The Early Days of Clan Forsyth Society, USA

The Forsyth General Meeting of Clan Forsyth Society of the U.S.A.

July 1994, Grandfather Mountain, Linville, North Carolina – Officers for Clan Forsyth Society USA were elected, and our Constitution was accepted. Robert L. Williams-President, George M. Forsythe-V.P., Linda Williams-Treasurer, Carol Forsyth Kroeger-Secretary. Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky was appointed as Forsyth representative for Western U.S.A.(all states west of the Mississippi River)..

July 1995, Grandfather Mountain – Reports were given and the Bank account disclosed. All was approved.

January 1996; National election process for president of Clan Forsyth Society USA Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky was elected president. He was named as the CEO and took over the operations of the Society.

July, 1996, Grandfather Mountain – Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky was sworn in as President of Clan Forsyth Society USA, Jane Platt as V.P., Robert L. Williams as treasurer and Carol Forsyth as secretary. Retiring V.P. George Forsythe was appointed as Clan Piper.

September 6th, 1997, Ligonier, Pennsylvania – A large number of blood line relatives of President Dale attended and were attracted to the Society. Other blood line cousins attended. A great picnic followed the business meeting. Eddie Forsyth, Society Genealogist was present and attracted a large group of interested cousins.

July 11th, 1998, Grandfather Mountain – Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky continues as President of Clan Forsyth Society USA and continues his leadership objectives with Jane Platt as V. P.. Bob Forsyth of Novato California was sworn in as Secretary. Tanya Sandusky of Utah was sworn in as Treasurer. Rev. Bob Forsyth of Massachusetts was approved to be appointed as Chaplain. A social was held at the accommodations of Theresa Berk, our Georgia state representative, in Banner Elk. on Saturday evening.

July 10th, 1999 - Payson, Utah – Attendance was small. David Joel Forsyth, the Forsyth representative of the state of Maine stopped to visit while on his way to California to see his newly born granddaughter. The revised Bylaws were reviewed that were accepted by previous election results held in January 1999.

July, 2000, Grandfather Mountain – Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky remains as President of the Society for an indefinite term. Sworn in as Vice President was Robert W. Forsyth of Novato California. Theresa Berk of Georgia (our Georgia Representative) as Secretary. Tanya Sandusky of Utah continues as Treasurer. Due to a medical condition, Carol Forsyth Kroeger retired as the newsletter editor. All other appointed officers remain at present assignments. Jorjeane Johnson of Utah was appointed as Membership Secretary. A great and successful Saturday evening social was held at the accommodations of Pres. Dale on Sugar Mountain.

June 2001, AGM was held at the Utah Scottish Games & Festival- held at the Cultural Celebration Center by the River, West Valley City, Utah. President Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky-FSA Scot- Clan Forsyth Society USA President was honored as the Chieftain of the Day. No new business was introduced. Year 2002 AGM is to be held at Grandfather Mountain, Linville, NC.

July 2002, Grandfather Mountain – Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky again sustained as President, with Vice President Robert W Forsyth and Treasurer Tanya Sandusky. Jorgeane Johnson was elected Secretary. During 2003, Linda Forsyth Kennedy was appointed as Secretary pro-tempore. A great Saturday evening social was held at the accommodations of Pres. Dale on Sugar Mountain. President Dale announced that he had recently received an appointment from Alistair C. W. Forsyth of that ILK, Baron of Ethie as His Commissioner and Representative in the United States

July 2003, Grandfather Mountain – Pres. Dale officially appointed Greg Forsythe of North Carolina as the North Carolina representative. Pres. Dale performed a ceremony adopting Greg’s wife Nancy into the Family of Forsyth. Greg was given change of hosting the Forsyth tent each year and given a wider range of possible hosting his Forsyth tent in adjoining states. An interesting AGM business meeting was held and it was announced that Linda Forsyth Kennedy was appointed to fill the vacant office of National secretary through July 2004. On Saturday evening a well attended social was held at the sandwich shop owned by the proprietor of the B&B accommodations where Greg & Nancy Forsythe stayed at Banner Elk. It rained that day and the evening was a nonstop, downpour making us happy to have planned the affair inside.

