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Buffalo Soldier Raymond Shelton honored
SoVaNow.com / April 11, 2013South Boston Council on Monday evening honored one of the Town’s residents, World War II Army veteran Raymond Shelton, who served in Italy for nearly a year and a half after being inducted into the military back in 1943.
Today, Shelton is best known for his musical talents, and at the age of 98 he still plays the piano for church services at two South Boston churches —Mt. Olive Baptist Church and Ebenezer CME, where he performs with the male chorus. He is also a regular volunteer at The Woodview, Seasons At The Woodview, South Boston Manor and Berry Hill Nursing Home. One listener called him “a maestro,” noting “his keys are expert, magnificent and spellbinding.”
According to Mayor Ed Owens, late Mayor Carroll Thackston was very interested in seeing Town Council honor Shelton, who was a member of the 92nd Infantry Division known as the Buffalo Soldier Division— the last segregated Army division and the only African-American Division to fight overseas in Europe during World War II.
His division suffered 3,200 casualties between the months of August 1944 and May 1945.
Town Manager Ted Daniel said it was an honor to recognize Shelton for his service to the country.
Also offering their congratulations were U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Congressman Robert Hurt and Gov. Bob McDonnell. the Virginia General Assembly and the Halifax County Board of Supervisors.
In other business Monday evening, Town Council appointed Coleman Speece to serve as vice-mayor until the November general election.
Also, Council approved $2.355 million in general obligation bond financing for the Washington-Coleman Community Center Project. Council took action following a public hearing which brought forth no citizen comment. Speece hailed the tremendous amount of effort that Daniel has put into bringing the project to fruition.
Council also approved a report from its three-member Board of Viewers, which has recommended the closure of Prospect Avenue and Grove Street, two streets which intersect the Washington-Coleman School property. Viewers also recommended that a portion of the property be sold to Beverly Caldwell at a cost of $1,500.
Caldwell, however, has asked that the price be dropped to $500 as she told of the expenses of attorney’s fees and surveys to improve the land. But several Council members said they were uncomfortable not following the recommendation of their Viewers.
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