Dr. Witt's first meeting reflected the new ideas that were to prevail. A motion was made to raise a fund to assist in the Christmas celebration for the orphans at Normal, Illinois. The motion provided that a committee be appointed to investigate and cooperate with others with full power to act as they see fit and expand a certain sum. In other years a sum would have been appropriated and the money spent with no accounting or thought.
The service officer offered a series of constructive ideas at an early meeting. Up until this time service work had been carried on more or less sporadically by the man holding the position of service officer. We had been fortunate in our service officer. Grant Nash had handled this office with extreme care and efficiency. His work had been favorably commented on by Posts of the county, the county committee and by at least two State Commanders. One State Commander had stated to the writer that he knew of no Post in the country that had as efficient and careful a service officer. However at times certain members would come in with wild reports of destitution and suffering on the part of some ex-serviceman's family. Sometimes he would stampede the Post into a wild foolish expenditure. In every case where Nash was allowed time to investigate it would be found that his solution was correct and economical. Now he proposed certain regulations and plans to facilitate his work and to prevent ridiculous interference by ignorant but well meaning volunteers. It speaks well for the good sense and new spirit of the Post that his recommendations were carried out.
Another departure was the appointment of a membership committee to carefully map out a campaign In previous years committees had gone at the matter with a rush and a hurrah and membership had piled up and workers had become less. Doubts were expressed after the experience of the past two years as to whether a hundred or so members whose names meant nothing was desirable. A sane plan was evolved and while membership did not increase as it had in previous years, at least the men that came in were interested in the Post and worked for it.
A committee to consider the annual Fourth of July affair was appointed early in the year. This committee was composed of men who helped in past years. All available material was placed at their disposal and they were told to present a plan to the Post based on past experiences. Later they reported and advised that the celebration should be held on the vacant property at the north end of Washington Street. The dance that ordinarily involved much overhead and no profit was declared out. A fireworks firm had been consulted and they had assured the committee that they could set up and fire a program there as well as at the forest preserve. The plans were carried out and the carnival and games were held in the place selected. The receipts were far less than they had been at the forest preserve but the ratio of profits was far higher and the affair was a great success.
Membership showed an increase over the previous year. There was a higher percentage of members who turned out to help at the various functions arranged by the Post. The affairs that had become routine for the Post were more carefully planned and went thru with a minimum of fuss and friction. Solicitations for financial aid were referred to competent committees for investigation and reported on at the next meeting. The Legion retired from its position of unofficial and year round Santa Claus.
While the record of this years performances does not involve anything in the way of new and spectacular activities, it does show an improvement in the manner of carrying on what ever was undertaken.
Commander Witt requested and received the assent of the Post to a modification of the by-laws so that the commander could take care of matters in an efficient and rapid manner. Thru his leadership the business and activities of the Post were conducted in a dignified and at the same time careful manner that the waste and ridiculous enthusiasms prevalent at the times in the past were no longer considered or even proposed. The Post closed a successful and sane year with the election of Arthur Johnson as Commander