July 10th, 2004 AGM, Grandfather Mountain – Hosted by Greg & Nancy Forsythe. Same national leadership elected by ballot in January 2004 except that the secretary position held by Linda Forsyth Kennedy was by the election process and therefore needing to be sworn into office. All appointed leadership remained in place. Greg & Nancy Forsythe hosted the social that evening on the B&B porch at their accommodations at Banner Elk. A beautiful clear, warm evening was hampered only by the small flying blood suckers of the night.

September 2005, The AGM was most perfectly hosted by Jim & Patti Forsythe and held in Memphis, Tennessee, the last weekend in September. At the business meeting, it was announced that Rev. Dr. Robert D. Forsythe of Pittsburgh, PA had been appointed as Society Chaplain as Chaplain Rev. Bob Forsyth of Florence, MA retired in March. V.P. Gregory H. Forsythe who had been approved and appointed to test the need for an elective V.P. developed knee problems and earlier tendered his resignation. It was decided that if we were going to build a strong Society that an elected 2nd V. P. was needed. Jack Gardner, Southeastern Regional Director was appointed to complete this appointed term of office and by vote was placed on the our January 2006 ballot as our candidate to that elective position of leadership..It was decided that the V.P. titles be changed to be identified as Eastern V.P. and Western V.P. with primary duties attached to those areas. Pres. Dale after earlier discussion with the other current leadership stated the he would remain as President if that was the choice of the Executive committee. He and the present officers were approved for the 2006 ballot. Some Bylaw changes were discussed and agreed upon to be placed on the 2006 ballot. The AGM location for 2006 will be Grandfather Mountain and attentively 2007 to be Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 2007 year Scotland trip was discussed by V.P. Jack Gardner. Some possible sites to visit were offered. Further discussion will take place at the 2006 AGM. It was announced by Pres. Dale that secretary Linda Forsyth Kennedy had asked to step down from her office and that a new secretary would need to be found and appointed to fill that office. Some suggestions were offered for consideration. The Friday before the AGM, Pres. Dale was appointed as the Duckmaster of the Day at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis and was presented with his certificate and his own official Duckmaster’s cane. A formal luncheon was held immediately after the ceremony and attended by Clan Forsyth members and invited Scottish leadership guests in the Memphis area. A Saturday evening social was held at a local Celtic eating establishment. It was well attended and hosted by Jim & Patti Forsythe.

The January 2006 ballet for National Officers was mailed to the membership. The ballot included Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky-President; Robert W. Forsyth-Vice President; John “Jack” W.B. Forsyth Gardner-Vice President; Tanya Sandusky-Treasurer; and Mary Ellen Forsyth Cain-Secretary. Mary Ellen was earlier appointed in October to fill the vacant seat of Secretary after being approved by the Executive Committee. Also on the ballot were some changes to the Bylaws of the Society. The voting ended on 1 March 2006 and the results were tallied immediately thereafter. All candidates were elected and the Bylaw changes approved. President Dale will preside and conduct the business meeting of the AGM at Grandfather Mountain on July 8th at 2:00pm in the Chief’s tent.

July 08, 2006 The AGM was held at 2:00pm in the Clan Forsyth Society host tent because there was a mix-up at the Chief’s Tent and another activity was in progress at that time. 12 members were present at the start of the meeting. As we tried to discuss some matters the nearby Bagpipe Band competition seemed to overpower all the talk and the meeting was postponed until the evening Social at the B&B in Banner Elk where Greg & Nancy Forsythe had their room & reserved the porch area for our event. It was a perfect setting for the entire evening. Topics of discussion were about ways to increase membership participation, reaching the interest of non-member bloodline and encouraging them to join, the upcoming Scotland trip and the possible changes to the Bylaws to re-locate the even numbered year AGM to games where air travel would be more accessible. President Dale announced that no final decisions could be made due to the limited membership in attendance. Further discussion would have to take place by e-mail. The membership report showed a number of members not accounted for due to their lack of response by the grace period provided for renewing even after several e-mail alerts, newsletter notice and personal attemps to contact. It was noted that new memberships seemed to cover those losses and we stood even in membership. The Treasurer’s report showed a gain of $500.00 over last year and this was partly due to the sales of the new, colorful Forsyth lapel pin designed by Pres. Dale. The number of Forsyth hosted tents expanded during year 2005 and we hope to display a hosted tent at a few more events during 2007.

