The journey of the Old Dominion Chapter 52 began in 1966
when Al was being considered as the first Chapter President.
He was the immediate past president of the Central Highway
Office Employee Benefit Association, an organization
with over 1,000 members. Al won The George Award for
Outstanding Service in 1967 and 1968 as a member of the
American Right of Way Association Liaison Committee.
He was also awarded the Region 4 Professional of the Year.
Chosen by Alva Mattox to be President, Al was elected by the
membership. There were six members in Virginia, with 18
more needed to charter the Chapter.
After affiliating with the Maryland Potomac Chapter 14
on September 19, 1969, Chapter 52 was chartered with the
American Right of Way Association (ARWA). There were
over 150 members, family and friends in attendance with the
welcoming address given by Douglas B. Fugate, the Virginia
Commissioner of Highways. Entertainment was provided by
the Virginia Museum Theatre Group.
As part of the American Right of Way Association, the
installation of officers took place in the newly renovated
5-star Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia just two months
after the Apollo 11 spaceflight landed on the moon and the
Monkeys were Americas favorite TV band.
This year, Chapter
52 celebrates its 50th
anniversary. In honor of
this historic event, our
Board invited Al and
his wife Harriet to the
installation of officers
at the Hanover Tavern
on May 17, 2019. Before
concluding the 2018-2019
year, Al shared that he was
one of 24 charter members
who started the Old
Dominion Chapter 52. They were an affiliate of the Potomac
Chapter in Maryland for a few years before accumulating
enough members to charter.
As the first author of the Virginia Right of Way Manual
of Instructions, Al was presented with the 636–page 2016
edition approved by the Federal Highway Administration.
He concluded the meeting with a loud thump from the
gavel—much to the surprise of our members and guests who
reciprocated with grateful applause.
Since 1969, Chapter 52 has thrived and grown to over 250
members in Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
These dedicated members come from many disciplines in
right of way, including transportation, utilities, property
management, environmental, appraisal, negotiation, legal and
Al is still active in the community. He has been the President
of the X YZ (Extra Years of Zest) senior group for the past six
years at the Overbrook Presbyterian Church. He and Harriet
meet with the XYZ for lunch several times a month, travel
throughout Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay, and
enjoy trips in Richmond such as the Federal Reserve Bank.
Thank you to Al and his lovely wife, Harriet, for their
dedication and leadership to the Old Dominion Chapter 52 of
the International Right of Way Association. We are grateful
for your foresight, especially in assembling bylaws that
withstand the tests of time. J
Lore DeAstra, SR/WA, is the President of the Old
Dominion Chapter 52 in Virginia. She has been a
member since 2015 and is an Acquisitions Appraiser
in the Right of Way and Utilities Division at the
Virginia Department of Transportation.