New Member Orientation--August 29, 2009 1:30 - 3:00 P.M.

This is a Booklet which you may wish to keep for future reference in connection
with your membership in Houston Gem & Mineral Society


The Houston Gem and Mineral Society (HGMS) was originally founded as the Houston Rock and Lapidary Club (HRLC) on December 7, 1948. HRLC had a $7.00 initiation fee and dues were $2.00/year.

In 1952 HRLC rejected joining the Rocky Mountain Federation and joined the Southwest Federation. HRLC dropped the initiation fee but raised dues to $3.00/year.

In 1953 HGMS hosted the Rocky Mountain Federation and Southwest Federation Show for which HRLC received $200.00.

In April 1955 HRLC changed the club name to HGMS; the Southwest Federation changed its name to the Texas Federation of Gem & Mineral Societies.

By 1956 HGMS had increased to 10 cases for displaying minerals and had booths and had put in displays in at least three places that year.

On April 3, 1957 the Texas Secretary of State issued HGMS a charter as a Texas 'not for profit' corporation. Dues were raised to $5.00/year.

In 1958 HGMS, in a show at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, won 1st place as best in nonprofessional exhibit.
On March 7, 1960, the Texas Secretary of State accepted the filing of HGMS, adopting the provisions of the new Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act.

In 1961 HGMS started publishing a Roster in March and November of each year.

In 1962 a Library was formed for HGMS.

In 1963 the HGMS Show was moved to the Shamrock Hilton Hotel and opened the show for the first time to retail dealers. About a dozen HGMS members withdrew and started the Lapidary Society in protest to a decision to have retail dealers at the annual show

In 1967 HGMS put displays in the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS).

In 1968 Mr. Ferrel submitted the winning design for the Club emblem. Irene Offeman started an ID Service at the HGMS Show (to identify specimens for visitors).

In 1969 Irene Offeman and Jimmy Kachiniski put a club case in the HMNS.

In 1970 HGMS establishes three Sections: Lapidary, Mineral and Paleontology. The Newsletter is started, now known as the BackBenders Gazette (BBG).

In 1974 HGMS rented a building at 7204 Alder in Bellaire.

In 1977 HGMS hosts its first SCFMS Show. HGMS applies for and receives IRS non-profit 501(c)(3) status.

In 1979 HGMS moves its show to the University of Houston Hofheinz Auditorium.

In 1980 the HGMS clubhouse on Alder blows up in an explosion in adjacent auto shop. A new clubhouse is rented on Ashcroft.

In 1981 Irene Offeman's ID services at Shows is shifted to the Sections who will now each have their own ID Section.

In 1982 HGMS hosted the AFMS national show this year. 109 dealers and 10,278 people attended.

In 1983 Committee formed to find a new clubhouse. Youth Section created by Ruth Hammett.

In 1984 HGMS moves the Show to the Albert Thomas Convention Center.

In 1985 HGMS purchased our present HGMS clubhouse at 10805 Brooklet. Renovations are started and a Christmas Party was held in the new clubhouse.

In 1986 the HGMS Shop was constructed. The HGMS Board conducted its meetings in the Clubhouse. Attendance at the 1986 Show was lowest since 1969, due in part to the economy of the Oil Crash at that time.

In 1987 all HGMS meetings were conducted in the new clubhouse.

In 1988 the HGMS Show was moved to the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Show profit breaks all records at $32,478.

In 1992 HGMS built a classroom for jewelry and lapidary classes.

In 1993 Harris County Appraisal District approved tax exempt status for the HGMS property.

In 1994 the HGMS Show was in the Astrohall.

In 1995 HGMS was running short of funds and HGMS members made tax-free donations to the Club. HGMS also went to two Shows for the year. HGMS withdrew from the AFMS this year. In 1995 the commercial gem show company,Intergem, went to four shows per year in Houston. Ever since Intergem started their show, then 2 then 3 then 4 shows per year, in Houston, there was some confusion among the public, who had supported HGMS Shows for years, believing that the Intergem shows are part of our club. The Intergem shows have cut into the profitability of HGMS Shows, but we work with Intergem who provides us with room in their show to promote HGMS.