The September 2007 AGM that was to be held at the Oklahoma Games was cancelled by President Dale due to the very poor response from the membership. It was felt that the rise in gas prices, air travel costs and the general trend in the economy added to that decision. One local family in Tulsa, Jerry & Julia Gustafson had their 50th wedding anniversary and a number of that family took occasion to attend the games on Sunday afternoon and visit the Forsyth tent.

The January 2008 newsletter (The Griffin ) was published with the Society’s 2008 national ballot enclosed as a loose leaf. The current national officers were on the ballot for re-election. All ballots to send to the Secretary by mail or e-mail ballot prior to 1 March. Officers are to be sworn in by President Dale at the September AGM in conjunction with the Ligonier Games at Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Further information will be coming and placed.

1 April 2008- The results of the election procedure for the national officers were tallied and the results of those casting ballots were 100 % in favor of the present officers to remain in office for two (2) more years.

10 October, 2008 – the General Meeting & Gathering of Clan Forsyth Society of the USA was held at the Ligonier Games on 6 September 2008 at Idlewild Park, just west of Ligonier, PA on route 30 where more than 80 persons of the bloodline assembled during the day. Clan Forsyth was the honored clan and marched first during the noon opening ceremony where at least 60 participated in leading the other clans on to the parade grounds. USA Society President and Chief’s USA Commissioner, Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky-FSA Scot stood on the reviewing stand as Chieftain of the Games and acknowledged the clans attending and later was introduced to the large audience in attendance witnessing the event. He welcomed the crowd and gave a short talk calling the event his home games as he was born and raised about 40 miles from Ligonier before moving west to Utah in 1972. Clan Forsyth has hosted a tent at this event since 1997 when Pres. Dale traveled from Utah to host the first Forsyth tent there and a Forsyth tent has appeared there each year since and is currently hosted by PA Rep Bonnie Jean Dick & Keith Sandusky.

At no time during the day could we get all attending gathered together for a group picture but constantly saw the new Forsyth crested T shirts everywhere in the park no matter which direction you looked. Even the afternoon downpour of rain prohibited our attendees from gathering and attending the 2:00pm AGM as many sought shelter somewhere in the park. The storm drenched the event but did not dampen the spirits of many soaked by the rain. Our 2 stable, connected, 20 foot host tents provided great cover for those who were able to get there. While viewing out over the clan area, we observed many of the clan tents caving in and falling under the heavy rain while also experiencing a shallow stream of water running under our feet. The falling rain on our tent top pounded out a loud drum roll sound that eventually overcame the ability to hear what was being said so the meeting was concluded early and talks postponed until the evening Gathering. Sometime later the rain subsided and most of the clans began to assemble their drenched belongings and left. We also decided to pack up.

The 7:00pm dinner hour at the Community Center in Laughlintown, a few miles east of the games site saw the arrival of 56, now sort of dry and hungry guests gathered to eat a great meal prepared and served by Pres. Dale’s McKeesport siblings. The talks were presented and Margie Forsythe of Michigan led the sing-a-long accompanied by her guitar. The evening was further warmed up by the togetherness of those attending and this made the day a total success. This was the best attended Gathering of Clan Forsyth Society USA.

22 November 2008 – Our Chaplain, Dr. Reverend Robert D. Forsythe was killed in an auto accident near his home. After a period of time had lapsed, President Dale appointed Reverend Steve Forsythe of Ohio to be our new Chaplain.

09 November 2009 – Rebecca “Becky” Forsythe of South Carolina was appointed as National Secretary replacing Mary Ellen Forsyth Cain who decided to resign due to her health condition.

January 2010 – Clan Forsyth Society USA presented the Ballot for National Officers of the Society through the January newsletter. Voting results to be announced after 1 March as all e-mail votes must be received by that date or postmarked by that date if sent by US mail. All incumbents are running again except Rebecca “Becky” Forsythe who is running for Secretary for a first term.

