March 9 is DIG DAY
The back hoe will be out on March 9, at 8 o’clock Ante Meridian to break ground at King’s Crossing in anticipation of the Spring Offensive.We will also be out on the 16th for digging, so get your picks and axes and your sand bags and get dirty! Let me know if you have any further questions.
Just a quick note here. The board is coming up with the final details on the Spring event. We hope to have more on this tonight if it is possible. Stay tuned for that. We will let you know as they become available.
Also, The meeting notes from our December 8th board meeting have been finished, and can be viewed if so requested. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to share them with you.
As a side note, I hope to have the new paypal address up and working shortly. Just trying to finish clearing something up with paypal before the new address can be posted for that.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
I remain your servant,
Officer elections for the 2012-2013 season have concluded.
President: Sean Weller
Vice President: Monty Shaw
Secretary: Clayton Crabtree
Tresurer: John Harmon
Member at Large: Adam Lid
Congratulations to those who were elected.
Thank you for all of your patience the past few months as we deal with the unexpected events that have occurred due to the recent fire near Reyes Creek impacting the King’s Crossing site. Please know that the board has been pro-active in trying to search for alternative sites to hold our November gathering, but at this time we are unable to announce a specific site. However, we are determined to hold a gathering. Please mark your calendars for the weekend of November 3-4. Although the location and exact venue is still being determined, we will be holding some form of gathering.
In the meantime, please continue to contact me with any leads you may have for possible sites. We have explored a number of different options, but have not yet found a site which fulfills all our requirements in order to hold a true WWI event.
In other news, I received final word last week that the Marching Through History event at Prado Dam is officially cancelled this year. I know this is a huge loss to the GWHS as we have always used this as a recruitment tool. The event organizers are working on other projects to try to replace it, but at this time, there is no event and no alternative event planned by the organizers. To replace the MTH event, the board is exploring the option of marching in the Long Beach Veteran’s Day Parade on Saturday, November 10th. This is an event which the GWHS had been a part of for many years, but sadly, we have not participated for a couple of years. Consider giving a few hours of your Saturday to honor the memory of the fallen this day commemorates. If you are interested in participating, please contact Chris Michaelis as he has agreed to be our contact person for this.
Additionally, the GWHS would also like to invite everyone to come out for a Christmas “Truce” Dinner at the 94th Aero Squadron in Van Nuys on Saturday, December 15th at 5:00pm. As with other 94th dinners, feel free to wear your uniform. Spouses and dates are welcome. If you are interested in attending, please contact Lisa Matthews. If enough people are willing to attend, the venue can prepare a prix fixe menu for our group. http://www.94thvannuys.com/94thvannuys/
Finally, the annual elections are coming up. Candidacy announcements should be made on the forum only. Please do so in the members only section. Announcements should be made by October 15th, 2012. Only members in good standing may stand for election. Elections will be held between October 16th and November 4th. Details regarding how to vote will be posted on the forum. Also, only members who have paid their dues may vote. Do not use the facebook page as a means of electioneering. Any comments regarding elections will be removed from the facebook page.
Thanks for all your support during the past year, and I look forward to seeing the club move forward towards the centennial. Please keep a watch for upcoming announcements regarding the November and December events.
Dear GWHS Members:
We have many upcoming events in the next few weeks, and I hope all of you will be able to come out and support the GWHS at each of them.
First, we will be holding our first dig day at King’s Crossing on the 30th of June. We have the backhoe standing by, but we need help from as many members as possible. We will begin the groundbreaking with the digging out of the front lines and no-man’s land. As many of you know, club members voted to use the new site, but keep our options open and continue to look for new properties. Therefore, the overall plans will be basic with a late war design. Essentially, the site will be maintained as flat as a pancake with no structures to be higher than two sandbags tall on the front lines. Although, more leeway may be given in rear lines based on trenchmaster’s approval. We hope to create a ‘churned up’ no-man’s land with lots of craters. For this, we will need everyone’s help, so please make plans to help create a new trench system we can all be proud of.
Second, the annual timeline event at Ft. Mac will be July 7th & 8th, and we’ll be celebrating our 20th year attending as a club. We hope to have a great turn-out, and many of you have pre-registered. This event is always fun, but it is also a very important one for the club to continue to educate the public with our excellent displays and recruit new members to our units. According to event organizers, we will be in our usual spot, using the same design as last year with the CP in the trench and the Allies across the street. If your name is on the registered list (posted on Facebook and the forum), please be sure to pay James Minnich. The fee is $10.00 per person; it is not a free event. James has fronted the fees for those on the list and has already paid the museum for those listed. If you are on the list, you owe James. If you are unable to attend, you still owe James and will need to get your payment to him. James has agreed to front fees for people, but it is unfair to expect James and his family to take a financial loss because you are a no show.
