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Noted and passed - June 2, 2014

Posted: May 30, 2014 9:10 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 5:00 a.m.

 

• There is no doubt that the Ross E. Beard Jr. gun collection -- really it is so much more than that -- has energized interest in what is already one of Camden’s crown jewels: the Camden Archives and Museum. Beard loaned a significant portion of his collection to the city more than a year ago. Friday’s exciting news that the city is contemplating purchasing the entire collection outright means that the guns, photographs, spy gear and other memorabilia could be permanently housed at the archives. As of last August, just months after the Beard exhibit opened, Archives Director Katherine Richardson reported that more than 7,400 people visited the museum in Fiscal Year 2013 -- an increase of more than 1,500 visitors, or 20 percent, from the previous fiscal year. The purchase would not only include items currently at the archives, but Beard’s entire collection, from his home and other locations such as the S.C. Military Museum in Columbia. City staff proposed at Camden City Council’s May 27 meeting a purchase price of $700,000, using a proposed hospitality fee revenue bond fund during the next seven years. Considering the entire collection is valued at $2 million, we would say that is a good deal. More importantly, having the city be the collection’s permanent home should place Camden firmly on the map of many tourists who might otherwise look it over as a travel destination. That impact would re-pay that investment many, many times over, benefiting the entire city, especially our merchants, restaurateurs, and hotel and B&B owners.

• Many Camden residents will remember Nick Lampshire for his service on city council during the early part of the last decade. During his eight years on council, he advocated for the installation of the city’s public WiFi system, a conservative budget to assist with the city’s credit rating, and a balance between growth and progress and preserving the city’s heritage, among other issues. Not many residents, however, might realize that he has served on a number of boards, most notably that of Central Carolina Technical College, working behind the scenes on the recent proposal to expand the college’s I-20 campus here in Kershaw County. A county council proclamation for Lampshire at its most recent meeting was a well deserved honor.

• A week ago, Elgin, Camden and the rest of Kershaw County celebrated Memorial Day. Camden celebrated at Cedars Cemetery, an historic African-American cemetery, during which Camden Mayor Tony Scully noted that Memorial Day was started by African-Americans after the Civil War with a “May Day” in 1865 in Charleston. During the day, schools across the county celebrated with special programs, including parades through hallways remembering all American wars including the War on Terrorism and all those who have given their lives for their country. Later in the evening, many people gathered for the dedication of Elgin’s new Military Salute Memorial at Potter Community Park where veterans of all branches of service raised the American, South Carolina state, service and POW/MIA flags. For years to come, people living in and just passing through Elgin on Main Street (U.S. 1) will be greeted by the sight of these eight flags practically at street side. All the events clearly showed that Memorial Day is not merely a holiday to skip work, grill up food and have fun, but a day to remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and their fellow Americans.

 

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