After surprising the Archibald Bulloch Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution with her presence Thursday, Judge Faye Sanders Martin was given shock of her own.
During a regularly scheduled meeting at RJ’s Seafood and Steak restaurant, the historic organization recognized Martin by naming her the group’s second “Women in American History” award recipient.
Martin, a Stilson native, was the first woman attorney in Bulloch County, the first woman to be appointed to the Georgia Superior Court bench and the first woman Chief Superior Court Judge in Georgia.
“I am most appreciative and thank you all so much. This is such a surprise,” said Martin. “It is a great honor to be considered for this recognition. This is the most wonderful, beautiful county in the state of Georgia and it’s meant so much to me throughout my lifetime.”
Patricia Long, Recording Secretary for the chapter, announced the recognition to the previously unaware guest of honor.
“We are supposed to identify women who have made a contribution or difference in their communities. We are supposed to look for women who are, or have been, intellectual, educational, social, religious, political, scientific, or cultural innovators,” said Long.
“Faye has been an innovator and leader. I don’t need to offer a resume, because we all know of her accomplishments already.”
The impromptu ceremony almost did not happen. Martin committed to a lunch engagement with friends prior to receiving an invite to Thursday’s meeting.
When Martin learned that both events were occurring at the same location, she made sure to pay a visit to the Daughters meeting.
“If I would have known I was getting an award, I would not have come,” she joked. “But, I thank you all very much.”
The group also recognized again its inaugural honoree for the award
World War II veteran Capt. Roxie Remley, who served during the war with the Women’s Army Corps, was applauded by the group of more than 30 people in attendance. Remley was originally announced and honored for the recognition in a Memorial Day celebration this year.
Resumes of the honored women will be sent to the National Chapter of the group and published on its website, according to Long.
The Daughters of the American Revolution will continue to award the recognition yearly, said Jan Anderson, Regent for the Bulloch Chapter.
A program by Chaplain Lt. Col. Jerry “Matt” Woodbery, Jr. preceded the recognitions. Woodberry, the son of Martha Wells, the group’s First Vice Regent, has served as a Methodist Chaplain in the United States Army for more than 20 years.
Thursday, he discussed the history of chaplains in the armed forces and their role in ensuring compliance with the nation’s first amendment rights regarding religion.
The Bulloch County Daughters thanked the decorated official, and University of Georgia football fan, with a gift from the local Georgia Southern University Store.
Jeff Harrison can be reached at 912-489-9454