Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson with Mayor Teresa Tomlinson of Columbus,
GA holds plaque given to the City Apalachicola by the City of Columbus in 1951
Local history records that on November 13, 1951 during a Harbor Day celebration in Apalachicola, former Apalachicola Mayor Corey M. Henriken and the former mayor of Columbus, Georgia; Mayor B.F. Register established a relationship surrounding the City of Apalachicola and the City of Columbus "mutual interest" in the navigation of the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee/Flint (ACF) River Basin, which flows thru both communities.
As stakeholders of the ACF and as a token of their relationship the two mayors exchanged gifts! Mayor Henriksen presented the City of Columbus with an anchor, which is now located in the Atlanta area and Mayor Register presented the City of Apalachicola with a plaque that’s kept at city hall.
In recognition of that historic event, on Thursday, October 23, Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson met with the current mayor of the City of Columbus; Mayor Teresa Tomlinson to reaffirm the City of Apalachicola’s commitment toward the relationship established over six decades ago by Henriksen and Register.
The occasion took place during the 1st Troy University Water Resource Management and Economics Conference held in Phenix City, Alabama, where Mayor Johnson before the packed conference recounted the historic of the gift exchange between the former mayors and read, “In recognition of our continued mutual interest”, inscribed by Register on the original plaque given to the City of Apalachicola.
(L-R) City of Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs, Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe
and Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson
In an effort to establish new relationships with other stakeholders along the ACF River Basin, Johnson earlier and likewise exchanged gifts with Mayor Eddie Lowe, of Phenix City and Mayor Jack Tibbs, of Eufaula. During the exchange Johnson received a key to Phenix City from Mayor Lowe and a bag of raw Alabama peanuts from Mayor Tibbs. Mayor Lowe was a former professional football player in the Canadian Football League and a former college football standout for the Alabama Crimson Tide under legendary football coach Bear Bryant.
Johnson gifted all three mayors, Tomlinson, Lowe and Tibbs with a care package put together by City Administrator Betty Webb, which consisted of a city of Apalachicola medallion, coffee mug, local harvested tupelo honey and various merchandise received from John Solomon, Chair of the Florida Seafood Festival Board of Directors to promote the 51st annual seafood festival.
The conference brought together mayors, city councilmen, public employees and private business interest from communities in Florida, Georgia and Alabama that boarders the ACF River Basin, all total 120 were in attendance. Discussed was a concern over management and use of the basin.
The conference was held at the recent built Phenix City Marriott Courtyard in Phenix City, Alabama.