Greetings to all Members and Friends,
As we once again prepare for the Holidays, it is important to note how commitment can center our lives. Each family, clan, tribe or even neighborhoods exhibit some form of this in their annual traditions, be it caroling, decorating the house or some holiday fare. Ours is in the creation of our annual Christmas Candlelight Services, which have continued faithfully for not quite a quarter of a century, and has become a tradition for many of you. Our musicians and vocalists skills have become an integral part of the services, not to mention the narrators and behind the scenes writers all of whom devote hours to the program that for so many, “begins the Christmas Season”.
As for the past year, new programs have been the driving force. The dinner lectures series which began in 2010, continued to be very well received, with the final lecture of 2011 being so popular (The Scully Family & Draining the Prairie) that 2 additional nights were required for all the bookings. Also new this year was our first “Enchanted Evening”, an open air musical interlude graciously hosted by Bob and Lynne Neal at their new historic home, Cro’ Hurst, on Elkhart Hill. To say it was the perfect evening, beautiful music, fabulous setting, and delicious food would not do it justice.
The decision to salute our senior citizens, gave us the opportunity to recognize the many contributions they have given us throughout the years. Margaret Lanterman was honored at a separate dinner for her tireless years of Illinois Birding.
Other praiseworthy items to mention would be you, our friends and member, without which our efforts would be pointless. Thank you for your encouragement, participation and support throughout the year. The coming of the New Year brings with it the 2012 Calendar which celebrates Edwards Trace, and a huge thank you to compilers Bill McClain, Peggy Lee and Gillette Ransom, and to Geoff Ladd for layout design. The Trace was a diminutive but exceedingly important pathway from Cahokia to Peoria (Ft Clark) which brought thousands of years of history to central Illinois. This year’s calendar hopes to connect the various villages and people who share this common link, forgotten or never heard of by many, most of it plowed beyond recognition or under many tons of asphalt or concrete, only a few areas in central Illinois still show a ‘trace’ of the Trace.
Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas Holiday and A New Year Filled with Peace and Joy,
Peter Niehaus Lisa Pasquesi Gillette Ransom
Bill McClain Steve and Kathy Thornton Bob Neal and Lynne Neal