A giant of a man

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 25, 2006

R-C News-Herald Editorial

A giant among men passed from this life last week.

J. Jasper Bazemore had been a friend and a servant to the people of Bertie County for most of his life. The last 12 of those years he spent as a member of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners.

During his service to the people of Bertie County in general the folks in Snakebite and Indian Woods specifically, he became one of the best commissioners to ever hold the office.

Jasper Bazemore was elected to the county commission at a difficult time in Bertie County history. The county was divided over having a regional landfill and there was upheaval among many of the residents.

He helped shape a new board and a new focus among the county’s leaders. In the process, he became the first Black man to serve as chairman of the board.

Under his leadership, Bertie County became proactive in many areas and worked diligently to serve its citizens. He changed the face of government and made it friendlier and more open to the people of the county.

Along the way, Bazemore developed a reputation for being fair-minded, honest and sometimes brazenly open about his feelings.

Commissioner Norman Cherry hit the nail on the head when he described Bazemore.

“Jasper Bazemore was who he was. What you saw was what you got.”

His service to the community and to the people of Bertie County likely won’t be measured for years to come because many of the ideas he set into motion have yet to come to fruition.

One thing is for sure, the loss of Jasper Bazemore is a great one. He has been a man among men and voice for the common man during his tenure as a commissioner.

That voice is now silent and the void that is left deafening.