Bitterroot Gem & Mineral Club

Bitterroot Gem & Mineral Society of Montana

The Bitterroot Conglomerate NOVEMBER 2019 Volume XXXXVI Issue 11

Mission Statement 

Our purpose is to promote interest and education in earth sciences namely geology, mineralogy, pale-ontology, the lapidary arts and related subjects. We also support promoting and ensuring the right of amateur hobby collecting, recreational rock hunting and the use of public and private lands for educational and recreational purposes related to the earth sciences. 

Presidents Column

None Provided

Minutes from OCTOBER 8, 2019

The meeting was called to order by President Ed Kubu at 6:37 p.m. who then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Guests were then introduced and welcomed by the president. 

A motion to approve the September minutes was made by Deb Strickland and seconded by Bill Meuchel and then approved by all.    

Faith Farley gave the treasurer’s report and a motion was made to accept the report by  Kathy Meuchel and was seconded by Deb Strickland.  Motion was approved.    

President Ed Kubu mentioned the loss of our member, Jack Eden on September 8, 2019.  A card was sent to the family.  


Volunteer Positions for 2020:

President:  Ed Kubu  

Vice President:  Still needed!

Treasurer:  Faith Farley  

Secretary:  Dana Jong  

Board Member 1:  Mark Harris  

Board Member 2:  Ralph Luther  

NFMS Director:  Darrell Coyle  

NFMS Delegate:  Beverly Gibson


Calling:  Beverly Gibson (Would like to step down. Needed!)  

Hospitality:  Pam Chulick  

Kitchen:  Betty Kubu  

Program:  Faith will schedule a couple, still need help

Scholarship:  Pat Tibbs  

Historian: Jim Hudspeth  

News Editor:  Ralph Luther (He would like someone to take over.)  

Sunshine (sends cards to sick members): Faith Farley  

Field Trips:  Jim Hudspeth  

Website:  Heidi Gordon  

Ticket Sales:  Pam Chulick

Kids Club Lead:  Mark Harris

Kids Club Assistant:  Pat Tibbs

A reading of the proposed By-Laws changes was done by Deb Strickland.  Everyone that wanted a copy of the By-Laws (with proposed changes) was given one.  The changes are in red.  The By-Laws have not been updated since 2014.  Members were asked to take the By-Laws home and read them.  We will address any questions that members may have at the November meeting and will vote on the By-Laws with the proposed changes at the December potluck.  Suggestions can be sent to Deb Strickland at    

A guest asked if the club does presentations in schools.  A brief discussion ensued.  We have been involved some but more with the libraries and 4-H clubs.    

We also discussed replacing Daly Days with the Farmer’s Market.  Dar Williams said that the Farmer’s Market is free for non-profits on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Stevensville but we have to be set-up by 9:00 a.m.  Deb Strickland pointed out that there has been a low turn out for club volunteers to do Daly Days, and President Kubu said that communication has been lacking from those running the event the last few years.  We are looking for a replacement event and are taking suggestions from members.    
Discussion on Lewis and Clark Caverns Candlelight Tour:  Members can start signing up tonight.  We need an exact count no later than the November meeting.  Members chose to go (show of hands) on Saturday, December 21st and take the 1:00 p.m. tour.  The club will be paying the entry fee for all members who would like to go (this had already passed at a previous meeting).  President Ed Kubu had done research for chartering a bus over to the caverns (it is about a 4 hour drive, depending on the weather).  The bus seats 40 people and would cost the club about $2,000.  The bus cost is charged by the mile.  Discussion ensued and a motion to charter the bus for the club was made by Deb Strickland and seconded by Bill Meuchel.  The motion passed.  Faith Farley mentioned that members might want to pack a lunch since the food at the caverns is quite expensive.  President Ed Kubu will make the reservations for the tour and charter the bus.  Deb Strickland volunteered to be the “first aid” person for the field trip.    

Lapidary equipment from Wayne Farley, update:   It was decided that we can store the equipment in club shed for now.  We need to get the equipment moved but are getting close to winter now so it might have to wait until spring.  We are currently looking for a location so members can learn to use the equipment with the aid of an instructor.  Check-out of equipment may also be possible for some items that are safer to use. The club has the needed liability insurance and incorporation required to make this kind of club event possible.    

Please remember that this is the last Tuesday meeting of the year.  The November, December, January and February meetings will be on the second Saturday at 2:00 p.m.  The kid’s club will meet on that same day at 1:30 p.m.        

Any of the officer candidates can give a speech at this meeting if they choose to.  No one volunteered.   

December meeting and potluck:  It will be at the Corvallis church (our current meeting place) on December 14th, from 12 noon until around 4:00 p.m.  Set-up will start around 11:00 a.m. (set-up tables and do the decorating).  The club will provide turkey and ham and all members are to bring a side dish.  Bob Riggs will be doing the auction.  Please bring donated items.  The proceeds will go to three area food banks.      

Show Report:  Darci Rainey and Deb Strickland are starting to set up committee meetings for January.  Some positions are available.  Faith Farley is the secretary and Bev Gibson, the treasurer for the coming year.  However, they are looking for someone to replace them in 2021.  Ed Kubu will do the kid’s table this next year but is also looking for a replacement after that.  Please consider filling one of these positions for the 2021 show.    

We really need someone to do programs for the year.  It is mainly organizing people for demonstrations or scheduling a dvd showing since the club has a collection of dvd’s and has members willing to share their skills.  The club can also purchase dvd’s that are of interest to members. There are only 8-9 programs to set up since we don’t do any at the potlucks/picnics. 

Any new member dues paid now will count toward 2020 dues, so you will get two months for free!  Dues for current members are due by December 31st.    

Faith Farley mentioned that the Darby Chili Cook-Off is Saturday, October 12th.  Call her if you want to participate.  

Faith has also contacted Calli at University of Montana.  The paleontology tour will be on a Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. sometime in October.  This upcoming event will be posted on our website soon.

Faith Farley mentioned that the Victor museum wants minerals/specimens from Montana (related to mining).  Someone from our club suggested that the club purchase a small case (cost of around $250) for the museum and have members donate minerals/specimens to display in the case.  The case has to stand on the floor so it cannot be a table-top case.  We do have a case in the Stevensville museum but it is currently being used.  Kathy Meuchel made a motion that the club should purchase a case for the museum and that members from the club fill the case with donated specimens.  Don Tibbs seconded the motion.  Motion was approved.  Faith will coordinate this project.  Don Tibbs has a wonderful collection and may be able to give us insight and ideas.  He also may have a case that can be used.  It was suggested that it would be best to have both rough and finished specimens.  However, the museum is more focused on mining and related minerals so we should keep that in mind.  It was suggested that we  place our club cards or brochures by the case.  

Ken Dede has 5,000 lbs. of rock for sale.  None of it is slabbed (all rough) but it is of high quality.  He wants to sell all of it at once.  He is moving to Arizona and doesn’t want to haul any of it with him.  His business has been on the internet.  He is willing to negotiate a “rock bottom” price.  Please contact Faith Farley for more information.   

Our 50/50 winner:  Kathy Meuchel  

There was no program this evening.  

A motion to adjourn the meeting after refreshments was made at 8:17 p.m.  

Respectfully submitted,  

Dana Jong, Secretary   

New & Returning Members:

Please remember to introduce yourself to the new members.

Program Committee:

Scholarship Committee:

We have received no applications for our $750 scholarship this year.

Show Committee:

Check the minutes above.

Sunshine Committee:

No Report. 

MT Council Report:

No Report.