Several hundred residents and friends of the Berkley community came together November 17 for the community’s annual Thanksgiving Celebration. The community members used the occasion to give honor to Norfolk’s Mayor Kenneth Alexander, whose business, Metropolitan Funeral Service, was the corporate sponsor for the event.
Mayor Alexander, who was the keynote speaker, used the occasion to salute the community and to recognize and deliver a proclamation to Ms. Juritus Thatch, Berkley Community Center Supervisor “Emeritus,” for her service to the community. The “Big Record” Award, which was given to Ms. Thatch, was also presented to Min. Bernard Thompson.
The event began with a drum call by Mr. John Earl Robinson that was followed by opening prayer, musical selection and the welcome.
A libation to remember the ancestors of the Berkley Community was led by the Berkley Historical Society’s president Ms. Anne Boone and members Evangelist Annie Hinnant and Mrs. Alfreda Green. Greetings were brought by Councilman Paul Roddick.
This year’s theme was “The Big Record” which recognized several Berkley-related events during 2016 to include the election of Mayor Alexander, a Berkley native son. Other events cited were the opening of the Southside Stem Academy at Campostella; the ongoing construction of the Banks at Berkley Apartments; the continued growth of the Berkley Reunion; and the dedication of the monument at Mt. Alice Cemetery spearheaded by the Berkley Historical Society.
Community Service awards were given to Mt. Mark UCC (Faith-based); Rev. Michele Donaldson (Individual Community Service); Mr. James Rogers (City Representative); Attucks American Legion Post 5 (Civic/Community); and Horace Downing Library (Education).
Persons on the program were Mrs. Jean Tatum, Pastor Calvin Simon, Miss Jessica Vincent, Ms. Lettie Askew, Mr. William Mosby II, Min. Bernard Thompson, Ms. Juritus Thatch, and Rev. Michele Donaldson. Mrs. Sarah Peoples-Perry served as the emcee for the program.
Support for the annual event came from a number of patrons, churches, groups, and individuals.