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A Visit to Bealsville

This week marks a very important birthday for a very special community.   The community of Bealsville will celebrate its 150th anniversary this coming weekend, and the festivities are open to everyone.  There will be planned activities from Thursday through Sunday, culminating with a community outdoor faith service Sunday at 10:30 am at the Bealsville Recreation Center.

   Bealsville was founded by a group of slaves in 1865, following the Civil War.  Against the odds, they established their farms in rural Hillsborough County, near Plant City.  They developed Bealsville as the kind of place you would want to live if you valued education, family and community.

Pat Frank at Mt. Olive AME Church
Pat Frank at Mt. Olive African Methodist Episcopal Church 

   They established Glover School, now on the National Register of Historic Places, and they developed their farms.  They valued education and prided themselves on many of their residents becoming community leaders of Hillsborough County.

   Unfortunately, even 150 years later, race still is an issue, but the good news is that there still is a Bealsville.

    If you have some time this weekend, pay Bealsville a visit. If you go there, talk to some of the citizens and let them tell you their personal stories.

    Festivities include tours of the historic school and cemeteries, entertainment and a Civil War encampment. For a complete schedule, call (813) 737-1352 or go to Bealsville 150 Year Celebration.

   Also, you may want to view an excellent documentary on Bealsville’s history produced by Hillsborough County Television.

Delano Stewart’s 50th Retirement Celebration Held at Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church June 7, 2015

Del Stewart has a lot of firsts behind his name.

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Delano S. Stewart, Attorney at Law

He has distinguished himself as a lawyer in the state and in his community by being the first African American to be:

  • First assistant public defender
  • First member of the board of the Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • First member of the Rough Riders
  • Founder of the George Edgecomb Bar Association
  • Founder of the Tampa organization of Black Affairs
  • First member of the Hillsborough County Young Democrats
  • Recipient of numerous awards for his representation of the down trodden

I first was introduced to Delano through his father, Garland Stewart, the first African American Assistant Superintendent of Schools when we were integrating Hillsborough County schools and I was a school board member. Delano is all that his father was:  intelligent, dedicated, tireless and truthful.  These qualities have earned him the respect of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity or economic status.

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Reverend Dr. David W. Green, Sr. Pastor

After 50 years, Delano is going to retire; however, he has promised to continue with his convictions to Delano S. Stewart Retirement Cakehelp those in need of justice, to mentor the young to be leaders, and to train others to carry on his goal of equality for all.

We salute you Del, and wish you good health and many years ahead to accomplish your missions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

A Day to Remember

Washington, DC National War Memorial  

   Memorial Day is special to me because it reminds me of my husband, Richard, who served during World War II as an infantryman in the artillery in Germany and saw active duty.   While it used to be observed on May 30, it is now observed officially on the last Monday in May, so we all National War Memorial Fountain, Washington, DCenjoyed a three-day holiday.  

  I was fortunate to visit the beautiful National World War II Memorial during a recent visit to Washington, D.C.  during the Memorial Day weekend.  The Memorial sits on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  It honors all 16 million people who served as part of the American armed forces, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.National War Memorial, Washington, DC

 

 
   I know that many of you have private memories just as I do, ones we hold close to us.  My husband was at Dachau, one of the notorious German concentration camps, when it was liberated.  I remember him saying how he would never forget what he saw.

   And I think that’s the important lesson of Memorial Day.  We must never forget how fragile freedom really is – and remember to cherish the freedom we enjoy in this country.   It is not to be taken for granted.

 

Legal Assistance for You

  I attended a meeting, of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice on Friday, May 15.   One major concern of this Commission is that so many Floridians cannot afford legal representation.  The statistics are truly frightening.   According to the Commission, “a large number of moderate income people are effectively excluded economically from access to justice because they cannot afford to hire a lawyer and they do not qualify for legal aid.”

     Yet many people find themselves facing situations which require legal assistance.  According to a recent survey, 74 percent of Americans dealt with one or more legal life events in the past 12 months.
    
     As the Clerk of the Circuit Court, my office is limited in what we can do legally to assist customers.  We cannot give any legal advice and are explicitly barred by the Florida Supreme Court from doing so.

     But we have taken some important steps to make it easier for you to navigate the Courts.   One major step is the consolidation of our Civil Court Customer Service into one central location – Room 101 of the Edgecomb Courthouse, located behind the main entry point.  Where you previously had to visit three separate locations for your Civil Court business, you can now go to this one area for Circuit, County Civil and Family Law requests, including access to Court records.  You may also pay for copies of pleadings in Room 101.