On another note, there has been some talk about the old Ozena site being revived. Although it may be true that the property fell out of escrow, it is not available to anyone anymore. The board had several lengthy discussions with the property owner of King’s Crossing, Tony, whose family owns Ozena in a trust. The family does not wish to allow anyone access to the property, and Tony has no control over this and his hands are tied by the terms of the trust. We have explored the matter as thoroughly as possible, but Ozena is a dead issue, and as an organization, we will need to let it die as we did years ago with JRT.
Finally, the board is doing everything possible to ensure the longevity of the GWHS. It has been a trying six months for all of us. No one expected the turn of events we have had to deal with, as we all assumed it would just be business as usual with trench battles, timelines, and get-togethers. Unfortunately, that was not the case. We are doing everything we can to make sure everything is done right without rushing into anything that might harm the club. Please continue to be patient with us as we work together to improve and strengthen Great War Re-enacting in Southern California.
Dear Active Voting Members of the GWHS:
This past weekend, we had an open meeting following our one day battle event regarding the land use issue with the owner of King’s Crossing. The board has met with the owner a number of times to reach an agreement which was beneficial to both parties. Over the past months, we have been unable to reach a contract which is acceptable for the future of the GWHS. The landowner sees the rental of the land as a way to make money and exploit the GWHS’s lack of a site (and loss of the previous site). The landowner has agreed to let us use the land and make improvements, but at issue is the use of the land when we are not there. In order to secure the land for our exclusive use, the land owner wishes to charge us monthly fees which are out of our price point. As the landowner, it is his right to decide the use of his land and fees associated with this use. However, because we cannot afford his monthly fees, the board has had worked out an event by event agreement, but he reserves the right to rent the land (with our improvements) to other interested parties like airsoft and paintball groups.
As discussed in our meeting, the voting membership needs to weigh this information and decide if we should stay at King’s Crossing. If the membership decides to stay, please be aware that we may have to share the site with other groups and its use will not be under our control, but the landowners. If we choose to leave, we will be without a site, and without definite prospects for another site in the near future.
Moving forward, should the membership vote to stay, the board recommends the following idea: We propose keeping a simple plan in regard to construction at King’s Crossing. We, also, suggest that we actively seek out a new site while using King’s Crossing in the event that the use by other groups interferes with our enjoyment.
Please give your thoughtful consideration to this matter and vote on the forum by Sunday, June 2nd.
Dear Members of GWHS,
We are pleased to announce our first offensive at King’s Crossing on May 19. It is open to all current GWHS members only. This means that as of right now only those individuals who paid their dues by the 1st of March would be admitted to the battlefield. However, at this time, the board would like to invite past members back into the fold, by extending this deadline enabling past members to pay their dues at the event. Upon the conclusion of the one day event, there will also be a voter’s meeting to determine the future of developing King’s Crossing as a more permanent site.
As to the event, it will be an open, late war campaign with no trenches. Primitive fortifications may be constructed and fox holes may be dug. I know that some of you are just itching to fight; now’s your chance. We will commence at 10am on Saturday, with the battle lasting all day. In the evening, we will hold our voter’s meeting. Participants are welcome to camp in either modern or period camp sites for the evening, but at this time, without proper trenches, no night battle is planned. Friday arrivals are fine, as are Sunday departures. Battle fees will be $10 per member ($30 for those who still need to pay their dues), and will be payable to Treasurer Chris Michaelis by May 19th. Both PayPal and mailed checks or money orders are accepted methods of payment.
We look forward to seeing you there. Please contact your unit commanders or the board if you have any questions.
The board had their first meeting of the new term. It was a very successful one with some new changes coming about. Stay tuned for further updates as they become available.
An Open Letter from the President concerning recent events:
Dear Members and Friends,
As a result of recent events beyond the Board’s control, we have had to make some serious changes to the coming year’s schedule of events. The current battlefield site at Ozena has been sold, terminating our ability to continue to host WWI immersion events at this location.
Last Thursday night (12/29), I received a phone call informing me that the Ozena site was in escrow and a sale is pending. Friday, I contacted the current owner to verify and discuss all possible options to continue to maintain our current trenches. Due to the nature of the pending sale, this is not an option. The current sale is part of a state run initiative to reintroduce wolves back into the wild population in California’s forests. Consequently, the property will be fenced in for free roaming wolves, making it impossible for any club activity to exist with the wild animals.
By Wednesday (1/4), Sean Weller and myself met with the land owner in Ozena to discuss other options. In the course of our discussion, we discovered a solution which is beneficial to the continuation of WWI re-enacting in California. The landowner has other property not far from our previous location which is not for sale, and is his personal, private property, unlike the previous site which had been for sale for the past five years and belonged to his extended family. We viewed several locations on the over 400 acres of his land and chose a large plateau of approximately 20 acres of flat, secluded land. It has 360 degrees of uninterrupted views, is easily accessible by vehicles, and has a gated entrance. It is close to emergency services, and we discovered we had cell reception there during our visit.
