INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS OF THE PANAMERICAN ROUND TABLE OF DALLAS III, Tree of Life May, 1986
Good morning, Madame Director and members:
Rituals and symbols are an important part of our lives. We have wedding ceremonies, memorial services, baptisms, graduations, birthday parties and many kinds of festivities which serve to create memories of a significant event. Symbols, also, have great consequence for us, although they are usually more mysterious and we must delve a little deeper to find their true meaning.
For instance, wildflowers in the Spring are symbols of the renewal and abundance of life after a long Winter sleep. Diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other colored gem stones are symbols of birthdays and silver and gold represent anniversaries.
Colors are also symbols, each color and nuance representing interior and exterior facets of our psychological composition and environment.
Today, as a symbol, we are using the Tree of Life. You can well imagine the different parts of a tree with its roots deep in the earth, its many branches spreading in different directions and reaching for the sky, its little buds curling tightly, its flowers and fruit and finally it's seeds to renew the cycle and begin new trees. An organization is the same: we must have roots and branches and we must have the of our labors which represent the fulfillment of our goals. We must constantly have renewals, as one Board of Directors plants the seeds and a new Board nourishes the growth and starts the cycle over again. As individual members, we are all part of the Tree for the sap that runs from the roots to the leaves is a vital part of the life force, as is each leaf, making part of the whole.
Imagine, if you will, that we are seeing some friends off today on a journey through all the Americas. They carry with them the seeds of the Tree of Life of the Pan American Round Tables, each seed representing a different gift. Each little Tree of Life is a different color, representing your duties and the gifts you bestow on others.
Ana Marie Lee, as Parliamentarian, your Tree of Life is Red, the color symbol of Strength, the banner of courage. Red as the color of a judge's robe. Red as a powerful instrument of the law to see that the will of the people is upheld in a constitutional manner. Your responsibility is to be knowledgeable in your duty, to be wise in its application and to administer the rules with personal impartiality. The seeds you take with you on this journey to spread among this Hemisphere are Freedom from Prejudice and the Conviction to uphold the principles on which the Panamerican Round Tables were formed, those principles which have served us justly. You take with you also the instrument (the Constitution) for Hope and Peace among nations.
Susie Judd, as Historian, Your Tree of Life is the color Yellow, bright as sunshine, spreading rays of enlightenment over all countries. You are the Guardian of the Past, the priceless record of humanity's lessons and achievements. You keep a diary of the accomplishments of this Table. Yellow is the color of the intellect. With the gift of intelligence, we have the opportunity to benefit from our failures and to grow from these experiences. The gift you take with you should be scattered to the winds fully and well, for your gift is UNDERSTANDING.
Cora Segovia, your Tree of Life is multicolored, for you are Publicity Chairman of this Table. Your colors represent the flags of all the nations. The flag is one of the greatest symbols of all, as it represents a nation of individuals with different ideas finally formed into a cohesive, viable entity. It represents a nation's struggles and hopes fulfilled at last. Your duty is to spread knowledge, but the gift you take with you on this trip is UNITY.
Lynne Hoseck, as Treasurer, your Tree of Life is Green, surely God's favorite color. Green represents Nature's bounty and the promise of the harvest. Literature is filled with references to this color: How Green Was my valley. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures".. and many others. Even the names of certain greens evoke visions of the exotic. We have absinthe, beryl, celadon, most and myrtle, malachite, jade and emerald. We have Egyptian, Nile, Irish, Paris, Veronese and Vienna greens. And we have currency, sometimes called the "greenback." Currency is a symbol, too, for paper money has not value in itself and is only a substitute for gold or silver and our coins have replaced the barter system for goods or services. Your responsibility is to be the caretaker and record keeper of the assets of your Table, of gifts received and given. And your gifts to dispense on this journey are Diligence, Honesty and Charity.
Corresponding Secretary, Dee Cole, your Tree of Life is Pink. Pink is the color symbol of affection, of sharing and giving of yourself. With the strength of red softened by blending the purity of white, pink is understanding and forgiving. Your responsibility is a great one, for you represent your Table in all written words. You spread cheer, official news, and sometimes words of sympathy. With every letter, you portray yourself, your Table and your country to others. You carry with you to distant lands the message of Friendship.
