Quasquicentennial committee unveils more as historic year continues

Published 12:24 am Thursday, March 16, 2023

As the city continues to celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Quasquicentennial Steering Committee unveiled a new logo as well as a website expected to go live next week.

“We have made it our purpose to be before you relatively often to let you know that the Quasquicentennial Committee, or the Q Committee, is working very hard to carry out the charge that you have given us,” Albert Thigpen told Port Arthur councilmembers during the regular city council meeting.

Thigpen is joined by Pat Avery, Verna Rutherford and Sam Monroe on the steering committee.

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Avery said Mayor Thurman Bartie was instrumental in picking the quasquicentennial logo.

“(We) gave him five different choices and he picked out the one that he thought was more representative of our city,” she said. “It does have all the things that incorporate our city — it’s got palm trees, it’s got the railroads, it’s got the tankers. It’s all there. It has the bridge.”

Bartie agreed.

“This one showed everything,” he said while holding a sticker of the logo. “Every item is there — refineries are there, the birds are there, the beach was there.”

Rutherford also announced the quasquicentennial website, which is under the direction of Gerry Dickert with Lamar State College Port Arthur.

Dickert said he’s been a proud resident of Port Arthur for 14 years.

“When I first arrived I worked directly for Tom Neal and his supervisor was Dr. Monroe, so I’ve been washed in the history of Port Arthur by two of the best,” he said.

Neal is the director of the Museum of the Gulf Coast. Monroe is president of the Port Arthur Historical Society.

“The framework for this website — we have quite a bit of content, but it’s a living document that’s going to grow and continue to become larger and deeper,” Dickert said. “We really want to focus on the events of the year, and so we have an events calendar. As we go through the year, you’ll be able to see the different events — and not just quasquicentennial events but community events and 125th sanctioned events.”

Other aspects of the website include a photo gallery, pages dedicated to various cultures and a map of historical markers.

“It’s hard to find the time to drive around and see them all,” Dickert said. “You’ll be able to see every marker in Port Arthur sitting at your computer at home.”

The map also includes addresses for each one.

A timeline beginning in 1528 also details the development of the area and how it has become what it is today.

“The one message that we always want to make sure we say, the 125th anniversary is about all of Port Arthur,” Thigpen said. “And we want to be sure that everyone knows that we want, expect, invite you to provide us with information about your particular area, your particular culture, so that we can be sure that we include all that we can that is truly Port Arthur.”

The committee said they expect the site to go live early next week after councilmembers have a chance to review and offer feedback.