Historical Society holds its Annual Meeting.
Unlike the annual meeting three years ago that was immortalized in the Washington Post and became known as the Thursday Night Massacre, this year's BIHS annual meeting was a picture of conviviality as the Board and members took satisfaction in their accomplishments of the past year. In a well-catered affair at the Peaine Township Hall on August 22, the successes of beginning to install displays at the Heritage Park, the publication of Volume 5 of the Journal of Beaver Island History, and a profitable Museum Week were summed up by president Alvin LaFreniere, who also thanked the public for renewing its support in the recent St. James Township millage vote.
Treasurer Chuck Schellenberg distributed a financial report that compared the year-to-date income and expenses to both last year and the "flexible budget" projections he recently implemented. The concise clarity of this document belied the fact that literally hundreds of hours went into its preparation. The audience applauded Chuck's efforts, feeling that he has allowed them to get a better handle on the Society's finances than ever before.
Director Bill Cashman presented a vision in which the next few years, besides the continuing work on many diverse projects, would see a concentration on three sequential building projects of increasing complexity, with each one augmenting the Society's self-confidence and experience and preparing it to undertake the next. The first, he said, would be to build a replica sawmill at the Heritage Park incorporating parts from various historic mills. He laid out the various components of this task: the cataloguing of all available parts; the procuring of additional parts; the design of the exhibit; the consideration of its siting; the preparation of the selected site; the raising of the necessary funds; and the installation of the display.
Once this is achieved, the BIHS will turn its effort towards the protection of the Bob S at the Marine Museum. A similar but more complicated procedure will be needed to create a building that will protect the outdoor boats, provide shop space for their restoration, and eventually become an adjunct to the Museum. The design will have to contend with encroaching high water, the need to hold back the earth on the road side to install a floor, handicap access requirements, and the public's desire to see the lake. When this project has been accomplished, the Director said, the BIHS will turn all its attention to the Print Shop Addition.
Robert Cole reported on his Oral History work. This project has now created 110 hours of video tape and 103 hours of audio. Of these, about half have been duplicated and are available for viewing at the Print Shop Museum. He has also contacted five others with taped interviews and arranged for copies of their material to be available.
Volunteer Coordinator Joyce Bartels was given a round of applause for having filled the 26 shifts that keeping both museums open requires. And not just open, but friendly (according to comments reported by the audience) and interesting, thanks to her additional project of rotating exhibits every week.
In the election that followed, Alvin LaFreniere and Chuck Schellenberg were returned to their seats, and Kathy Ruis was elected to replace Pinky, who vowed to continue to work for the BIHS as long as she no longer had to attend "those darn meetings."
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