Arts and Entertainment

Creator of Robert's Rules of Order featured at potluck

Henry Martyn Robert (1837-1923). - Contributed photo
Henry Martyn Robert (1837-1923).
— image credit: Contributed photo

Now here’s a potluck and educational program truly made to order — Robert’s Rules of Order, that is.

Before earning the rank of brigadier, in 1901, three days before retiring, U.S. Army engineer Henry Martyn Robert (1837-1923) developed an eponymous manual of parliamentary procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order, that have been used as ground rules for fair play when people get together to make good decisions, whether governmental body, board of directors, a committee doing the public’s work, or just about anything in between. Do I hear a second?

Closer to home, the famed military engineer and Civil War veteran was also the guiding force behind the fortifications installed at the south end of San Juan Island, at American Camp, during a tour of duty in the island’s 12-year joint-occupation, aka the Pig War.

The historical spotlight will shine on Robert in a potluck-slash-educational program, Thursday, March 21, sponsored by San Juan Island Grange No. 966. The potluck begins at 6 p.m., at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor, followed by the program.

San Juan Island National Historical Park’s Mike Vouri, chief interpreter and historian of San Juan Island National Historical Park, will present a brief biography, including Robert’s role in construction of the Redoubt. Former high school principal and educator Ralph Hahn will lead a discussion of Robert’s Rules of Order and their relevance today. Hahn is past president of the economic development council, and is a member of the public school district’s and the park and recreation district’s boards of directors.

For info, 378-6632, or


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