18 July 2010 – President Dale M. Forsyth Sandusky decided to cancel the FGM planned for the last weekend in September at Salt Lake City, Utah due to the very weak response received. Seems that the economy is ruling the day at this time. Further plans are being considered for handling some Society decisions. The Scotland trip for 2014 to Stirling to attend the second Gathering of the Clans of Scotland is on the agenda along with the January 2012 ballot of our Society. Chief Alistair Forsyth, Baron of Ethie, is recovering well and reports his wish to attend the Stirling Gathering. The July Griffin, our Society newsletter will be published by 1 August and posted to the membership. Grandfather Mountain games was a great success and its highlights will be reported.

October newsletter of 2010 – Pres. Dale announces that he will hold a FGM in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah on 15-16 January 2011. He realizes that the attendance will be quite small but because Marsha Richardson ( newsletter editor) will be in town to visit the Family History library, it will be a good time to make personal contact with her and anyone else wishing to visit the Library. He asks that anyone planning to attend to contact him so that arrangements can be made to accommodate their trip.

01 April 2012- It was noted that the Standing National Officers of Clan Forsyth Society USA , by the ballot of January 2012, were voted to remain in office for two more years with Dale M. Forsytrh Sandusky-FSA Scot as President; Jack Forsyth Gardner as Eastern V.P.; Robert Forsyth as Western V.P.: Tanya Sandusky as Treasurer; Becky Forsythe as Secretary.

21 April 2012 – The FGM was held at the Dunedin Scottish Games & Festival. The evening prior to the event, a few members of the Society attended the dinner and a new award by Clan Forsyth Society USA (The Matthew Forsyth Cup) was presented. Two of Matthew Forsyth’s grandchildren were present to help in the presentation. The Saturday meeting was attended by 11 members. The threat of rain hindered attendance at the tent and rain shortened the meeting. A listing of the actons taken will be placed in the July newsletter.

Trips Abroad and Other Adventures

The June 1999 Worldwide AGM hosted by Clan Forsyth Society of Scotland was attended by many USA, Australian and New Zealand members. A planned 4 day long tour started at Edinburgh Scotland, traveled north, up the east coast with stops along the way at Ethie Castle, home of Chief Alistair, St. Andrews golf course; and on to Aberdeen where we spent a very short night as daylight remained until late and the bright morning came way too soon. Then up the coast line and west to Inverness where a grand evening social awaited us that evening. We visited Culloden Battlefield and a side trip to the Black Isle The following morning down to Loch Ness to meet Nessie, then on to Fort Williams and Glen Coe. An evening stop over was arranged at Stirling with a tour of Stirling Castle the next morning before proceeding back to Edinburgh where we hounded all the shops, and spent our money awaiting the Annual Gathering of Clan Forsyth Society of Scotland on Saturday evening. Most of us were in kilts and the evening was just perfect. On Sunday morning we departed Scotland for the USA and home while those from New Zealand & Australia went their way.

The 2002 Scotland trip was a blast during the last 2 weeks of June. We flew into Glasgow and stayed the night. In the morning we headed south on our bus torr to invade northern England with a visit to Gretna Green before stopping at Carlisle. Then it was on to Hadrian’s Wal where we surveyed some of those remains. We crossed the border back into Scotland and stopped at Jedburgh, home of Sir Walter Scott. Too many places to show here as we went north and the ferry ride toOrkney, Skye, Mull, then back to the mainland to visit Loch Lomond in the mild rain. Finally back to Glasgow and the plane back to the USA.

A comment on the 2005 AGM – The Memphis, TN, AGM got off to a great start as Jim & Patti Forsyth of Tennesse had arranged for President Dale to be the DuckMaster at the famous and historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis. This is where they have live ducks in the fountain on the main floor. The ducks are trained and cared for by the official DuckMaster and Dale was to assist at the Parade of the Ducks that day from their roof top quarters, down in the elevator and then on to the red carpet that led to the fountain. It was a great show and all went off well. Many Forsyth cousins were there along with many local Scottish Clan leadership. After Pres. Dale’s Knighting ceremony, a first class luncheon was held in one of the private dining rooms. A great start for a most enjoyable weekend. The Saturday afternoon AGM was well attended and many idead exchanges and considered. Opportunity to vote on issues to appear in an upcoming newsletter.