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DRT District meeting focuses on new library, headquarters


Goliad County Judge Pat Calhoun welcomed Daughters of the Republic of Texas to the Immaculate Conception Church Hall in Goliad for its annual District VII Meeting. Amid a room decorated with the nine flags that have flown over Goliad, he praised those present for their steadfast protection of the history and heritage of the state of Texas in a time when history is “under attack.”
In its biannual business, District VII elected Martha Fleitas as district representative and Carla Miller as alternate, and elected to the nominating committee, Mary Weiser with Alicia Cowley as alternate. These ladies will assume office after the 2018 State Convention in Dallas, Texas.
Following the election, President General Barbara Stevens outlined the organization’s goals and announced that she recently toured the DRT Library at its new location in the Federal Reserve Building on 126 E. Nueva Street in San Antonio, and that a grand opening event is coming soon.
An update on the plans to build the Republic of Texas History Complex [ROTHC] on DRT-owned property located at 802 ½ San Marcos Street in Austin, Texas, was provided by ROTHC Chairman Patricia Horridge. Members took a virtual tour and received an update on the building funds. At this time, approximately 70 percent of the money needed for construction has been collected. Additional funds will be needed for set-up: communications and furnishings.
As a history to this project, the organization has already collected $1.25 million to purchase the property where a new building will be located. While the purchase and preparation of the property is complete, TxDot recently announced its plans for a fly-over project that would place huge pillars in the present headquarters building. After negotiations with TxDot, DRT has sold a portion of the current Anderson Lane property to TxDot. That sale has been completed and those funds comprise a portion of the 70 percent mentioned above.
The new building will be multi-purposed. Included in the plans are a new headquarters, including a vault to protect genealogical documents, and space for the DRT Museum. Visitors will be able to research on site and conference rooms with kitchen privileges will be available for use and/or lease. Patricia Horridge indicated that project completion is a financial reality, and she encourages all daughters to push through the finish line and “bring it home.”
The meeting concluded with a program on the Oak Hill Cemetery provided by Bill Christopher (La Bahia Sons of the Republic of Texas) and Alicia Cowley [President of Presidio La Bahia DRT Chapter] This program was followed by Executive Director of the El Comino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association Steven Gonzales and his overview of the El Comino Real Trail through Goliad to Bexar.
Members from the following chapters conducted business and enjoyed programs of area interest: Alamo Heroes, Alamo Couriers, Alamo Missions (all San Antonio), Stenson Simpson (Rockport), Villa de San Augustin de Laredo [Laredo], Presidio La Bahia (Goliad), Texana (Edna), Clara Driscoll (Corpus Christi), Alsatian Pioneers (Castroville), Fort Brown (Brownsville), Rio Medio (Beeville) and Caddel-Smith (Uvalde).
The nine members from Caddel-Smith who traveled to Goliad include Jane Van Hoozer, Kay Anderson, JoAnn Eanes, Billie Nast, Roberta Himebrook, Debra Ripka, Missy Solbrig, Amanda Van Hoozer and Judy Burleson.