Longtime public servant memorialized

A Lumberton community center now bears the name of a former Lamar County supervisor who died this year.

The Ben Barrett Sr. Community Center and voting precinct was officially named Tuesday in a resolution presented by the board of supervisors.

Barrett served as District 2 supervisor for 16 years before retiring in 2004.

Family members say the newly named center serves as a reminder of the many contributions Barrett made to Lumberton and Lamar County — including his efforts to get the community center built.

"He wanted to do something for the people of Lumberton," says his widow Shirley. "And we never really realized how much it was needed until it was actually built.  He knew what he wanted, how he wanted it, and even the colors. This really makes us proud that the time he spent on this, that the people really appreciate it."

Barrett also served as the commissioner of public works for the city of Lumberton.