In 1996 HGMS votes to rejoin AFMS. The Club continued with two Shows this year, but attendance was low.

In 1997 HGMS votes to go back to one Show for the year. Two Shows per year required too much time and work for what the attendance, merited, especially with four Intergem Shows also.

In 1998 HGMS faced a problem. The Club was running short of funds. A cold front stalled over Houston and there was flooding. Attendance was only 2,400. The bright spot was that with an increase in dealers for the there was a large amount of income and HGMS paid off the mortgage on the HGMS clubhouse two years early.

In 1999 HGMS held its Show at Labor Day with an attendance of 3,995, which was considered successful.

In 2000 HGMS moved its Show to Mother's Day and attendance hit an all-time low of 1,804.

In 2001 HGMS moved its Show to the Humble Civic Center where it has continued to be since then. The Show was the fourth week of September and that was more or less the established weekend from then through 2008. When the Sports Centers were built around the George R. Brown Convention Center, parking became difficult for those attending the HGMS Show, and the move to the Humble Civic Center, while smaller, had free parking, easy accessibility and wasn't that far from downtown Houston--with a freeway drive out Highway 59 to the Will Clayton Parkway exit and a couple of minutes drive East. HGMS has had a good relationship with Humble, except for the weather (which has nothing to do with Humble, of course)

In 2002 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts came to the HGMS Show and earned their Geology Merit Badge. Attendance jumped to 5,485.

In 2004 HGMS hosted the SCFMS at its September Show. Attendance hits high of 8,693.

In 2005 the HGMS Show had hit the limit of the Humble Civic Center inside and had to put up two tents. Then along came Hurricane Rita, mass evacuations, and the Show had to be cancelled.

In 2007 HGMS adds another classroom to the Clubhouse and the air abrasive room.

In 2008 HGMS is scheduled to host the AFMS and the SCFMS at the September Show. NASA brings a moon rock and a great Show is on the way, when Hurricane Ike visits Houston a couple of weeks before the Show. Houston is covered up with recovery workers and the reservations for the AFMS visitors are taken over, so AFMS cancels their official appearance. Some of the AFMS visitors come anyhow and Chuck Schuler sticks with HGMS and the SCFMS continues with plans. The Show goes off great in spite of the Hurricane and attendance is considered only down a little compared with what some folks anticipated would be a disaster to go forward with the Show. HGMS showed that they could put on a great Show, even with a disaster having just happened in Houston.

In 2009, the HGMS Show will be November 13-15 at the Humble Civic Center. We have a full contingent of dealers; we have great exhibitors already lined up and committed to interesting exhibits. NASA has said that they will be at the Show for one day and earlier this year, your HGMS President was told a Mars rock would be available this year (we will see--as government is cutting back in a lot of places). The Show Committee is going full speed and needs a lot of HGMS Members to work in the Show this year.
Also in 2009 HGMS has started the HGMS OUTREACH PROGRAM, which is a program to put on education programs throughout Harris County for youth and adults. HGMS is asking members to volunteer to help set up a small group of HGMS members, in each of our Eight Districts (take out your voter registration card, and where it shows the J.P. Precinct, that is your HGMS District). The group will find a location for three or four programs a year on Earth Science and Jewelry Making. Neal Immega will see that some Genie machines can go out to the District when a group sets up a date and place to have kids and adults learn to grind and polish agate (furnished by HGMS). Also your HGMS President has about 100 Earth Science, PBS type video tapes, which can be borrowed to put on HGMS Earth Science programs. The District Group may also have a program on Show and Tell with their own items and those of other HGMS members to present to the public in that District. The concept is to provided free education to the public; to make the public more aware of HGMS; to increase our membership; and to provide proof to potential grant givers that HGMS is doing something about Earth Science education which merits grant support.

HGMS is on the move as not for a long time with reaching out to our members with more benefits; reaching out to new members and prospects to gain interest in HGMS and its programs; reaching out to the Greater Houston Area to provide some education in Earth Science and Jewelry Making; and reaching out to grant providers to let them know that we are doing things which their grants would assist us in doing. Be part of the HGMS Growth.

