Remembering a legend: Caucus group meets, honors Sampson

Published 5:12 am Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Louisiana Municipal Black Caucus Association (LMBCA) held its state district meeting in Bogalusa on Saturday, March 18.

The meeting was held in conjunction with the Northshore Black Elected Officials Coalition (NBEOC) and the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, according to Gloria Kates, Bogalusa City Council member for District A, and the meeting’s host and local organizers.

Kates said that the meeting was also held in tribute to the memory of the honorable McClurie Sampson Sr., who was a founder an organizer of both the LMBCA and NBEOC.

President Vernon Martin of Crowley called the meeting to order, and it was followed by an invocation led by Dr. Rev. Raymond E. Mims, the pastor of Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church. After the pledge of allegiance, Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette welcomed everyone to the meeting on behalf of the city of Bogalusa.

After some routine business was handled, LMBCA president emeritus Barbara O’Bear, mayor pro tem of White Castle, and Antoinette Jackson Sampson led a “candlelight of love” ceremony in her late husband McClurie Sampson Sr.’s honor. Tributes were given in Sampson’s memory by LMBCA president Vernon Martin and NBEOC president T.J. Smith of the St. Tammany Parish Council. In addition, State Rep. Malinda White read a proclamation on behalf of the Louisiana House of Representatives, and Bogalusa city council president Tamira Smith read a proclamation on behalf of the city.

Then, several family members and friends spoke on Sampson’s behalf and of their memories of him. Also speaking were a number of government representatives, including Toye Taylor from the Governor’s Office, LMBCA officers and members, NBEOC officers and members, elected members from the Washington Parish Council and Franklinton Board of Aldermen, and other visiting elected officials from the state of Louisiana.

Local organizations also spoke on Sampson’s behalf, including the Bogalusa AARP chapter, Robert “Bob” Hicks Foundation, Washington Parish Men’s Club, visiting NAACP officers and members, and various other citizens.

Later in the meeting, Kates presented the LMBCA’s first “Honorable McClurie Sampson Sr. Community Neighborhood Service Award.”

Also during the day, there was an informational session concerning the 2020 U.S. Census, as well as a session on the importance of the voting process, which was presented by Sailor Jackson Jr., special liaison to the Louisiana Secretary of State.

After a motion and majority vote, the two organizations will work jointly together on the 2020 Census.

The meeting adjourned and lunch was served. Afterwards, LMBCA members placed a wreath on Sampson’s gravesite.

“As host and local organizer, I’d like to extend a special thank you to the Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church, (Kentwood) Mayor Irma Gordon for her expertise and Kay Kay Varnado (with the city of Bogalusa),” Kates said. “Thanks to all participants and all visitors who made this event a success.”