Lighthouse News Line
Dennis Receives FLA's Top Honor
|Dennis Barnell accepts the Thomas W. Taylor Award from FLA President Stan Farnham. Stan is wearing a replica of the U.S. Lighthouse Service uniform c. 1900.|
St. George Lighthouse Association President Dennis Barnell was honored by the Florida Lighthouse Association as the recipient of the 2008 Thomas W. Taylor Award, presented for “outstanding service on behalf of lighthouse preservation.” The award is FLA’s highest honor, and is named after the organization’s founder and longest-serving president.
The award was presented at FLA’s annual meeting, held October 18 at the Eastpoint firehouse and co-hosted by the St. George Lighthouse Association and the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association.
The Taylor Award is presented annually at the sole discretion of the president of the statewide lighthouse association. FLA President Stan Farnham said, “This year I’m honored and excited to present the award to Dennis because he, along with his team, overcame countless obstacles and proved the naysayers wrong who told him the task was impossible.” Dennis provided, Stan said, “the inspirational leadership to get passionate people to join in the process.”
The award was inaugurated by FLA President Gene Oakes, who presented the first award posthumously to Tom Taylor, and was instrumental in the subsequent renaming of the award in Taylor’s honor. Other recipients of the prestigious award have included Gene Oakes (also honored posthumously), and FLA founding members Hib Casselberry and Paul Bradley, Jr.
Dennis credited all the members of the St. George Lighthouse Association for their work in the reconstruction of the lighthouse on St. George Island. “This award does not belong to me; it is shared by all the committed people who have given of their time, money, and support to make our vision a reality.”
Also at the meeting, SGLA Secretary Terry Kemp was elected to the FLA Board of Directors. Terry will serve as FLA District 4 Commissioner, with responsibility for representing and supporting the lighthouses in the Florida Panhandle in FLA proceedings. Lighthouses in District 4 include Pensacola, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe., Cape St. George, Crooked River, and St. Marks.
After the meeting, members had the opportunity to climb both the Cape St. George and Crooked River lighthouses. The St. George Lighthouse Association hopes to open the lighthouse for complimentary climbing for local residents on November 29 and 30. The lighthouse is scheduled to open to the public for a small fee starting December 1.
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