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Beaumont’s Centennial: Beaumont’s One Hundred Years of Life Celebrated

The city hosted a block party and gala this weekend... here's a recap of what went down.

This weekend Beaumont wrapped its year-long Centennial festivities with a block party and gala extravaganza.

Hundreds attended the events to say "happy birthday" to the city.

If you weren't able to make it out, though, here are some photos and information from the celebrations.

 

A century in time: Beaumont style (Mayor Roger Berg's speech script courtesy of the City of Beaumont)

One of the highlights of the centennial celebration was the dedication of a new time capsule to capture what life is currently like in 2012 here in Beaumont.  

Unlike most time capsules that are buried in the ground and then unearthed at a said time in the future, Beaumont opted to use more modern approach, in which the sealed capsule will be on display at various locations around town for locals to see.

A partial list of the items now stored in the capsule include: 

  • Play Station 2
  • Map of Beaumont
  • Blackberry
  • CD
  • Headphones
  • Special Beaumont Police Department centennial badge
  • City budget
  • Dog tags
  • Floppy disc 
  • Mayor Roger Berg's personal letter to the mayor of Beaumont in 2112. (Won't be read for a century;  the contents weren't revealed at the ceremony.)
  • A program from Saturday night's centennial gala, a ticket from the gala, two napkins from the gala and a champagne glass used to toast at the Saturday night gala.

At the dedication ceremony for the time capsule on Sunday, the mayor presented the following speech:

Good afternoon, everyone.

Welcome to our centennial time capsule ceremony.

On behalf of the city of Beaumont, we’re honored to share this historic moment with you.

One hundred years ago today, on Nov. 18th, 1912, Beaumont was born.  We were the first city in the Pass. And bursting with pride, just like we are today!

At the outset, our rugged, self-reliant forefathers knew there was work to be done. Lots of it.

So, they got right down to business, the people’s business.

We see in early handwritten records how our forefathers tackled urgent needs and everyday responsibilities. They rented a typewriter for $2 a month. They bought a heavy metal box to hold account books. They agreed “horseless carriages” still needed running lights at night.

These early civic pioneers, with their can-do attitudes, laid down a solid foundation for our city’s future.

And so on this special day, we salute them!

Before we seal this time capsule, to be opened a century from now, I want to thank all of you for expressing your deepest thoughts about our beloved Beaumont. You took time, in your own handwriting, to pen your thoughts to a generation that we will never know, that we will never meet. It’s a testament to our “love of city” that binds this community together. These “memory cards” will give future generations a glimpse our time, of this proud moment. And now, I will place my own inside our city’s time capsule.

A hundred years from now, in an age when futurists believe that we’ll have colonies on the moon and hovercrafts circling over Beaumont, what you’ve done on this centennial celebration—the deep affection for your city and its people— will long be remembered.

And so now, on behalf of a grateful city, I hereby seal this time capsule—to be reopened on our bicentennial, Nov. 18th, Twenty One Hundred and Twelve!

Nov. 18, 2012

Theatrical Performance Takes Beaumont's History Center Stage (performance wrap-up courtesy of the city of Beaumont)

Shakespeare once said, “All the world’s a stage.”

That was surely so this weekend (Nov.17-18) in Beaumont during the city’s Centennial Celebration.

Actors took the stage at the Beaumont Civic Center and inspired the audience to rise in standing ovations for the centennial play, “1912: The Birth Of  A City.”

The plot takes place on Election Night, 1912 as townsfolk await results of the cityhood election. Farmers, homemakers, city folk and others gather around an old-time radio and to learn if Beaumont will become a city on its third try.

After playing to packed houses Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, the actors from Catch A Star Theatrical Players linked hands, took a bow and closed the show of a century!

Audiences who were lucky enough to see one of the two performances saw once again the magic of live theater. It seemed as though the clock had been turned back and once again, they experienced the night Beaumont had been born, just like our forefathers did.

The powerful, if sometimes humorous, drama unfolded before our eyes, and we even got to see portrayals of two of the biggest luminaries of the day, the Unsinkable Molly Brown, who became a heroine after the sinking of the Titanic; and Houdini, the legendary magician who made it look easy escaping from chained trunks dropped under water.

So if you missed those moving performances, we’re including the script for our city’s very own centennial play. Now you too can relive those historic moments! (Attached to this article as a .pdf document)

The enduring legacy of Beaumont’s first hundred years: (speech read by Mayor Roger Berg at the Centennial Gala)

 Good evening, everyone. We’re glad you could join this Centennial Celebration!

On behalf of the city of Beaumont, we’re honored to be sharing this very special moment with you.

On the eve of our one hundredth anniversary, Beaumont can take great pride in its people and its accomplishments.

We’ve gone from dirt roads and horse and buggies to the thriving, modern city you see today. We’ve become a progressive city that has kept its very neighborly, small-town feel.

And as we celebrate this civic milestone, it’s important to pause and reflect on our storied past and embrace the bright future that surely lies ahead.

Much has happened since our founding fathers came to town, cleared the land, planted trees, and laid out a city. These visionary men and women believed not only in charting their own destiny but also opening up possibilities for their children and future generations to come.

So I believe now is a good time for us to all pause for a moment and honor all those who built this town, slowly, methodically, generation after generation, in good times and bad.

Their commitment and sacrifice through World War I, The Great Depression, World War II, and our own quickly changing times helped lead us to this proud moment.

As the great thinker Plato once said about his hometown of Athens: “This city is what it is because our citizens are what they are.”

Wouldn’t you agree the same is true today for Beaumont? And I think everyone in this room and across this great city deserves a great round of applause!

And as we salute our heritage, we also know that Beaumont has always been about the future, the promise of tomorrow, the belief that our children and their children will always find—just as we have—that their best days are ahead.

So when the music stops, the actors leave the stage, and tonight’s festivities become part of our history, our work begins anew, just as it began anew each and every day in our first hundred years. Starting now, let’s turn our focus to the next one hundred years.

 Let’s continue to build on Beaumont’s enduring legacy, so that a hundred years from now, the people of this city can look forward to an even brighter tomorrow. So I say, let’s cherish and honor Beaumont—and love and respect one another. After all, the future is ours starting right now!

Nov. 17, 2012

 

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