Ron Denney welcomed members and guests as they joined the Zoom meeting.
President Joel Ivy opened the meeting. Fred Oeters led the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
Amanda Walls facilitated introduction of visiting Rotarians and guests, who were:
  • Jaffe S. Pickett, guest of Rick Maxey;
  • Sarah Clark and Mark Denim, guests of Brandon Clark;
  • Carol Hornsby, guest of Don Selvage; and
  • Doug McCall from the Rotary Club of Wallasey England.
President Joel Ivy called for Happy Dollars.  Stacy Williams was happy she accepted a new position as consultant for Carter Global, a non-profit consulting firm based in Vero Beach. She submitted her resignation to Achievement Academy, however she will remain at Achievement Academy for a brief time to help with the transition.  Stacy will continue to live in Lakeland and attend Rotary meetings. Beth Hesseltine was happy her daughter finishes college this month!  She is also happy her daughter and boyfriend will be coming home for Christmas. Linda Wiggs was delighted her daughter got married this weekend at their home. Arletta Black Torres is happy we can enjoy a little Christmas cheer in the form of good music with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra holiday concert on Tuesday, December 8 at 7:30 pm at the Sun-N-Fun hangar outside with live streaming provided by Lkld Live. And Amanda Walls is happy her daughter, Ella, turned 13 today!  She is their first teenager.
Joel Ivy announced that members should have received a slate of candidates for the first round of voting for 2021-2023 Board Members. Each member may vote for 6 and can also write in candidates. Look for the email and return it as soon as possible.
Jim Russell stressed the urgency of club members signing up for a shift for Salvation Army bell ringing. Sign up has not been up to the usual standards and there are still many vacant slots.  Jim reminded us the Salvation Army gets over half of its funds for the year through the holiday kettle Drive. Please sign up on Club Runner or email Jim Russel at:
Matt Schichtel announced Spring Obsession will be Saturday, March 13 at Lake Crago. He is requesting sponsors for the Spring Obsession. Please contact Matt or Melody Rider.
There will not be a Board of Directors meeting tonight. Instead, everyone is invited to meet at Fresco’s on Tuesday, December 8 at 5:30 for a social get-together.
Don Selvage then introduced Canter Brown, Jr., who is professor, author, and historian to present, “The Life of Henry Plant:  His Partnership with Albert Munn and the Impact on Lakeland Today.”
Henry Bradley Plant was a transportation entrepreneur from Connecticut.  In 1854, he was working for Adams Express and the partners sent him to Georgia to expand operations. Henry Plant brilliantly renamed the company Southern Express to be better accepted in the south.  Later, he had the opportunity to purchase his own railroad. Henry sent his son, Morton Plant, to Florida to scout a route that would connect Kissimmee to Tampa Bay area and on to southwest Florida, encouraging growth in the entire region. He set up a camp for the workers on the mid-point of the line, in an area we now know as Munn Park.
Henry met Herbert Jackson Drane, a very young and ambitious employee. Plant encouraged Drane to build a city around the work camp. The Plants believed it would be a great location to develop a city due to its proximity to the intersection of previously developed Native American trail roads, the telegraph wire line that ran through Lake Wire, and the availability of land.  A competition eventually began between John W. Trammel and Abraham Munn, who each had farm property that bordered the railroad route, to be the first to build the city Plant suggested. The rest is Lakeland history!
The book, “Henry Bradley Plant: Gilded Age Dreams for Florida and a New South,” by Canter Brown, Jr. is available on Amazon.
Next week’s program will feature Shawn Sherrouse, Lakeland City Manager, who will give an update on the State of the City.