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- 2014 - May - 19th -
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50 years ago: Kudos for chamber of commerce and North Florida Boy Scouts

Compiled by Max Marbut

An accreditation examiner from the United States Chamber of Commerce said the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce was among the leading such organizations in the country.

Dwight Havens, manager of the U.S. chamber’s local chamber department, reported on his studies of the local organization at a meeting of the trade body’s board of governors and committee chairmen at the George Washington Hotel.

He praised the Jacksonville chamber as outstanding among such trade organizations throughout the nation, especially for its development of area councils that united the business community in the region, as contrasted with development of separate and competitive chambers as existed in other cities.

Accreditation of the local chamber by the national body would mean official recognition of outstanding organization and achievement, he said.

Havens said about 300 local chambers had applied for accreditation and that Jacksonville was one of the first to complete its application.

“I’m immensely impressed by what I’ve seen here. You have been a powerful force in the redevelopment of your community. Your area councils are to be highly commended as a means of unifying the work the chamber is attempting to accomplish, and you are more of a leader in community development because you don’t use any tax money. I will have to recommend accreditation for you,” Havens said.

• The North Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America was honored in Cleveland for outstanding work in extending scouting to youth in rural areas.

North Florida Council President Prime F. Osborn, vice president and general counsel of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and Scout Executive Horace Williamson accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

“Your rural membership growth program has made a significant contribution to rural America and our nation,” said Gilbert Pirrung of Bainbridge, Ga., chairman of the committee that made the award.

Ed Fowler, field director for the North Florida Council, said the recognition was based on an increase of 60 units with approximately 900 Scouts in the rural areas of the council.

“The growth is significant because it means that the boys in the areas outside Duval County are receiving the same leadership and scouting training that is available to the boys who live within a few blocks of their units in towns,” Fowler said.

The council included the area south of the Georgia border to Levy and Marion counties and west to Live Oak and to Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast.

• An injunction suit was filed in Circuit Court in a move to bar a paper ballot in the May 26 second primary on whether Duval County voters favored forced integration of privately owned restaurants, hotels and motels.

The suit was filed by attorney Victor Raymos on behalf of Ralph Mason Dreger, who acted individually and on behalf of other taxpayers and registered voters.

Dreger, who was chairman of the Human Relations Council of Greater Jacksonville, alleged in the suit that the proposed paper ballot was illegal on a number of grounds, unconstitutional and unauthorized by law.

The suit was filed following a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners at which Ernest Lent Jr., executive director of the council, unsuccessfully appealed to the board to rescind its approval of holding the paper ballot.

Lent read to the board a resolution adopted by the council, saying no legal justification for the ballot had been offered.

He identified the council as a nonprofit corporation with the purpose of promoting democracy, justice and equality of opportunity for all members of the community. Lent said the organization had about 200 members.

The board on May 11 approved the ballot at the request of the Duval County Federation for Constitutional Government, which agreed to pay the costs.

The question on the ballot was scheduled to be: “Should privately owned restaurants, hotels and motels be forced to racially integrate their customers?”

County Attorney Henry Blount said his ruling was that any registered voter in Duval County — whether Democrat, Republican or no party affiliation — would be eligible to participate in the paper ballot.

• A teenage husband was in critical condition at St. Vincent’s Hospital after he was shot in the stomach with a shotgun at close range during a quarrel with his 16-year-old wife.

William Holton, 17, of 3650 Valencia Road, underwent six hours of surgery.

Detective Sgt. R.T. Matthew said hospital officials told him they removed five feet of Holton’s intestines and replaced several arteries with plastic tubes.

His wife, Bernice, was placed in the Juvenile Shelter to await a preliminary hearing. She told investigators she did not intend to shoot her husband of eight months, that she only wanted to frighten him.

Matthew said Holton returned home later than he had been expected and went to his upstairs apartment, where his wife was waiting.

She told officers her husband had lipstick and powder on his shirt.

She had a 16-gauge shotgun loaded with one round of birdshot in her hands when they began arguing.

She told police her husband lunged for the gun and it went off while they were struggling.

• Automation would be a key factor in planning a 17-story addition to Baptist Memorial Hospital, said Lawrence Payne, hospital administrator.

“I used to dismiss questions about why hospitals can’t cut costs by saying we can’t treat patients on a production line basis. Now it has been proved hospitals can be automated without putting patients on a production line,” he said in the Seminole Hotel to members of the Sertoma Club.

• A four-court tennis complex was formally dedicated at Timuquana Country Club, joining the golf course and swimming pool as amenities for members and guests.

The courts had been under construction since April 16 and were opened in ceremonies including a brief talk by Clarence Ashby, club president.

Ed Volkwein, chairman of the tennis committee, cut a ribbon releasing a string of balloons signifying the opening of the courts.

“These courts are made of green pulverized rock. This substance makes the best maintenance type court there is. It gives a little and is much easier on the tennis player’s legs,” said Joe Whalen, Jacksonville national pro champion in 1936.

The courts, which cost $20,000, were part of a $300,000 building program at the club. Also under construction was an Olympic-size swimming pool, a new 19th hole facility and a golf cart storage room.

• Nine drummers, 21 buglers and 17 flag-bearers were being sought for the Goldennaires Jr. Drum and Bugle Corps.

It was noted that only teenagers need apply.

Applicants did not have to provide their own instruments, as $4,000 worth of drums, bugles and flags had arrived, said Tom Maloney, the corps’ equipment manager.

“They are the latest styles and we expect the uniforms to arrive any day,” he said.

Maloney and Fred Smith, director of the corps, had been planning the new group for several months.

Smith said the group would travel all over the United States to compete with other corps, but the group’s first performance would be on June 4 in Jacksonville at the American Legion State Convention.

• What was thought to be the oldest surviving painting executed in America, Jacque le Moyne’s rendition of Rene de’ Laudonniere at Fort Caroline, would be displayed June-August at the Cummer Gallery of Art, said Joseph J. Dodge, gallery director.

The exhibit would be part of Jacksonville’s Fort Caroline quadricentennial celebration.

Dodge said the Cummer was able to obtain the work on loan from the New York Public Library only by “an extraordinary stroke of fate, good fortune and coincidence.”

He said the loan was arranged with the assistance of U.S. Rep. Charles Bennett, Mayor Haydon Burns, and Mrs. Herbert Carroll Jr., president of the Alliance Francais of Jacksonville.

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