Alice Radcliffe stands next to a monument honoring her late husband Sept. 10 at Harold Radcliffe Park in North Redington Beach.
NORTH REDINGTON BEACH – A magnificent 600-pound slab of black granite carved from the mountains of Georgia was unveiled in memory of former Mayor Harold Radcliffe at a dedication ceremony on Sept. 10 at Harold Radcliffe Park. The monument resides at the foot of the flagpole in front of the gazebo, a permanent reminder of the man who served in the town government of North Redington Beach for 33 years.
Radcliffe, who died July 2 at age 94, was the town’s longest serving mayor of 12 years until his retirement in 2005. He also served on the town’s planning and zoning board and as a commissioner. Some of the highlights of his many contributions to the town included starting beach renourishment, undergrounding utilities, and getting the three Redingtons together to buy the pier so that residents could enjoy fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico on the Fourth of July.
Current Mayor Bill Queen gave the late-afternoon dedication.
After listing a litany of Radcliffe’s accomplishments and the ways in which he served his family, his neighbors, his town, his industry as an engineer, and his country (Radcliffe was a WWII veteran), Queen ended the tribute, saying that Radcliffe was “a man who now serves in heaven.”
Residents turned out for the dedication, honoring their former mayor and friend. Stories of Radcliffe’s life and dedication were told from both the podium and murmured among those in attendance. Reminiscences were passed around along with the refreshments of assorted cookies, pound cake, fudge, and soft drinks served by the Conch Republic.
Queen read part of the inscription on the monument: “He (Radcliffe) was a courteous and honorable man.” Then Queen added, “That’s the definition of a gentleman.”
Radcliffe’s widow, Alice, was present at the ceremony. They were married for 72 years, had two daughters, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She spoke about how she hoped Radcliffe was looking down at this event.
“He would have loved this,” she said, “because he loved all of you.”
After the unveiling ceremony had ended, Queen put his arm around Alice. He leaned over her as twilight settled in and pointed to the monument. “Alice, how do you like it?” he asked.