Elas Naeger, as Recording Secretary, your Tree of Life is the color Orange. As the orange of an early morning sun, you send out illumination and accuracy. As the orange of a Harvest Moon, you spread the light and Truth in records well kept. Blending the colors red and yellow, your color represents the melding of Character and Intelligence, of Illumination. As colors change with the season, so change the cycles of life. The records you keep today will pass on to the Historian for posterity. In these ever-shifting times, your gift is important, for it is the special one of Continuity.
Foye Sellars, as Third Associate Director, your Tree of Life is Lilac. As Social Chairman, your duties are arranging hospitality, places to meet and the social functions of the Table. Using the charming color Lilac, this should be an easy task for you. For lilac is a spiritual color, blending blue, red and white. It is softened by experience and enhanced by knowledge. In intensity, it is close to the pink of friendship. Lilac is a Symbol of peace and tranquillity. Because you are concerned with the ease of others, you extend the courtesy that is natural to this color. And with a special sensitivity, you offer your gifts most generously to others. As gifts you carry with you many elements, Grace, the fragrance of fresh Spring lilacs, and Wisdom, the greatest gift of all.
Tara McCown, your Tree of
Life is Blue. As Second Associate Director in charge of Programs, your duties
are varied. As a color symbol, blue represents loyalty, compassion, purity,
honesty and the ability to stand fast in your ideals. Blue is the color of the
sky, the celestial heavens. In planning programs, you will increase your Vision
and Periphery for:
If we can distance ourselves far enough, we can increase our perception of the world.
We can see cities instead of neighborhoods.
We can see States instead of cities,
and we can see nations instead of states.
And we can see the earth in its wholeness, thereby gaining in understanding
the differences which comprise this world. And perhaps, with enough vision,
we might stress the similarities among peoples, rather than the differences.
With this rich inheritance of Blue, you will serve your Director and your Table well. The wonderful gifts you take with you are Fidelity, Willingness to Serve, and Ideals.
Esther Wandke, as First Associate Director in Charge of Membership, your Tree of Life is Turquoise. The color symbol turquoise is as solid as the stone from which it is cleft. Turquoise is a mineral containing many elements, as your responsibilities will contain many elements. Turquoise is found in Mexico near Oaxaca, in the Southwestern part of the United States, and in Afghanistan, Russia and Turkey, where it was named. As the mineral is found in such different places, so is the membership of a Table composed of diverse personalities, of different characteristics and beliefs. American Indians wear turquoise as healing amulets, as you will attempt to fuse and consolidate separate opinions and viewpoints into a melodious whole. The Indians paint the window sills of their houses turquoise to ward off evil spirits. You will seek to protect the integrity of your Table and assure the membership of a continuing democratic spirit. The gift you take with you is Invaluable , for you will give HARMONY.
Mary Christie, as the Director
of the Pan American Round Table of Dallas III, your Tree of Life is the magnificent
color Purple, the royal color of kings and queens. Blending blue and red, purple
represents a passionate belief in ideals and the courage to follow them.
Paradoxically, it also represents humility. For to be a leader, one must first
learn to follow. Purple signifies the ability to serve others and to represent
It is strength tempered by justice, justice tempered by compassion and compassion tempered by understanding. It is the acceptance of sorrow and joy and the willingness to share these major dramas of our lives.
It is the quietness to listen, the stillness to hear and the unprejudiced Receptivity to change one's mind.
Your gifts to carry on this journey are both TEACHING AND LEARNING, both LEADING AND FOLLOWING. For it is you who will carry the beacon of light to show the way. It is you, sharing this command bond with the other members of your Board, who will take with you a heritage of beliefs in Panamericanism to spread friendship, knowledge and understanding to ail the Americas.
Having been duly installed, as the Board of Directors of Dallas Table III, you are all now ready to depart on your travels, taking wondrous gifts with you. May all of you have a wonderful, exciting, rewarding and joyous journey.
Y vayan con Dios.
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