Here are some facts which you may want to know about HGMS:

Here are some important things you need to know and follow as a member of HGMS:

Here is a thumbnail sketch of the HGMS Officers and Sections:

PRESIDENT is Terrell William 'Terry' Proctor, J.D. who is an attorney/mediator, former judge and Board Chairman, Curator and General Counsel of the Proctor Museum of Natural Science, Inc. (for 20 years a FREE museum in East Harris County). President's job is preside at Board Meetings, General Membership Meetings, represent the club officially with other groups and individuals, write a President's Column in the BBG each month and oversee the general welfare of the Club. Terry is serving his second term as President and has previously been First Vice-President twice, Show Chair, Asst. Show Chair and Paleo Section Chair.

FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT is Matt Dillon who is in the Security business of guarding premises and is a dealer in agate and other minerals. The First Vice-President fills in when the President is absent or if the Office of President becomes vacant, then becomes President. Also the First Vice-President is in charge of Programs for the year. Matt was HGMS President in 2007 and has led a number of field trips to Mexico.

SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT IS Beverly Mace who is a housewife, but almost a full time worker at HGMS. The Second Vice-President is in charge of membership. However, Beverly's jobs with HGMS run far more than that and for a number of years. She is also in charge of the Youth Section, in charge of the display cases for the HGMS Show each year; gets out the mailing of the BBG each month; supervises much of the storage at the Clubhouse; conducts the drawing for the monthly prize at General Membership meetings; and probably a dozen other things many do not know about. Beverly is one of about a dozen MVP (most valuable person) at HGMS, year after year.

SECRETARY is Regina Gorman who has been an executive legal assistant/paralegal for an oil company until she retired this year. The Secretary takes the minutes of the Board Meeting and General Membership Meeting, then has to prepare them for publication in the BBG to become the official record of business of HGMS. Regina is a fairly new member of HGMS.

TREASURER is Rodney Linehan, CPA who has his own accounting firm in Houston. The Treasurer keeps the bank accounts, pays the bills, and makes monthly and annual reports to the HGMS BOD. The Treasurer also does the tax returns for HGMS, which has saved our Club a great deal of accounting fees for which we are most appreciative. Rodney's daughter Liane is a member of the Youth Section. Rodney is serving his second term as Treasurer.

BEADING SECTION CHAIR is Diane Sisson and BOARD REPRESENTATIVE is also Diane Sisson. The Beading Section is a new Section just created in January, 2009, after the Beaders had been meeting for about two years, before asking to become a Section. Members make bead projects at each meeting, have a snack and a good time.

DAYLIGHT SECTION CHAIR is Dr. Frances Arrighi and BOARD REPRESENTATIVE is Nancy Fischer. The Daylighters were meeting before, but became the Daylight Section in August, 1993. The Daylight Section is basically for members who cannot get out at night and those who just want to belong to this Section. It is a 'Hands On' Section where the members do projects, not just listen to a speaker on how to do things. They do not take field trips but do a number of projects annually which each member can be proud to have created. They have a birthday party in November each year to celebrate another year of the Section's creation.

FACETING SECTION CHAIR is Patricia Hildbold and BOARD REPRESENTATIVE is Sunday Bennett. The Faceting Section does some of the most precise work, as they learn to cut gem stones to exact angles to obtain the fire and reflectivity to make a piece of gemstone into a gem. Members compete in creation of faceted gemstones, both within HGMS and in other contests. Faceting has become a sizeable Section at HGMS.

LAPIDARY SECTION PROGRAM CHAIR is Edward Clay and BOARD REPRESENTATIVE is Phyllis George. The Lapidary Section is one of the larger sections and covers a lot of area at HGMS. Lapidary uses the Shop probably more than any other group. Lapidary is where you cut, grind polish and otherwise work rocks and gemstones. However, the Lapidary Section also includes the making of all kinds of jewelry as well.

MINERAL SECTION CHAIR is Steve Blyskal and BOARD REPRESENTATIVE is Denise Bicknell. The Mineral Section studies the many, many types of minerals on Earth, both economic minerals and the beautiful display minerals. The Mineral Section takes field trips, both local and distant. The Mineral Section presently has fewer members than it has had in the past and probably will have again. The Mineral Section relies also on the HGMS Library which contains a large and varied collection of mineral-related books, magazines, and articles available for study and research. The HGMS Library has just had all the video-tapes converted to DVD disks which can be checked out by members.

