Friday, April 8, 2016

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Board Meeting Scheduled

There will be a meeting of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Board of Directors on Saturday, April 9, 2016.

The meeting will be in the Eastman Board Room, 2nd floor of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, beginning at 1 PM.

On the agenda are final preparations for our huge Golf Tournament next month.

All board members and interest alumni are asked to attend the board meeting.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kingsport BMA honors former alderman Richard Watterson



KINGSPORT — Richard Watterson was the first African-American elected to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, serving for 24 years, with more than half of his tenure in the position of vice mayor.

On Tuesday, city leaders recognized Watterson for his long and “tireless” service to the Model City by proclaiming April 6 “Richard Watterson Day.” The BMA also offered Watterson an early birthday wish — he turns 90 next month.

“Richard Watterson is an individual who has taught our community that leadership is about action, being a true community trustee, and meeting the need placed before you,” Vice Mayor Mike McIntire said, reading from the proclamation.

The proclamation came at the beginning of the BMA’s regular meeting Tuesday night. Watterson, who was accompanied by his wife Barbara and other family members, sat in the front row and stayed for the entire hour-long meeting.

“Richard and I go back 66 years,” said Alderman Tom Parham. “He’s been a model, a mentor and a friend for a lot of years.”

“I raised him from a pup,” Watterson joked.

Watterson graduated from Douglass High School, attended Swift Memorial Jr. College and Livingston College in Salisbury, N.C., and served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 through 1946, with most of his time spent on the USS Nassau.

According to the proclamation, Watterson served on a number of state and local boards, including the state Board of Legal Services, the Board of Directors of the Kingsport Boy’s Club, was the state commissioner for human development, the first chairman of the Riverview Branch Boy’s Club, the president of the Esquire Club, and a member of the Kiwanis Club and Optimist Club.

Watterson first won election to the BMA in 1973 — the first African-American to do so. He served until 1997 and during his long tenure on the board, he served as vice mayor from 1981 to 1995. According to the proclamation, Watterson garnered the top vote count during many of those city elections.

“During his service on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Richard was a tireless leader for growth and modernization,” McIntire said, with the proclamation further describing Watterson as having “many talents and abundant community spirit.”

“We wish to uphold and commend the important part he has played in the life of our city,” McIntire said.