A large number of families scattered over a broad territory look forward with keen pleasure each year to the Tyson Reunion. Many more hearts thrilled with anticipation this year since the occasion was to be a joint reunion of the Tysons and Mays, celebrating the wedding anniversary of Maj. Benj. May and Mary Tyson who were married in 1765.
Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, was chosen for this celebration, giving children who attend school an opportunity to be present. The place selected was Farmville High School auditorium because it was a more comfortable building than the old church of our forefathers.
The stage was lovely with evergreens, red geraniums, and flags, making one think that there must be some real artist among the Tysons and Mays.
Our Pres., Mrs. J. L. Shackleford, called the meeting to order. The audience then expressed the patriotic spirit of the occasion by singing "America"; Rev. Jack Tyson, a Free Will Baptist preacher of Farmville, offered a very fitting prayer. The secretary's report of the 1931 meeting was read and approved. This was followed by a talk by the Pres. She said there was no need for any welcome address since we were all one family who had met to honor our forefathers. She compared our lot today with that of our ancestors who lived at the time of the establishment of the first Thanksgiving Day - "We should give thanks every day," she said, "and never forget the staunch characters of those whose memory we honor."
John B. Lewis of Farmville, reviewed the history of the Mays, giving the various ways it was spelled in years gone by. He traced the family back to England, Holland, etc., reviewing the part its members had in the colonization and Revolutionary periods in the history of our country. A brief sketch of the life of Benj. May of Pitt Co. was given. We were then entertained by the Farmville Oratorio Society directed by F. R. Hufty of Wilson, with a number from the opera, "The Bohemian Girl"; Mrs. Haywood Smith was accompanist. Walter G. Sheppard acted as historian for the Tyson family, going back to our early ancestors in European countries, touching on their part in the building of our own United States.
Mrs. C. F. Baucom, of Farmville, gave a lovely review of the romance and marriage of Mary Tyson and Benj. May, during which the wedding march from "Lohengrin" was very softly played. A beautiful wedding cake with pink candles was placed upon the table by one of the pages— one could almost smell the perfume of orange blossoms and hear the rustle of the satin bridal dress.
A fitting climax to this romantic scene was the singing of those two lovely old songs "Comin1 Thro' the Rye" and "Annie Laurie", which were very beautifully rendered by the Oratorio Society.
Dennis G. Brummitt, Atty.-Gen. of our State, was introduced by Andrew Joyner of Raleigh. Mr. Joyner said that he was presenting one of the best men that North Carolina had produced. At the conclusion of this most splendid address, everyone agreed heartily with Mr. Joyner in saying "I thank God for Brummitt."
The entire audience was then delighted to blend their voices in singing, "Keep the Home Fires Burning"— what could have been more appropriate to this particular family group?
"The Family Round Table," always an interesting part of the program was led by Dr. J. Y. Joyner. He always comes with a heart overflowing with ancestral pride as well as appreciation for real character values. He said, "This is one of the most beautiful reunions we have ever had— the very songs fit into the occasion. It is the purpose of family re¬unions to "Keep the Home Fires Burning," and to tie up broken threads that have been torn asunder. The foundation of civilization," he added, "is the home; government and civilization can be no better than the homes. They are built on three foundation stones: the home, the church, and the school." He said he was the great-grandson of Benj. May and Mary Tyson, and that there was nothing in his life of which he was so proud, quoting the stanza:
"How'er it be, it seems to me,
'Tis only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood."
Dr. Joyner then opened the meeting to others: J. T. Smith, of Wilson, responded with a brief talk. The Sec. mentioned communications from Mrs. J. W. Hooks, and Mrs. J. P. Tyson, both from Georgia, expressing regrets that they could not attend, but hoping that they might have that pleasure some time.
Acting on a recommendation written by Mrs. T. C. Turnage, read by the Pres.; the following resolutions, submitted by a committee, J. B. Lewis, Walter G. Sheppard, and Mrs. C. A. Tyson, were adopted by the Association:
"Whereas, the expenses of government have become unduly burdensome and farms and homes have been and are being confiscated and our government is in eminent danger and
Whereas, the Tyson-May reunion is deeply interested in all things that pertain to the protection of homes, farms, citizens, and government
Now, therefore, be it resolved that our National Congress and our State Legislature be urged to enact such legislation as will relieve its citizens of the burden of excessive taxation and confiscation of homes and farms by foreclosures, mortgages, taxes, etc."
Copies of these resolutions were to be sent to Hon. Lindsay Warren, our Congressman, Gov. J. C. B. Ehringhaus, and our representatives from Pitt County.
Miss Frances May of Sanford, displayed a Bible belonging to Major Benjamin May containing dates as far back as 1768. Mrs. George Jefferson of Fountain, showed one owned by the Tyson family recording a birth in 1754.
Miss Tabitha DeVisconti exhibited the Tyson family tree and coat of arms, and described the coat of arms of the May family.
Dr. Joyner suggested that all original records be placed in the Hall of History for preservation.
The secretary gave a report of her work, also one of the treasury.
The following amendment to the constitution, offered by Mrs. B. T. Cox, was carried, that only one officer could be elected each year.
The following officers were elected for the year 1933: Pres., John B. Lewis, Farmville; Vice-Pres., Mrs. Chas. McArthur, Greenville; Sec.-Treas., Mrs. 0. H. Jackson, Winterville.
A very impressive memorial service was conducted by 0. H. Jackson, of Winterville. A short selection of Scripture was read, then R. W. Smith, of Ayden, made a very appropriate talk. A beautiful basket of flowers was placed on the table as he read the names of those who had passed on. The service was closed with a prayer.
Mrs. A. C. Hodges, of Farmville, read three poems written by our own Ann Arrington Tyson of Alabama entitled, "Two Ships," "My Sweet Old Valentine," and "Another Day."
A play, "Benjamin May's Neighbors," written by Mrs. Annie Barrett and Miss Daphne Carraway, of Wilson, was a beautiful climax to the program of the day.
At the conclusion of this, everybody joined in singing "Auld Lang Syne," after which they assembled in the basement where an elegant lunch as well as a delightful social hour was enjoyed.
Mrs. J. L. Shackleford,Pres.
Mrs. 0. H. Jackson, Sec.