By Dottie Dewberry
For Starkville Daily News
Dr. Bobby Perkins was honored with a retirement supper at the 911 center in Mathiston recently by the Mathiston Fire Department.
Despite the rainy weather, there was a large turn out for Dr. Perkins as he turned in his badge and hat after serving as a volunteer fireman for 38 years.
After the welcome and blessing by Fire Chief Lee Gilliland, the firemen and guests enjoyed a potluck supper.
After the meal, Fire Chief Gilliland laughingly explained that the party was supposed to be a surprise for Perkins, and had been an inspiration to those assembled.
With words of appreciation, the Mathiston Fire Department presented Perkins with a statue in full turn-out mounted on a wooden base, complete with plaque for 38 years of service.
Perkins encouraged those assembled to support each other and to always watch each otherâ€™s back. He said that he was serving with the second and third generation; it has been a pleasure and that he had enjoyed it. Then he thanked those who had watched out for him.
Before the supper was over, Fire Chief Gilliland expressed his joy in serving and encouraged everyone to be safe.
Firemen and family attending the surprise retirement party for Perkins were Shane Box, Michael Gilliland, Roger Miller, Heather Box, Lee Gilliland, Billy Williams, Justin Collins, Mitch Shaw, Wayne Yeatman, Nate Carroll, Tanner Pritchard, Jonathan Lanthrip, Billy Trice, Johnathan Collins, Tom Booth, Todd Lanthrip, Kristie Lanthrip, Hughie Polk, Kaylan Polk, Tyler Bierdeman, Amy Booth, and Paul Lanthrip.
At the event, Gilliland announced the Mantee Fire Department would be hosting a Pumper Operator Class on March 28-30. For more information, contact David Brand.
He also announced that several firefighters from the Mathiston area recently attended the Fire Academy in Jackson, including Shane Box, Billy Trice, Johnathan Lanthrip, Johnathan Collins, Billy Williamson, Nate Carroll, Tyler Bierdeman and Mitch Shaw.