Celebrating ‘Our Fathers’ in Opa-locka

By Christina Gordon….

Albert Jones, Robert Harris, Marcel Louisaint and Haguenot Noel.

“Women make boys, but men make men,” stated the Honorable “Lady” Myra L. Taylor at the Third Annual Tribute to “Our Fathers,” hosted by the Opa-locka Mayor and City Commission at 11:00 AM on the second floor of the Municipal Complex building, 780 Fisherman Street, as they paid tribute to the “proud papas” of the community with a Complimentary Luncheon on Friday, June 17, 2011.

According to Mayor Taylor, “The Commission takes great pleasure in honoring, saluting and celebrating our fathers.” She added, “We take our ‘Hats Off’ to those who have protected and dedicated their lives to raising their children and, at times, providing for other families within the Opa-locka community. We want them to know that they mean more than just a pair of socks, a handkerchief, a tie or a bottle of cologne on Fathers Day. We want to express appreciation for their sacrifice, contribution, compassion, inspiration, influence, wisdom and even their disciplinary actions, which is a direct result of their year-round love and concern for the well-being of their children and this community.”

101 years after the first father’s day celebration, Taylor said she looks forward each year to continuing the tradition and showing respect to the some of the most committed fathers in Opa-locka.  The Mayor said, “Even on a Saturday, when there is nothing to do, a man has to get-up and always be prepared to protect his house.”  She stated, “We want to embrace the significance of ‘Our Fathers,’ on this day, because fatherhood is not easy, especially when you are doing it for your children, AND as an outreach to others needing paternal guidance in the community.”

Prior to lunch, Mrs. Luvenia Spears from the “Seniors on the Move” program performed a musical selection for the dads, followed by “Words of Encouragement” by Clarance Patterson on his last day as Opa-locka City Manager, trailed by comments from the “father of the commission,” Commissioner Timothy Holmes. Then, to the tune of “Precious Lord,” Pastor Ranzer Thomas from New Generation Missionary Baptist Church, circled the room and placed his hand on each father as he prayed for their continued strength, leadership and blessings. After which gifts were awarded to the oldest and the youngest fathers, as well as the father with the most children. The program concluded with the Master of Ceremony, former Vice Mayor Terence Pinder, and Mayor Taylor raffling prizes to other “deserving dads.”

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