Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Giving Back; Helping to Preserve Amelia's History

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Giving Back; Helping to Preserve Amelia's History

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

AMELIA ISLAND - Jean Dixon Mann says she's committed to preserving Amelia Island history and honoring the people who made it.

Mann grew up in Fernandina Beach, left for six years and returned in 1992. When she came back, she wondered why Amelia Island didn't have a Daughters of the American Revolution chapter.

So, in 1993, she became an organizing regent and started one.

That same year, she became the Amelia Island Museum of History's volunteer treasurer and served in that role through 2001.

"Having grown up on this island, I think it's important to maintain our history," Mann said. "We have something very unique in our Victorian seaport downtown, and we need to preserve it. All those who have gone before us have led us to the life we lead today, and they have fought for the liberties we hold so dear."

Under her leadership, the local DAR chapter grew from 18 members to 150 today. Recruiting members isn't as easy as just signing them up, she said. The group is a lineage society; all its members must present documentation proving they are descendants of those who fought in the Revolutionary War.

And managing that requires a lot of organization, said Willie Burke Crawford Robinson, the local DAR chapter's chairwoman for "Service for Veterans" and "Good Citizen," a committee that honors outstanding student leaders.

"She's organized, proficient and everything you would want," Robinson said. "She's always helpful; she's never too busy to help. She did the yearbook for us for years. She also did our quarterly [newsletter]."

Mann now serves the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution as vice president general. She served as the Florida DAR regent from 2003 to 2005. The organization has about 167,000 members worldwide, including 8,500 members in Florida, she said.

"I give talks in other chapters throughout the state. I participate as a judge for various contests we have. …

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