January 15, 2022

The Zoom meeting was called to order in ritualistic manner by Commander Jerry Skotleski.

Other members in attendance were:

Bob Shaffer Hal Myers Craig Kelly Rich Ryczak
Tim Chase Howard Wolfe Dale Keklock Jim Jones
Jerry O'Malley Bill Fischer

Officers Excused: Chaplain Mark Myers

Guest: Danielle Shaffer, Bannon-Long, Auxiliary #10


The minutes from the December meeting were read.  A motion was made to accept the minutes as read by Jim Jones and seconded by Craig Kelly.  All were in favor.



The Treasurer's Report was given by Howard Wolfe.  Bob Shaffer mentiones that we have 83 members on the roster, 16 are life members, 28 have paid their dues and that leaves us with 39 members who have not paid.  A motion to accept the treasurer's report was made by Rich Ryczak and seconded by Dale Keklock.  All were in favor.



Dale Keklock said that Gage Sacco's family is recovering well from Covid.  Craig Kelly mentioned that past member George Gyurska passed away on Christmas Eve.  Our prayers and thoughts are with Giovan Lisi and George's family.  Bill Fischer mentioned that his daughter Molly in Ohio and son and daughter-in-law in Maryland all had Covid between Christmas and New Year's and are now doing fine.



Jerry O'Malley still hasn't heard from Cathedral Cemetery.



Jim Jones is now the National chairman of the Eagle Scout Board for the Order of St. George, working across state lines notifying for Courts of Honors which is similar to the Sons Organization.  As he gets applications for the Order of St. George, he notifies them of the Sons program.  Joint Program coming up in Philadelphia and he is working with Don Houston and the Order of St. George.  He has one application in progress besides the one in Philadelphia.



All General Orders and Department Orders were emailed to members.



Howard Wolfe still has not heard anything from the Yoder Foundation about our move.

Hal Myers apologized to Jess for us not being at the Library.  Jess told him that anytime we need the Media Room that it's open to us.  He also said that he was at the Cathedral Cemetery and saw the condition of the cannons at the cemetery.  He feels that this project would cost a lot of money and they are in very bad shape.  It will take a lot of work to do it and with someone with the know how.

Jerry O'Malley received a message from Dave Eisele from the Veterans' Affairs office of Lackawanna County and he said that the cemetery is not responsible for the upkeep of cannons, artifacts, etc. in the Civil War section of the cemetery.  He did mention that he has a group of volunteers to fix the 2 cannons and have them repaired for Memorial Day.

Bill Fischer received a notice that we have been approved for $2000 from the State Archives for archival storage of original GAR Post member photos.  We should receive this money by March or so.  Bill also met with Hal to get the first form sent in.  We have 2 years to finish the project.  Jerry O'Malley mentioned that he has pictures that were from Joe Long, he is willing to give them to Bill for the project.

Commander Skotleski mentioned that the construction stuff in the alleyway is out of the way.  Jerry O'Malley is concerned of the moving of artifacts in the Museum.  He is afraid things could be missing or destroyed.  Commander Skotleski told members that City Hall is shut down except for essential personnel.  When the City Hall reopens Hal Myers can then check on our Museum and Meeting Room.  Hal Myers stated the the maintenance man, Paul O'Hara who takes care of the building, said that he would notify him so we can check on our Museum and Meeting Room.



Auxiliary member Danielle Shaffer submitted an invoice for the Camp website for $175.75 for the year.  The break down of this invoice is as follows:

Hosting with (1 year)    $83.88

Domain Name (1 year)                      $21.87

Maintenance (1 year)                         $70.00

This invoice must be paid by March 1st as the website renews on March 4th.  Jim Jones stated that it's important to have the website.  Jim made a motion to approve the renewal and it was seconded by Hall Myers.  All were in favor.

Howard Wolfe asked about how many people visit the website in a year.  From January 2021 to present, we had over 2000 visitors.  Dale Keklock mentioned that he takes care of the Camp Facebook page.

Bill Fischer asked who ran the GAR Museum website as some things need to be updated.  Howard Wolfe said he will look into it.

Jim Jones made a suggestion that the Camp website, Facebook page and any other sites pertaining to our Organization, to be listed.  They are as followed:

Camp #8 website          

GAR Museum              

Camp #8 Facebook                Lt. Ezra S. Griffin, Camp #8, PA Department, SUVCW | Facebook

GAR Museum Facebook        G.A.R. Museum and Library, Scranton,PA | Facebook

Bill Fischer is working on a tri-fold information/recruiting brochure for Camps that don't have their own such brochure as the Department Junior Vice Commander.  There is a space on the back that has the Department website link and can also list camps' links.


Dale Keklock would like to get a few before and after pictures of members who served in the Civil War for his vidoes and for the website.  Bill Fischer said to check with the Lackawannna County Historical Society.

Hal Myers does a lot of work and research with Civil War Historical Database based with Union soldiers.  When he looks up soldiers from around this area, information is sent in from other people and there are pictures we may not have.  Hal said he will send them to Dale.



Hal Myers mentioned that he and Secretary Shaffer get a lot of requests of people looking for information.  Secretary Shaffer sometimes passes this onto Hal and a members asked if Confederates are veterans by law.  He researched it and found out that they are indeed veterans, that in 1958/59 (although some dispute his service) after the last Confederate died, the law was changed and made all Confederate soldiers have the same rights as Union soldiers.  The law again was changed in 1957 to allow any widows of Confederate soldiers to collect pensions.  By then there was 1 or 2 left in the Country.  The last known Confederate widow died in 2004/2008.  At National Cemeteries, they do not recognize their flag.  There are about 464 Confederates, since some buried are widows, in Arlington National Cemetery.

Next meeting is Saturday, February 19th, 2022 at 10:30am by Zoom.



Jerry O'Malley gave a report on General Winfield Scott Hancock who was known as "Hancock the Superb."  He was noted in particular for his leadership at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.


With no further business or discussion, the meeting was closed in ritualistic fashion by Commander Skotleski.


Respectfully submitted,

Robert C. Shaffer