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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 articles (index)
Letter to editor and editor’s comment: In praise of city councilman George O’Kelley, my dad

Letter to editor and editor’s comment

In praise of city councilman George O’Kelley, my dad

This is my thanks to the editor of The Beaufort Tribune and the other concerned citizens of Beaufort who have agreed with the lone voice crying out on Beaufort’s City Council to save the Freedom Mall and adjacent parking from the re-zoning currently before Council.

That voice belongs to my father, George H. O’Kelley, Jr., for whom I am named.

Although not a Beaufort native, as the old joke goes, he got there as quickly as he could. He has been proud to call Beaufort home since 1970.

My brothers and I were born in Beaufort Memorial, grew up on The Point, spent our teen years on Lost Island, and had the magical Beaufort childhood that your own children experienced.

Beaufort will always be home. To paraphrase from the Book of Ruth, her people will always be my people.

Years ago my father was at a party when someone asked if he was a native of Beaufort. Willie Scheper [a former mayor of Beaufort] answered for my father and said, “No, but he is now.”

Good work, Dad. You make your family proud.

G. Hamlin O’Kelley, III
Mt. Pleasant, SC

From the City of Beaufort’s website:


Editor’s comment: The thanks of the entire Beaufort community, indeed of everyone around the nation and around the world who loves Beaufort, go to city councilman George O’Kelley.

He stood alone on city council in favor of the shared community values that have made Beaufort a truly unique coastal town until, at the penultimate moment in the dastardly rezoning maneuver, the other members of council finally heard his voice and the voices of thousands more and reversed course.

Official and final abandonment of the rezoning, the memorandum of understanding, the misconceived civic master plan and the misdirected redevelopment commission’s effort now appears about to happen.

What a wonderful and unexpectedly quick and successful outcome to this battle to preserve the heart and soul of beautiful Beaufort by the sea.

But, lest we fall into the trap of resting on this victory, we must keep up the effort and the pressure until the death of these outrageous threats to beautiful Beaufort is final and the mentality that produced these threats is banished from our community forever.

George Graham Trask
Editor/Publisher, The Beaufort Tribune

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