December 18, 2023

By CSOT Chapter President Jim Drury

This year’s annual Churchill Society of Tennessee gala dinner was held at the beautiful Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville on Friday, November 10, 2023.

We were very pleased to have former Director of the CIA General David Petraeus as our honored guest.

Also present were US Senator Marsha Blackburn, former Ambassador to Northern Ireland Mitchell Reiss, Chairman of the International Churchill Society (ICS), Jack Bovender, former CEO and chairman of Columbia HCA, Justin Reash, ICS Executive Director, Deborah Lindsey, advisory board member from the National Churchill Museum.

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General Petraeus held a book signing during the cocktail reception before dinner. His New York Times best seller ‘Conflict’ was co-written with Lord Andrew Roberts. The book has received universal approbation and was a big hit with Churchill Society of Tennessee Membership.

The evening was well attended, the grand ballroom being at capacity. Dinner began with a piper piping guests to their tables. Next, we had the presentation of the colors by the Hendersonville High School Marine JROTC color guard. Following the pledge of allegiance, Reverend Kew, from St. Georges Episcopal Church, offered a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing.

Dinner consisted of Filet mignon and salmon and was up to Belle Mead’s usual high standards.

After dinner, Ambassador Mitchell Reiss delivered remarks and introduced General David Petraeus.

The general was interviewed by fellow CSOT member Warren Dockter PhD. A broad range of topics were discussed. General Petraeus demonstrated his deep understanding and broad experience in world affairs, military history, economics and of course his familiarity with Sir Winston Churchill.

The keynote conversation concluded with a standing ovation and thunderous applause.

Churchill Society of Tennessee President Jim Drury had the honor of escorting General Petraeus throughout the day. This included major events at Belmont University and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

A special thanks must be given to Churchill Society of Tennessee member Jack Bovender who generously allowed the use of his personal jet to transport General Petraeus to Tennessee.

The evening was a resounding success, and the Churchill Society of Tennessee looks forward to more exciting events in 2024!

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