Finding the new site met our criteria, we discussed moving onto this property, and the landowner agreed. Our task now is to begin moving onto the new property. Due to time constraints placed on us because of the sale, we must move anything possible from Ozena to the new site, King’s Crossing. Anything left at Ozena will be bulldozed when the new owner takes possession somewhere around mid to late February. It is imperative that we as a club spend the next weekends before February 11th removing everything of value. Anything left behind, will be forfeited.
Like you, I am disappointed and saddened at losing Ozena. However, I hope you are as excited as I am about King’s Crossing. We have lost sites before due to situations that were out of our control. King’s Crossing is different from both JRT and Ozena. It proposes a longevity Ozena never had. It is more secure, offers more room for growth, and the landowner and ranch hands frequent the site reducing trespassers and vandals.
I know all of you are busy in your personal lives. Perhaps you can’t make every weekend between now and the 11th, but please make time to join me and the Board on January 21st at Ozena for a joint Allied and Central Powers meeting. At this time everyone can meet to see the new site and move items from Ozena to King’s Crossing. We will also discuss new changes that will make us a stronger, healthier and more unified organization.
If you have any questions regarding this or any issue, please visit the contacts page on the new GWHS website: www.gwhsww1.org.
Dear members and friends of GWHS,
I am writing this note to inform you of some new changes to the organization of the Great War Historical Society which were discussed at our meeting this past weekend. You will note that I am no longer calling this a club, we have moved passed that status and must start thinking of ourselves as a more progressive group. If you don’t know already, we have lost the site at Ozena and have moved to a new location. This has put quite a strain on the Board to keep things together and not lose anyone like what happened when we lost JRT.
As a result of our move, we are implementing Club Dues to offset new costs the club has incurred. The fee will be $20.00 a year per member, payable by March 1st. This will help with rebuilding the site and bring the cost down on battle fees. A new battle fee schedule will be posted soon. We will also be creating a membership card system that will help keep things in order.
Another change that we will be making to GWHS is rank ratio. This means, in a nut shell, that you cannot be a sergeant when you only have two members in your unit. We will expound on this more when we have our all unit meeting at our spring battle.
Along with this, we are expecting to see more members present at our public timeline events. I cannot express how important this is as we approach our 100 anniversary. This not only benefits the public in education, helps with our 501c3 designation, but helps individual units in the long run with recruiting.
Also of note is the establishment of Kings Crossing as a Western Front only site. We will be set in November of 1917 to November of 1918. Early war impressions and anything in-between will be for public events and parades only. On the battlefield it is 1917-18 only. Be sure your unit follows these guidelines so as to keep the immersion event more period correct for everyone.
I have been approached by several members who have expressed concern regarding females joining our organization and whether they would be allowed on the actual battlefield. I must clear up this issue once and for all. Females may join and are encouraged to join GWHS as long as they do gender specific roles; ie: doughnut dollies, hello girls, nurses, communications, truck driving, etc. Females may dress in military uniform as long as they have documentation to back it up. Women are not to be in the front lines and no-man’s land during a battle.
These new guidelines have been thoroughly debated amongst board members and reviewed. They were not thought of overnight, and I think they will benefit the organization in the long run. All I want is to see GWHS grow and maintain its status as one of the best WW1 reenacting groups in the country, I know you do too.
I look forward to seeing you in upcoming events for this season. Please check the website for our up to date calendar.
As you all are aware there have been many changes in the past few months that have caused the board to take actions in a swift manner. This weekend the board sat down to discuss the future of the club in light of these changes. The following are results of that meeting which affect all members of the GWHS. Please note that our utmost concern is the continuation of Great War reenacting and preserving the club as a whole.
In order to be best prepared and to use the club funds in the wisest manner, the board has decided to postpone the planned March 31st-April 1st battle. The board has been working on a contract with the landowner to ensure that the events which drove us from Ozena will not be repeated at King’s Crossing. After much discussion and thought, we have decided to make sure we have the best possible deal for the GWHS which protects the members, the integrity of the site, and the materials we have purchased and installed on there. Since the contract has not yet been approved by the landowner and ourselves, the board feels that at this time, we must postpone the battle until such a contract is in place.
Due to the postponement of the Spring battle, please note that the upcoming dig day for March 10th will be cancelled. As soon as we have a working contract in place, new dates for the battle and future dig days will be scheduled.
This has been a trying time for the board, and I hope you all can be patient with us. We hope to have this situation resolved very soon. We are currently seeking legal counsel to protect the organization and sincerely hope that the membership can support us through this small hiccup in the schedule. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 909-632-3603. I look forward to hearing from you and hope we can all work together to make 2012 one of our best years ever.