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Mayor A.J. Holloway announced today that the city is counting on Biloxians to help make the new home of the Golden Fisherman at Point Cadet “a landmark that we can all be proud of” and “one for the ages.”
Holloway, speaking to the Biloxi Businessmen’s Club luncheon, said the city is launching a campaign to update the list of names of Biloxi seafood families that were displayed at the base of the fisherman before it was moved from the Vieux Marche to its current location on the waterfront near Point Cadet Plaza.
The mayor was unsure if the names – about 800 or so — had been updated since the statue was commissioned under Mayor Jerry O’Keefe in 1975 as part of the country’s Bicentennial.
The statue, a golden figure of a beak-nosed fisherman with his arms outstretched to throw a cast net, was crafted by Ocean Springs sculptor Harry Reeks.
The city, which moved the statue from the Vieux Marche to Point Cadet more than a year ago, is working with the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce on plans to spruce up the area surrounding the fisherman, with landscaping, lighting and benches,.
“Today,” Holloway said, “we’re launching a drive to return the legion of names — the who’s who of the seafood capital of the world — to the base of the Golden Fisherman statue.
“We want this to be a fitting tribute to those who helped build Biloxi’s legendary seafood industry and are continuing to help keep it an important part of our economy – and a way of life here in Biloxi.”
The city will fund the cost and installation of the plaques bearing the seafood family names.
Holloway is encouraging residents to review the list and submit any names that should be on the list – either by mail to him at City Hall (P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533), fax (435-5129) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“The seafood industry always has and always will play an important role in Biloxi,” Holloway said, “so let’s cast a wide net and make this a landmark that we can all be proud of. Let’s make it one for the ages.”