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CSS Hunley expert to speak at HES banquet
1.13 HES Randall B
Randall B. Burbage will be the featured speaker at the Historic Effingham Society annual banquet. - photo by Photo submitted

Historic Effingham Society will hold its annual banquet on Feb. 2 in the great hall at New Ebenezer Retreat Center. A fellowship time begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m.  

The evening’s guest speaker will be Randall B. Burbage from the Hunley Commission. His subject is the history, recovery and restoration of the Confederate submarine the Hunley which was lost off the coast of Charleston, S.C., after successfully attacking the USS Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864.  This action during the Civil War was one of the most remarkable events in naval history as it was the first submarine to successfully sink a ship in military action and was not repeated again for another 50 years.  

“Guests are in for a wonderful presentation,” said Historic Effingham Society publicist Susan Exley. “A lot has happened over the last few years in the restoration of the Hunley since Mr. Burbage first spoke at our banquet. His presentation then was so interesting that few checked their watches while eagerly anticipating the next photograph or remark. We look forward to more of this fascinating story.”  

Burbage is a native of Charleston and is owner of Randy Burbage Equipment Company. He is married to the former Judith Rabun of Hanahan, S.C. where they live. They have six children.

He is a life member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and among other accomplishments is presently commander of the South Carolina Division of the SCV since 2006. He was awarded the Order of Palmetto by Gov. Carroll Campbell in 1993. In 1995, the governor appointed him to The Hunley Commission. He was chairman of the Hunley Funeral Committee from 2002-2004.  

The banquet is by ticket only and is open to the public as long as tickets are available. The $20 tickets are on sale at Effingham Museum, 1002 North Pine St. in Springfield or from members. The Effingham Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Sundays from 2-5 p.m. Tickets must be purchased by Jan. 28.

You may mail a check or money order requesting tickets no later than Jan. 25 to: Historic Effingham Society, P.O. Box 999, Springfield, GA 31329. Call the office at 754-2170 or publicity chairman at 754-6681 for more information.