The weather was perfect. Smiles were plentiful. And a record number of SEMO Electric Cooperative member-owners participated in the Cooperative's 2023 Annual Meeting May 18, 2023, at the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo Grounds. Member-owners approved minutes from the 2022 annual meeting, approved the 2022 financial report and elected four directors - James Deneke, Dennis Fowler, Dicky Hanor, and Myron Hawes - for three year terms on the board. The 2023 version was the 85th meeting of members.
Did you know the first meeting of the Cooperative was held at 1 p.m. on January 15, 1938, at the Del Rey Hotel in Sikeston? (Today the building houses Jeremiah's Restaurant and Lounge). The purpose of the meeting was to adopt articles of association, adopt bylaws, and elect 12 directors to serve on the board. This was the official start of the effort to bring electricity to rural southeast Missouri. It took until March 10, 1939, for the lights to come on for 250 farm families. The Cooperative had to construct power lines and homes had to be wired for electricity. A lot has changed in 85 years. Today, we are "wiring" homes for fiber. We should be grateful for electricity and fiber-fast internet. They are essential services that make our lives better.