PALEONTOLOGY SECTION CHAIR is Lexy Bieniek and BOARD REPRESENTATIVE is Richard 'Rick' Rexroad. The Paleontology Section (called Paleo for short) is the largest Section at HGMS. The Paleo Section takes more field trips than any other Section, has its own library at the Clubhouse and has published a number of books on fossils, which are sold internationally and which are accepted as professional material for both collectors, in colleges and for professionals needing identification books. Paleo also has from time to time its own classes in Paleontology. Paleo also gives a scholarship from the Section.

YOUTH SECTION CHAIR is Beverly Mace. The Youth Section does not have a Board Representative, but the Assistance YOUTH SECTION CHAIR is Elizabeth Guynn. The Youth Section, as stated earlier, was founded in 1983 by Ruth Hammett. It is one of the most successful Sections as there are usually over 100 members of this Section each year in recent years. The Youth Section meets each Saturday and the members create jewelry for Christmas and other holiday events. Beverly and Elizabeth have their hands full in working with this group. The youth really enjoy being involved in HGMS creative work and many help out at the HGMS Show each year also.

Other HGMS members with appointed positions are:

CLUBHOUSE CHAIR is Tom Wright who at this time is on the sick list and we wish him a speedy recovery. This is a job Tom has had for years and covers maintenance of virtually everything at the HGMS Clubhouse.

SHOW CHAIR is Sigrid Stewart and Richard 'Rick' Rexroad is Asst. Show Chair. The Show Committee is one of the most important parts of HGMS each year, and requires many volunteers to put on a successful Show--which HGMS does virtually every year, thanks to these volunteers. The Show is held at the Humble Civic Center, about a quarter mile East of Highway 59 on Will Clayton Parkway. New Members are encouraged to volunteer to help on the Show. Mary Ann Mitcherling is in charge of lining up volunteers to help on the Show. The proceeds from the Show are a good part of the operating funds for HGMS each year. HGMS could not meet debts on dues alone.

EDUCATION CHAIR is Brian Honsinger. Brian came in as Chair of Education this year and has done an outstanding job. If you want to learn about jewelry making or anything in that area, contact Brian. HGMS has many classes per year. There are fees charged for most classes, which cover instructor fees, materials, and some for HGMS facility overhead (utilities etc.).

BACKBENDER'S GAZETTE EDITOR is Phyllis George. For many years Phyllis had done publishing type work for others and for a number of years has been our BBG Editor. She is also the Web Master for the HGMS website www.hgms.org. HGMS is fortunate to have Phyllis in these two positions. For a number of years, member of HGMS have been winning awards at both the SCFMS and AFMS levels on Advanced Adult Articles, Adult Articles, Adult Poetry, Features and occasionally on Youth Articles & Poetry. The BBG has won top awards also several years. Besides having HGMS members with learned backgrounds to write the articles and poetry, having Phyllis George as our Editor to edited these submissions and see that they are submitted for contests is very important. You will learn to read the BBG from cover to cover for all the valuable information contained therein. You will also discover that you can find a great deal more about HGMS on the website. [P.S. If Phyllis had a chance to edit this booklet, she would have cut out all the bold HGMS and other bolding and possibly italics used herein--please don't tell her].

Thank you for attending this First HGMS New Member Orientation program. If you have already joined, congratulations and welcome aboard. If you want to join, we can sign you up today. If you have a friend or relative who wants to join HGMS, there is an Application Blank on the HGMS website (http://www.hgms.org).

Consider joining the OUTREACH program by letting us know your District [your J.P. Pct. #] and help HGMS bring Earth Science and Jewelry Making education to others in the Greater Houston Area.

If you want to purchase a ROCKHOUND sticker for your vehicle, we have those today for $1.00. Please place it in the upper right hand corner (passenger side) rear window where it doesn't block the driver's view but can be easily seen by other vehicles behind you.