Texas Rangers present program to Huajilla Unit

Irene Dubberly, left, and Gerry Bridges present a gift of Huajilla honey to Texas Rangers Ryan Kindall and Wayne Matthews.

Neal’s Dining Café in Concan hosted fifty members of the Huajilla Unit Retired Teachers on March 26. President Irene Dubberly called the meeting to order followed by the pledges to the flags and, since the meeting theme was “Texas Pride,” members sang “Texas, Our Texas.” Charles Carlson offered the prayer, calling to mind members who need to be in our thoughts: Gerry Bridges, Joan Langfeld, Patty Driskill, Dan Keath, and the families of Deloy Dawson and Elizabeth McAnelly. Of special note is Elenor Mathis from Castroville who is celebrating her 100th birthday!
Members Ruth Davis and Ken Hanson celebrated milestone birthdays during the month and several members welcomed new grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Dubberly recognized Gerry Bridges for planning the meeting; Bridges then introduced Texas Rangers Ryan Kindall and Wayne Matthews who presented a brief history and interesting facts about the Texas Rangers. The Texas Rangers, a division of Texas DPS since 1935, was established in 1823 as a paramilitary force of both the Republic of Texas and the state of Texas.A few interesting facts: unlike Walker, Texas Ranger, real Texas Rangers don’t sport facial hair; the Texas Ranger “star in a wheel” badges are made from five peso 99% silver Mexican coins and are becoming much more rare due to the rarity of the coin; Rangers choose their own side arm; the average of a Texas Ranger is 48; there are only four female Texas Rangers. For more interesting and historical information, visit the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco!
Kindall and Matthews followed with a Q&A. After their program, Ranger Matthews asked for the person who had retired with the most years of teaching experience. Mrs. Alice Santleban had 50 years, all with Knippa ISD. She was presented with a special autographed Texas Ranger photo. In appreciation for their program, Gerry Bridges and Irene Dubberly presented the Rangers with a gift of Huajilla honey.
The minutes from the previous meeting and the Treasurer’s Report were both reviewed and accepted for filing.
Public Relations chair Kathy Carlson has sent sympathy, get-well, birthday and congratulatory cards to members as requested. Membership Chair Lola Hill indicated that membership renewals have started and thanked the 30-plus members who have renewed so far. Charles Carlson has sent out scholarship application forms; the committee will review the applications in mid-April for the two $500 scholarships from the unit. Donations for the Scholarship fund are encouraged so the unit can continue its scholarship awards. Healthcare information and Information and Protective Services printed handouts were available to those attending, and members are reminded that the Huajilla Unit TRTA Facebook page contains meeting info and photos.
Other business was the election of officers. Three members had volunteered to serve for the coming year, and with creative persuasion, two other members came forward and agreed to serve. Officers elected for the coming year are Irene Dubberly, President; Jim Rigby, First Vice President; Betsy Polgue, Second Vice President; Brenda Prestage, Secretary; and Sam Dubberly, Treasurer.
Bruce Simpson opened discussion on the Foundation Fund balance. Because of the hardships that victims of Hurricane Harvey are continuing to suffer, Simpson proposed that the balance in the Huajilla account be submitted to the Foundation and designated for Hurricane Harvey relief. The motion was seconded and passed.
Ken Hanson, Legislative Chair, reported that, after the March primary, statewide, there will be about 30 run-offs. Only two run-offs are of importance to our area: the Republican run-off for House District 121, Joe Strauss’ former position, involves Steve Allison and Matt Bebee; the Democratic run-off for Governor involves Lupe Valdez and Andrew White. Members are reminded that if they did not vote in the Primary, they may vote in either the Republican or Democratic Party run-off. If a person voted in the Republican Primary, they can only vote in the Republican run-off; if they voted in the Democratic Primary, they can only vote in the Democratic run-off. Early voting begins May 22.
The TRS fund is considering lowering the fund’s expectation below the 8%. If this happens, it would increase the fund’s liability. It would not change a current annuitant or retiree’s payment but could almost surely affect future retirees’ annuity. Members need to keep up-to-date with the TRS Board actions.
Prior to adjournment, Jean Sexton informed that the April 23 meeting at the D’Hanis Community Center will be catered by Seco Secrets. With the Fiesta theme, the program will be presented byD’Hanis Band Director, Mr. Castro. The group photo will be taken at this meeting, the Membership Drive and Scholarship Fund drive will continue. As members enjoyed their meal, President Dubberly drew for several door prizes.