Monday, March 5, 2012

Tamarac's Pioneers!

By: Barbara Tarnove, President, Tamarac Historical Society updated 9-12-2014

Each year since 1973, the Broward County Historical Commission has sponsored an annual to honor the communities early settlers; Broward County Pioneer Day. This event recognizes individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to preservation and education, celebrating the county’s rich history while remembering the experiences that give each Broward City its unique character. The legacy of the county’s early pioneers can serve as a model for successive generations in inspiring them to preserve those essential elements that distinguish this place we call “home”.

The Historical commission also presents awards for those individuals and organizations that exemplify meticulous historical research or preservation advocacy. The Historical Commission actively promotes these ideals in its effort to educate the public about Broward County’s significant local heritage.

The City of Tamarac began naming a Tamarac Pioneer in 1998. For the past two years, the Tamarac Historical Society has been proud to play a role in the selection of the City’s pioneers. The Tamarac Historical Society’s goal is to enlighten the community about our heritage and pass on an enduring legacy for future generations by researching, collecting, preserving and exhibiting the City’s history.

We’re pleased to present each of Tamarac’s pioneers, as celebrated by our City.

Tamarac’s Pioneers are:

1998 Walter W. Falck:
Five years after moving to Florida, Mr. Falck was a member of the Tamarac City Council in 1975 and was elected Mayor of Tamarac on March 12, 1976. Mayor Falck was named Broward County Senior Citizen of the Year in 1987 and inducted into the Senior Hall of Fame in 1988.

2000 Helen Sobel
Recognizing the need to help senior citizens who could not drive to doctor’s appointments or the market, she started a volunteer group of about fifty drivers with their own cars, who provided these services without reimbursement. Eventually this developed into the Tamarac Social Services.

2001 John Elbert McKaye
Mr. McKaye became involved in civic affairs, he served two terms as president of the home owners’ association for the Boulevards. John McKaye, an associate of Walter Falck an early Tamarac Mayor, City Commissioner and later a Broward County Commissioner, was appointed in 1995 to fill a seat on the Tamarac City Commission. He ran for office and served a full term from 1996 to 1999.

2002 Herbert Wade Hayes, Jr.
Upon retiring in 1975, he came to Tamarac and settled in the Westwood Community, serving his community for more than 25 years, as President of the Tamarac Presidents Council as well as a trustee. Mr. Hayes also served as the City of Tamarac’s government liaison to the Tamarac Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

2003 Tina Celantano
The first editor of the Mainlands 7 clubhouse newspaper, “Seven”. She regularly authored a column in the Tamarac Topics, the monthly newspaper published by Behring Properties. Tina took up the cause and fought to get a pay phone installed at the Mainlands’ clubhouse. She lobbied the commission strenuously to have a city bus service creating a future bus routes that stop at the major condos.

2006 Marion Fay
Marion Fay was a founding member of the Mainlands 1 & 2 Women’s Club, attended Faith United Church of Christ, a member of the Arts & Crafts Club at the Mainlands and communicated daily with several ladies who lived alone. In 2006 when named as the city’s pioneer Marion Fay had lived in Tamarac for 42 years. At the then age of 107 she was the longest living resident of Tamarac.

2007 Leo Kaplan
Mr. Kaplan has spent his life working as an artist. He worked at a large printing firm as their Art Director. He specializes in Assemblage       Art, or “art in a box”. Acting as an unofficial historian, Kaplan used to collect newspaper stories for posterity and turned them over to City Hall.

2009 Hubert Klombers
Mr. Klombers took up the cause of starting a SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program in Broward County. He became a Charter Member of SHINE in the county and worked tirelessly as a coordinator. The program helps keep seniors informed and gets them the help they need. Mr. Klombers served as a legislative aide for two Tamarac Commissioners.

2010 Lucille Wind
The Winds’ had fallen in love and signed a contract. Their home cost $8,990 and with the added features of air conditioning, a rear patio and an expanded garage brought their total to $10,030. They left a $200.00 deposit on a new way of life and maintenance free living. In 2010 Lucille Wind was Tamarac’s only living original resident.

2011 Larry Wark
Chief Elis Devoe was responsible for forming the City’s first Police Department of which Larry Wark was hired as the first police patrolman; with badge #1! Back in my day with the Tamarac Police Department, most of the City was under construction. The majority of our police functions consisting of patrolling the City and keeping watch on the shadows of the many partially built homes. We occasionally wrote up traffic violations and on occasion deterred theft of construction materials.

2012 Dorothy Willis
Dorothy Willis began her career at the age of 17 by receiving a scholarship to the Metropolitan Opera. As a solo performer she added acting to her repertoire and moved to Broadway. After her career on Broadway and raising her children she and her husband moved to Tamarac in 1979. Dorothy Willis teamed up with Ann White and formed the Ann White Theatre, proving alternative theatre to our local residents.  the Ann White Theatre evolved finally into the Tamarac Theatre of the Performing Arts. For over 32 years the theatre produced countless shows such as A Chorus Line, An Evening with Gershwin and Friends, Bye Bye Birdie, Gypsy and The Produces.

2013 Kenneth Behring
Kenneth Behring incorporated the City of Tamarac in 1963, the first time a city was incorporated as raw land. Prior to this only developed cities were give this distinction by the State of Florida. Behrings dream of having affordable housing with all the maintenance included with recreation facilities centered around a clubhouse and a large pool, caught on as a great retirement option. As his communities were announced they quickly sold out causing him to continue to acquire more land to build. He did so by continuing to go west, over the Sunshine State Parkway. He didso until 1972 when he lest to build another city in California.

2013 Edward Levy
For over 30 years Ed Levy has unselfishly helped veterans and their spouses navigate through government forms to obtain their benefits and their rights and deal with the Veterans Administration.
He keeps himself educated in the laws and changes in policy. For the past 7 years, he has been the Veterans Advisor at the Tamarac Community Center 9 months out of very years every Friday from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

2014 Paul Anthony Kelly
Paul Kelly joined the Tamarac Fire Rescue team in 1981 after serving 4 years with the Cooper City Fire Department as one of its first paid fire fighters. Paul has been teaching school students about fire prevention through a movie he created using Sparky the Fire Dog. He even built a bedroom so the children would learn how to escape a burning room. Paul helped design and build a sign and mapping system for fire hydrants all on barrier walls now being used in the state of Florida. He retired from the Tamarac Fire Rescue department in 2011 due to Parkinson's disease but still volunteers to mentor and train the Tamarac Fire Rescue Cadets.

Each pioneer is unique for different reasons. Please be sure to visit the display at City Hall for more detailed information about each of Tamarac's pioneers.

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