County looks good for 300

Published 8:19 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A costumed Keith Hackney reads a proclamation he authored in honor of Beaufort County’s 300th anniversary. The official celebration of that anniversary began Wednesday at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

It would take a pretty big cake to accommodate 300 candles.
In lieu of such a mammoth dessert, area officials, students and spectators assembled Wednesday morning for a ceremony beginning Beaufort County’s tricentennial commemoration.
Dozens of people filed into the Washington High School Performing Arts Center for the event, the first in a yearlong series of occasions marking the founding of the county in 1712.
The ceremony began with remarks by WITN-TV anchor Dave Jordan and the posting of the U.S. and North Carolina flags by the Washington High School JROTC Color Guard.
The Southside High School band played two songs — “Caprice” and “Red River Valley.”
The P.S. Jones Middle School eighth-grade chorus sang “Firework.”
Three locally selected, award-winning student-essayists — Aniya Haywood, Megan Huetmann and Anna Everette — read their essays for the audience. The essays retraced the lives and times of Beaufort County people.
Local attorney Keith Hackney, costumed in a top hat and semi-colonial attire, read a resolution he authored retracing a bit of the county’s history. The resolution had been unanimously adopted by the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.
One of the day’s speakers, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, lauded Beaufort County’s founders and succeeding generations for enduring challenges and sacrifices “so that 300 years later we could be here today.”
“If there was a cake, I’d be excited to see what 300 candles look like,” Burr said.
The other major speaker of the day was North Carolina Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton.
Jerry Langley, chairman of the Beaufort County commissioners, introduced Burr and Dalton.
The Beaufort County commissioners, the Beaufort County Board of Education, the Beaufort County 300th Anniversary Committee and Vidant Health sponsored the ceremony.