News And Events

News And Events

February 23 Member Meeting

Thomas McElhinny was featured as the ESU speaker at the February 23, 2017 Member meeting. His presentation was on the history of the French and Indian War in America which was ignited by the actions of a very young George Washington. The confrontation subsequently became a worldwide conflict known in history as the Seven Years War, which Winston Churchill described as "the first world war".  England's defeat of the French brought an end to the French Empire in North America.  This defeat gave England a clear path to controlling the new world and destroyed the ability of native peoples to resist the expansion of Anglo-American settlements in North America.

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2017 BRANCH SHAKESPEARE COMPETITON

On February 19th the Branch held its annual National Shakespeare Competition at the New Shakespeare Playhouse.  Branch Competition Chair Pam Sellman orchestred the 18 local high school contestants through their paces as each presented a sonnet and a 20 line monologue from a play of their choice. Each of the contestants was the winner of their school competition.

Marilyn Moore was selected the winner by the there (3) professional actors/drama educators who served as the competition panel. She won an expense-paid trip to New York City where she will compete in the National Competition that includes the winners from 50 other Branches. 

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January 29 Meeting

The turnout for our January meeting was excellent with many guests in attendances.  "How Brexit Baffled Britain" was the provocative subject that our speaker, Patrick Allitt, spoke about at our first meeting of the year.  He definitely kept our attention as he gave the historical background that had led to the creation of the Common Market/European Union.  With two horrific World Wars devastating most of Europe financially and otherwise, something needed to change in the way European countries interacted with each other to prevent future conflicts. Trade was thought to be a way to ease tensions, and a mutually beneficial trade effort was initiated in 1951 with 6 countries called European Coal & Steel Commission. As with so many ideas that start out with good intentions, over the years the EU became a huge bureaucracy that decided it would be a good idea to have their own military, its own currency and overwhelming rules and regulations so that everyone would be on the same page.  One important aspect of the EU is the free flow of people between the countries. The individual nations who elected to join the EU had the option of using the Euro for buying and selling to the majority of the countries have. However, the overreaching rules and regulations that standardized everything from cheese to dog leaches ended up destroying much of the uniqueness and sovereignty of each country.

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Annual Christmas Party

This year's party was another special treat at the home of James and Elizabeth Munson. Their beautifully decorated home was so welcoming and definitely set the tone for the Christmas party celebration.  The centerpiece was a huge tree with abundant decorations.

Everyone seemed very pleased with the buffet items expertly prepared by Party Express and calorie-busting desserts that were just delicious!!  Lots of glass clinking with Christmas wishes all around.

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November - William Shakespeare First Folio

How fortunate our Branch is have had our own personal docent to give us a guided tour of the Shakespeare First Folio Exhibit at the Michael Carlos Museum at Emory University.  Dr. Sheila Cavanaugh offered to take us through the Shakespeare Exhibit not only in the museum but also in the Library where there were several areas focusing on Shakespeare's influence even in the modern world.  Dr. Cavanaugh spent the better part of this past year organizing and setting up these exhibits which was all very impressive.

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October 2016 Member Meeting

A member of our Branch, Dr. Sally Parsonson, presented us with a visual and verbal account of how Wordsworth's poems referenced the scenic world around him. We learned that William Wordsworth wrote several travel guides of the Lake District, and needless to say, Grasmere was a favorite.

His poems reflected his life and the memories he had of his childhood near the Derwent River in the Lake District.  His passages consisted of recollections of his youth and experiences with nature – the lakes, rivers, streams, animals and plants.

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September Member Meeting

Gordon Mathis, former principal at the Galloway Upper School, gave an interesting presentation on the origin of the King James Version of the Bible. We welcomed his expertise on the subject which was based on the book, "God's Secretaries." King James, assigned a committee of 47 Anglicans who were given the task of developing an authorized version. It took about 7 years to gather the many versions of the Bible at the time and compile them all into what was the third English translation that we revere as the official King James Version.  It was a fascinating account of the evolution of a version of the book that is still used to this day. This was a perfect topic for the English-Speaking Union.

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President's Corner

Dear Atlanta Branch Members, Patrons, and Contributors:

Once again, I am pleased to announced that your officers and directors have completing all legal requirements for the Atlanta Branch. We have paid taxes, completed the Fraud Questionnaire, submitted the Federal Form 990, and submitted all audit documentation to the New York headquarters on time. We are in good standing in all matters.

There are still operating details to be resolved between the Branch and the New York office, particularly with regard to finances. New York reports that it is seriously underfunded in certain areas, and is proposing that the Branch undertake more financial support of the Shakespeare Competition. We are actively working on these matters. We are still considering certain details of the Strategic Plan, which was developed without sufficient consultation with branches around the country. There is also a new Capital Campaign in connection with the ESU Centennial coming in 2020. You will be hearing more about it.

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Annual Garden Party

This year's Garden Party on May 25 was to celebrate the special occasion of Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday.  The British Consul General, Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, kindly allowed us to have our event in his beautiful home.  Our Branch Chairman, Wesley Devoto, OBE, toasted the Queen and the Consul General, in turn, offered a toast to the President of the United States. 

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Annual General Meeting

Our April 28 meeting was particularly significant as our President, Jean Morris, was stepping down to be succeeded by incoming president, Don Pattillo. Our guest speaker, our own Betsi McLure, gave a talk on the real goings on with the Royal Family, and we elected new officers and directors for the coming year. Jean ended her much-appreciated  two-year position as our President with heartfelt thanks to all those who helped her to achieve the goals of the organization, offer exciting and interesting programs and support for the upcoming changes for the ESU on the national level.  Thank you, Jean, for all your hard work and dedication. 

Don Pattillo, Betsi McLure, Jean Morris

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