raise, and everyday things to do around the house and family activities just like us. But then they also take on the responsibility of being a Scout leader. That in tails planing trips, activities, training, and keeping track of all the scouts needs for progressing though the ranks. Not leaving anyone behind and making sure that they all feel good about themselves and are enjoying scouting. 

My Hat goes off to them. I’m happy to see that all the different towns that I have been to, that they all have dedicated leaders. 

Vern

Welcome

The Colonel William Henshaw Chapter is comprised of a  large membership of Compatriots, primarily in  central and western Massachusetts.  Through our many social gatherings, programs and civic activities, we strive to perpetuate the memory of those who, by their services or sacrifices during the war of the American Revolution, achieved the independence of the American People.

We are patriotic Americans.  Each member has traced their family tree back to a point of having an ancestor (in some cases, more than just one) who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783. 

We’re involved in historical research, raising funds for local scholarships and educational awards, and work to preserve sites and documents related to the American Revolution.  We visit local schools to offer in depth lessons about American history.  We honor America’s veterans, past and present.  We’re active in cataloging and marking Revolutionary War patriot graves.  We also work with local Boy Scout troops and conduct an annual Eagle Scout scholarship program.

The Colonel William Henshaw Chapter is also part of an active Color Guard comprised of Continental Army uniformed descendants of Patriots who served in the American War of Independence.  Our Color Guard appears regularly in various public and private venues as a means of community outreach.

We welcome you to join us for a Chapter event! 

For more information about the Massachusetts Society (MASSAR) and how to apply for membership, click here http://www.massar.org/membership/.

For more information about the National Society (SAR) and the history of the Sons of the American Revolution, check the menu item “About SAR”.

You can read more about the extraordinary American for whom our chapter is named by clicking on the link:  Colonel Henshaw.

   

We hope you enjoy your visit here.  Please excuse our appearance as we work to complete this website for you.