Seeking Member Interest and Input in 2014 Convocation

Seeking Member Interest and Input
in 2014 Convocation

At our last Convocation in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2009, declining attendance led the Parke Society officers and trustees to conclude that we would henceforth hold annual meetings to conduct the necessary business of the Society, continuing to invite all members to attend, but not planning a full-blown Convocation. However, since we are celebrating our fiftieth year as a Society, we thought we’d try to determine whether there is sufficient member interest in holding another full Convocation in 2014.

Here’s what we have in mind, and we would very much like to hear from as many of you as possible on two points:

a.) whether you have an interest in attending and would be likely to do so

b.) what time of year would be best for you to be able to attend.

The location we have in mind for the 2014 Convocation is Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Lancaster County Historical Society has recently completed a major building renovation, and we are exploring options for holding at least part of the Convocation activities at the LCHS facility. We would try to arrange for all Parke Society members in attendance to have access to the excellent library and archives at the LCHS at no extra charge, and at least one program with a guest speaker would be planned for the Convocation.

In addition to the facilities and offerings of the LCHS, the Society would have its Research Room available for members, including the Society’s Lineage Binders and the bulk of the Dana Parks, Jr. Memorial Library at the Convocation hotel. A symposium, led by our Historian and other staff members, on the various Park/e/s lineages of southeastern Pennsylvania would be planned, as well as scheduled one-on-one sessions with Parke Society staff to consult on your individual Park/e/s lineage or other genealogical brick-walls. A formal dinner, followed by a short business meeting to elect officers and trustees would be held either at the LCHS or the Convocation hotel.

The LCHS is located on the same grounds as Wheatland, historic home of President James Buchanan, and the Tanger Arboretum. The LCHS recently took possession of the Esprit Collection of Amish quilts, and a half-dozen are on display at any given time. Of course, Amish country is a short drive away and there are many other attractions in the area providing activities of interest to all family members.

Naturally, we would like to have some gauge of the amount of interest as soon as possible, so we encourage you to contact us sometime in the next few weeks, as we would like to approach the LCHS and hotels about plans by July or August of 2013. Expressing an interest is in no way a firm commitment on your part, we simply need to know if there is sufficient interest to warrant moving forward with event planning. The time frame we have in mind for the Convocation is sometime between mid-July to the end of August. While we held past Convocations and our annual meetings in September, we feel by moving the Convocation to a period after the July 4th holiday and before Labor Day and the beginning of the school year, members would be able to plan vacation time to allow them to attend the Convocation.

While much of the focus of the Convocation will be on early southeast Pennsylvania Park/e/s lineages due to the physical location, the Convocation will encompass all Park/e/s lineages and locations, and we look forward to welcoming all members as we gather once again to meet, for the first time or to renew old acquaintances! Join us!!

To contact Ken Parks and express your interest and thoughts about the proposed 2014 Convocation, click the icon: