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Continuity Dinner
St Louis Section–ACS


What is the Continuity Dinner?

The Continuity Dinner is a fancier-than-usual Board Meeting, held each December to mark the official passing of the gavel from the outgoing to the incoming Chair. There is a General Meeting of the Section, the Distinguished Service Award winner is announced, the Henry Godt Memorial Lecture is delivered by a secret speaker. The “Continuity” part comes in where the outgoing chair turns over the official section gavel and the book A Century of Chemistry, which has been signed by all the Chairs and many distintuished guests since 1973.

This event is often held at a different venue than our regular monthly Board Meetings. We eat a little better, drink a little more, dress a little nicer, and often welcome members we haven’t seen around for awhile. Even if you never attend any Section functions, you might want to put this one on your calendar.

Reservation for Continuity Dinner, 2009

... will be held at Glen Echo Country Club (Map to Glen Echo CC map)
5:30 social hour, open bar (beer, wine, soft drinks)
6:30 dinner and meeting
Reservations by December 1 to:

Dr William Doub
US FDA
1114 Market St., Rm. 1002
Saint Louis, MO 63101
(314) 539-3816

Make checks payable to St Louis Section–ACS, and send the following information:
Name(s) ___________________________________________________
Number attending ____ $30 each = amount remitted $___________
Choice of entrée (number of each): fish ________ or steak ________

Report from Continuity Dinner, 2009

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These members grabbed seats at the table in front of the fireplace. Alas, no fire.

The 2009 Continuity Dinner was held on a mild but rainy December 10 at Glen Echo Country Club. The room was festively decorated and set with six round tables instead of the usual strictly-business arrangement typical of board meetings—one big rectangle. A total of 28 members attended, including four from the Younger Chemists Committee and three for whom this was their first Section event.

In addition to the usual agenda for Board meetings, the Continuity Dinner features three special items:

In a gesture believed to be long overdue, Bill Doub announced that Keith Stine will be the Distinguished Service Awardee. The award will be conferred officially at Recognition Night in March.

Lol Barton delivers Henry Godt Memorial Lecture

Lol Barton was the secret Henry Godt Memorial Lecturer

After much shuffling and misdirection, Lol Barton rose to deliver the Henry Godt Memorial Lecture. He began with a remembrance and paean to Henry—including a slide featuring Henry on the cover of the January, 1968, Chemical Bond, as incoming Chair—and concluded with a rundown of the most successful and significant Section events of 2009, and the people responsible. You can read the transcript here. Well, not so much a transcript as “here’s what I remember saying, or wish I had said.”

passing the book (and gavel)

The traditional passing of the book and the gavel from outgoing to incoming chair. Bill Doub looks like he can’t quite relinquish the book to Shelley Minteer.

The Henry C. Godt Memorial Lecture
December 10, 2009

by Lol Barton

I am not sure who among you knows much about Henry Godt. When I became part of the leadership in the Local Section in 1972, Henry Godt was a fixture. Indeed when I first came to St. Louis in 1966, he was Editor of the Chemical Bond and then, in 1968, he was Section Chair. At the Continuity Dinner, especially in the eighties and nineties, Henry would rise at the end of the meeting and make some comments, often thanking folks who had not been thanked, often repeating some of what had been said on a range of topics, in order to emphasize them, and sometimes taking issue with something that had happened.

Ray Mount gave the first Henry Godt Memorial Lecture in 1999. We have had some excellent ones over the years, none better than the one given by Greg Wall in 2002, in rhyme. I re-read my copy just today. In December 2003 we added to the Job Manual for the Section Chair to select someone who, unannounced, would give the Henry C. Godt Memorial Lecture. I gave the lecture once before, in 2005.

It is not the Henry Godt Lecture that is important. It is the memory of Henry, whose loyalty and support of the Local Section was unwavering and most valuable. This Section has been a very successful one over the years, and that is due to the traditions established by the likes of Henry C. Godt. The Section meant so much to him. He never missed a meeting unless he couldn’t possibly come and we recall his attendance with a respirator and an O2 cylinder during his last year with us.

My recollections of the highlights of his contributions are numerous. Two I will mention. One was his chairing of the local organizing committee for the National ACS Meeting in St Louis in 1984. The other was his remarkable efforts to obtain support for the two major awards given by the Section, especially Monsanto’s support of the St Louis award. He was the first recipient of the Section’s Distinguished Service Award. We considered naming the award after him but decided against setting such a precedent. Look him up on the web. He was a Monsanto chemist, musician, Arkansan, University of Michigan graduate and a great supporter of the Section. I always thought of Henry as old. In fact, he was often the oldest person at the Board meetings. Actually by my current standards he was not old. He died in 1998 at the age of 72! I am almost that age now and I am not old at all, am I? Henry would, if he were here, comment as follows:

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