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VBA marks 125 summers

VBA 1988

The VBA celebrated 100 years in 1988 and 125 years of summer this July (Photo courtesy of the VBA)

HOT SPRINGS–The Virginia Bar Association held its annual summer meeting at The Homestead July 23-25, and this year’s do had a festive historical theme: It was the group’s 125th summer meeting.

The weekend was both a hat tip to the past and a call to make the 2015 confab as memorable as the others. At the traditional black-tie banquet, the screens were filled with numerous snaps of former gatherings and members. VBA President Pete Johnson led the evening’s fun, which included an award recognizing Virginia Beach lawyer Cheshire I’Anson Eveleigh for her work as chair of the Virginia Family Law Coalition.

Here’s an example of the nostalgia. The picture above was taken in 1988 at the VBA’s 100th anniversary meeting, also at The Homestead.

The group was founded in 1888 as the “Virginia State Bar Association,” an extinct title that occasionally still shows up on mail to the VBA and to the Virginia State Bar, which VBA leaders helped to found in 1938.

If you look close enough, you can find me, circa 1988, at the very first VBA meeting I ever attended and covered. I’m at the left side — the guy in a suit, not a tux. It wasn’t journalistic slumming…I had bought a tuxedo on the advice of my new colleagues when I joined the paper that May. I merely and inconveniently left the pants in Richmond. When I told that story at the cocktail party, Virginia Beach’s Rich Garriott admitted that one time he forgot to pack his tux shirt. And VSB President Ed Weiner was bravely sporting a very snazzy set of pins on his tux shirt (One of them was a VSB lapel pin and another was a Jazz for Justice pin. A third, I think, was from Disney World). These were in lieu of the studs in his drawer back in Fairfax. It actually was a good look, Ed.

Back to the party. You say: Founded in 1888…that means this is really the 127th year of the VBA, right?

Executive Director Yvonne McGhee was ready for that one. True, the group has been in existence for 127 years. But it traditionally meets twice a year, in January and in the summer. After its beginning, the VBA didn’t start meeting in the summer for a couple of years, so this was indeed the 125th summer meeting, she said.


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