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Metter High pays tribute to former principal Chester Williams
Chester Williams for Web
Among those attending the June 6 tree dedication program were (l-r) Tree Board Member Elon Flack; Mayor Billy Trapnell; class member Robert West; honoree Chester Williams; class member Theresa Gay; Senator Jack Hill; and County Commission Chair Kent Campbell. - photo by SPECIAL PHOTO
    Members of the Metter High Class of 1966 paid tribute to their beloved principal, Chester Williams of Statesboro, during a special tree dedication ceremony in the MHS Commons on Wednesday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m. More than 60 classmates, local officials, family and friends attended the event.
    “The date June 6, 2007, was set by our committee because the Class of 1966 graduated on June 6, 1966, and this was our 41st graduation anniversary,” said class member Theresa Gay.
    Class member Robert West welcomed those in attendance and spoke of the ‘Trees for a Better Metter’ campaign currently underway by the Class of 1966 in an effort to help beautify the city of Metter.
    “Chester Williams has truly led a remarkable life,” said Gay as she spoke of the principal, who served Metter High School from 1960 to 1970.
    “Through his life as an educator, he was able to expose young people to the benefits of a strong values system and a well-rounded life,” she said, adding that Williams celebrated his 95th birthday in December.
    “Mr. Williams has been a wonderful leader and role model to the many individuals he has touched throughout his life. He has demonstrated the enduring principles of education, health, patriotism, service and leadership,” Gay continued.
    “Personally, I want to thank him for his influence in my life. It was upon his suggestion and guidance that I attended the North Georgia Technical and Vocational School in Clarkesville, Ga.,” Gay said.
    In addition to the surprise ceremony and dedication of a live oak in his honor by class members, Williams received a second surprise as former student Leonard Faircloth of Melrose Park, Ill., donated two additional trees in his honor because of Williams’ influence and guidance in his life.
    West asked members of the audience to speak about the impact Williams had in their lives. Among those speaking were retired educators Jimmy and Sheran Wilcox, Jean Melton, Polly Porter and Ronnie Sikes, Mayor Billy Trapnell, and Carvy Snell of The Metter Advertiser.
    The program ended with a reception hosted by the Class of 1966, assisted by the Class of 1967. Centering the food table was an orange and white sheet cake, inscribed with the words, “Thanks for the Memories.”
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