Hales plans retirement celebration

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015

After serving more than 30 years in office, Pearl River County District I Supervisor Anthony Hales will retire in December. Hales is organizing a retirement party that will take place next month at PRCC’s Brownstone Center of Fine Arts to commemorate his three decades in public service in Pearl River County.

“It’s going to be my way of letting the people know how much I appreciate their support,” Hales said.

The retirement celebration, which features the Mississippi Mass Choir, will be held on Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. inside the Brownstone Center.

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Hales always knew his calling in life was to serve others. After fulfilling his role as a public servant for the last three decades, he said his faith in God was what truly inspired him during his career and he wants this celebration to showcase the importance of faith.

“I want this event to be an experience recognizing the significance of my walk with God and the faith that it took for me to try to do this,” he said.

Hales made history when he became the first African-American to be elected for both of his political seats, including alderman for the Poplarville Board of Aldermen, which he served for 10 years, and district I supervisor for the past 20 years. However, Hales doesn’t want to be remembered for that. He said he wants his work to serve as a testament that “a person can accomplish a lot if they just step out on faith and believe they can make a difference.”

Throughout his political career, Hales said he’s tried to be “the voice of common sense and be equal,” even though sometimes it wasn’t always well received. However, Hales said his faith, his wife of 32 years and his children, have made him who he is today.

While Hales has lived out many of his dreams, another one of his dreams will come true during his retirement celebration.

“It fulfills a dream and vision I have to bring the world’s greatest choir to Pearl River County, the Mississippi Mass Choir,” Hales said.

Along with the performance, several guest speakers will pay tribute to Hales’ contributions over the last three decades, including Rev. Tommy Hart, District IV Supervisor J. Patrick Lee and Hales’ children and grandchildren.

Hales said he plans to speak but promises he’ll be brief.

“At first I didn’t want to be a part of the program. I just wanted people to celebrate with me and listen to some of the best gospel singers that we have in the area and the world,” Hales said.

Hales said he’s humbled by the participation from the community. Through donations, they’ve raised $14,000 to hold the celebration.

“The celebration will be about praising God for what he’s done and thanking the people of the county for allowing me to serve them,” Hales said.

Tickets cost $15. To purchase tickets, call 601-916-0166 or 601-795-6489.