08/12/07 — King Commission meets in Goldsboro

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King Commission meets in Goldsboro

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 12, 2007 2:00 AM

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission convened in Goldsboro Friday in the board room at Wayne Community College.

Dr. Thomas Walker of Rocky Mount, chairman, said the group has been traveling around the state holding meetings where commission members reside.

Earnest Waters of Goldsboro is a senior member of the commission.

"Whenever we lose our way, we look to him," Walker said.

"I have served on this commission longer than any other member has ... some are dead and gone," Waters replied. "Gov. Easley asked me to stay on. I have never missed a meeting since I have been on this commission, thank God."

Established in 1993 under the state's Depart-ment of Administration, the 16 members serve four-year terms. Twelve are appointed by the governor, while two each are selected by the House and the Senate.

The group's purpose is to encourage appropriate ceremonies and activities throughout the state relating to the observance of the King holiday, provide assistance to local governments and private organizations and to promote awareness of King's life and work.

Several local officials were on hand to welcome the commission to Wayne County.

Dr. Kay Albertson, president of Wayne Community College, said she was happy to show off the campus some have called "the prettiest 175 acres in Wayne County."

She said the college honors Dr. King every January with a week of activities that are important to staff as well as students.

"So we honor the work that you do as you come here and plan," she said.

Sen. John Kerr also expressed appreciation for the strides made to sustain King's message. Despite mistakes made in the state and country, it is a time for healing and now is an opportunity to make improvements for the future, he said.

"This is an important mission and an important work that you need to take to keep this dream alive," he said. "I think this group has the duty of making sure this torch is passed on."

"You all have an awesome task to continue to do what you're doing," remarked Shirley Sims, chairwoman of the Board of Education.

Following the morning business session, the commission had lunch at the college and then that evening met in Rocky Mount for a banquet commemorating the 21st anniversary of the King holiday. Keynote speaker was the Rev. Dr. William Barber of Goldsboro, state NAACP president.