Road name honors Bazemore

Published 12:32 pm Thursday, August 7, 2008

WINDSOR – J. Jasper Bazemore was a giant of a man who was honored Monday when the newest street in Bertie County was dedicated in his honor.

Bazemore, the late Bertie County Commissioner, was paid tribute to by the Bertie County Commissioners and the Windsor Board of Commissioners when they dedicated the street leading to the new Bertie County Department of Social Services in his honor.

During Monday’s Dedication of Jasper Bazemore Avenue, Shelton R. Williams, the son-in-law of the late county leader, said his father-in-law never worked as a public servant for personal glory.

“Mr. John Jasper Bazemore was simply an American,” Williams said. “Even as his health failed, he would not let go of the plow. We asked him to, but he wouldn’t.

“He said, ‘I must serve until my time is over’ and that’s what he did,” Williams continued. “The citizens of this county, whom we love, don’t know how great an honor this is. Dad lived up to the Bible verse to find favor with God and man.”

Bertie County Commission Chairman Norman Cherry welcomed everyone to the dedication of the street and said the avenue came about because Bazemore continually pushed for the new DSS building to be built.

Vice Chairman L.C. Hoggard added, “It gives me great pleasure to be here. When I first came on the board, Mr. Bazemore sat next to me and he always had something humorous to say.”

Hoggard said that Bazemore often told him, “To speak is knowledge. To listen is wisdom.”

He said he would always remember those words as he recalled the service Bazemore gave to Bertie County.

Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey officially accepted the street on behalf of the town and also paid tribute to Bazemore’s service.

“We are especially honored together with the county commissioners, to name this street in honor of the late Jasper Bazemore,” Spivey said. “He was a great friend. I have never known a man more dedicated to purpose than he was. He set an example we should always be proud to follow.”

Bertie County Commissioner Charles Smith also called Bazemore a friend.

“We were neighbors and friends,” Smith said. “He was a man full of wisdom and knowledge and I loved him. He did so much for this county.”

Representative Annie W. Mobley (D-5th) was also on hand to speak at the ceremony. She said it was a “fitting” tribute to Bazemore and commended the Bertie County Commissioners for honoring him by the naming of the street.

Senator Ed Jones (D-4th) was also on hand. He said, “I am very honored to be here on this occasion to honor such a great person.”

Rickey Freeman, who serves as Chairman of the Bertie County Board of Education, also spoke. He said he did so as a neighbor and friend.

“Mr. Jasper lived two houses from me,” Freeman said. “To the young males, he was a father figure. He gave us great wisdom, great advice. He was one of the reasons I chose to serve on the Bertie County Board of Education.”

Williams also played a medley as a musical tribute and the Rev. Vonner Horton of Oxley Hill Missionary Baptist Church offered a prayer of dedication.