Lafayette Genealogical Society

Meeting Minutes

 16 April 2015

The April meeting of the Lafayette Genealogical Society was held on April 16, 2015 in the Meeting Room of the South Regional Library, 1601 Johnston Street at 6:30 P.M. The meeting was called to order by President Herb Scheuermann. After a few welcoming remarks, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited followed by a moment of silence to remember our ancestors and our men and women who have served and are presently serving in the Armed Forces. Judy Trahan made a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes. It was seconded. The motion passed without opposition and everyone was encouraged to read the minutes on our website prior to attending the monthly meetings.

Warren LeBlanc was called upon to give the Treasurer's Report for March 2015:

MARCH BEGINNING BALANCE                                                                 $3,339.39
Dues Collected
Books Sold/Donations
Supplements Sold
Acadiana Project
Publication Expense
Speaker Meals
Banquet Expense
Office Expense
Other Expenses/Rent
Library Book Project

ENDING BALANCE                                                                         $3,339.39

New Members for 2015                                                                                 18
Members with dues unpaid                                                                           27

President Scheuermann then discussed the constitution committee. The committee has been meeting and there are no major renovations to be made at this time. Some points need to be reviewed and the committee is studying it article by article. The constitution should be ready by the fall.

Everett Thompson gave a report on the website committee. He is trying to keep the home page updated with interesting events posted as they come up.

The DNA Committee met last Saturday. Committee members feel that it is important to include DNA in your genealogy work. There will be a seminar on April 29, 2015 at the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville. The seminar includes two sessions with the morning session at 10am and the afternoon session at 1:30 pm. The cost is $10.00 or $15.00 for both. Marie A. Rundquist, an author, genealogist and DNA expert will be the guest speaker. Please check our website,, for further information and registration requirements.

President Scheuermann commented on last month's speaker, Dr. Keller. He was pleased with the turn out and response to his talk. He is the author of several books and would welcome an opportunity to come and speak to our group again.

A letter was sent out to members who have let their dues lapse this year and Warren LeBlanc reported the response has been favorable with 8 people renewing their membership and paying their 2015 dues.

The Lafayette Le Grand Réveil Acadien will be held on October 8, 2015 at the Cajun Dome. Our society will have a table. A committee will be formed to be responsible for the table set up and volunteers to manage the table for the entire day. The cost of the table and set up is $250.00 with possible additional cost for electricity and internet. We have a sign that was made several years ago in our storage building but it is brittle and not usable. Coca Cola makes signs and we will contact them at a later date to make a new one. We will need one or two easels so that we can display pictures and other information about our organization.

A reminder was given to anyone who has not turned in family tree information for the annual publication to please think about turning it in this year.

This concluded the business part of the meeting.

Our guest speak was Neal Bertrand, a society member who has recently published a book about his father's experiences in the South Pacific during World War II. It is entitled Dad's War Photos, Adventures in the South Pacific. Neal's father, Curtis Bertrand, was given a used camera when he left for the service and Curtis put this camera to good use taking over 600 pictures, documenting his experiences during the war.

Neal began his talk and slide show by giving us some family background, beginning with his family tree and the family's eventual settling near Plaisance and other areas of St. Landry Parish. He grew up in Mallet and later moved to Opelousas. He also charted his Basque ancestry for us.

He then told us about his father's enlistment and specialty training in the army maintaining and repairing heavy duty equipment used to build airfield and roads in New Guinea and the Philippines. He showed us pictures of the equipment, the airfield and native peoples. Neal gave a detailed explanation of the countries and towns his father was stationed, such as Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville, Australia; Old Bay, New Guinea; and later, the Philippine Islands. His pictures were amazing and informative and surly a "once in a lifetime adventure" for his father. Neal also showed us the actual camera his father used and some of the artifacts his father left him. He had a display of some of his mementos including a picture of his father's "Neptune Society" certificate. This is given to people who cross the equator for the first time and it also consists of an initiation ritual into this society. More information is available at, including information on how to purchase this book. We appreciate his taking the time to speak to us.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Pellerin, Secretary