PATRIOTS' HALL ASSOCIATION
Museum News: The PHA Board continues to look for additional display space. The old county court house remains in disrepair. Powell Real Estate, the firm that submitted an acceptable proposal to County Council, has fallen behind on the plan to build a hotel. The first step to prevent further deterioration was to replace the leaking roof. This has not been done. The recent rains might have caused additional damage to the interior of the building. Is demolition of the building going to be the end result? We wait, and perhaps if demolition is planned, we may be able to save part of the building for the museum.
Displays: Every week interesting military artifacts arrive at the museum from veterans or their families. After documentation and proper labeling, the appropriate display location is determined. Currently however, we are running out of room to display everything we would like to. We plan to divide the last room upstairs, now used as a storeroom, to make an area for special displays. Special interest items could be obtained from other museums as a loan but as such, security would be an important requirement.
Needed: The Board is still searching for a safe (approximately 500 lbs) to store small, valuable, rare items while not on display. Important PHA documents would also be kept in the safe. Ideally, we would like one donated.
Board of Directors: There is still space available to fill recent vacancies. According to PHA by-laws, the recommended number of members is twelve. Currently there are ten. Recently elected members to the Board are Jimmy Grant and Skip Wakeman. Anyone who is interested in military history is welcome to attend a board meeting on the last Thursday of each month at 5:30 at the museum. Call president Jon Busch at 864-638-8558 if you wish to attend.
Future Events: Before we know it, summer will be over. The Board is already planning an exciting Veterans' Day event. The museum will be open in the afternoon of November 11th. The honored guest will be Oconee County native Joe Rawl. Joe, along with his wife Joretta, currently lives part time in Lexington and part time in Mountain Rest. Joe's military history is exemplary. He enlisted in the Army in 1962 and retired after 21 years active duty as a Major. Joe calls himself a "Mustang", an Army term for those who enter as enlisted and work up to become, officers. Joe served two tours during the Vietnam War. The first as an ASA and the second as a helicopter pilot. While serving, Joe received many significant awards. His military career did not end on his retirement. He spent 3 years with the Department of the Army, taught high school R.O.T.C. and directed a Character Education program for the Oconee County School District. Over the years he was active in many Oconee County organizations ... both military and civic. Joe is a charter member of PHA. He was part of the original committee that worked diligently to save "the old rock building". This information is just a tiny bit of what Joe Rawl is all about. So come by the museum on Veterans' Day and "hear the rest of his story".
Membership: The current database totals 168 with members residing all over the country. Member support is extremely important and appreciated. There might be an "R" at the top of this newsletter. It means your membership has expired. Please renew by filling out and returning the form below. Together, we will move ahead to honor all veterans.
Tours: Anyone can tour the museum when it is open. Lately there have been Day Care groups and Activity Groups made up of Seniors. Call Board President Jon Busch at 638-8558 or visit the web site at www.oconeeveteransmuseum.org.
Fill out the membership form, print it and send it in.
Back to Archives Page