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A nominee for our ‘Hall of Fame’
A recent Whidbey News-Times story sparked an idea I had which I hope will be supported by other Oak Harborites. The idea is essentially that a history, or “Hall of Fame,” for Oak Harbor’s distinguished citizens and their accomplishments would be quite interesting and also motivating for the community. Hopefully, one day another wonderful observer and writer such as our laudable Dorothy Neil will undertake this as an ongoing project.
On the forefront of Oak Harbor’s past and present citizens, I am certain that one individual should be considered. He has achieved amazing success in his endeavors, well beyond his expectations. However, his accomplishments are perhaps the “best kept secret” of the local media.
During his Navy career, he accomplished what less than 2 percent of his contemporaries did. He retired at the highest rank achievable within the enlisted ranks, not only as a Chief Petty Officer but one of the best CPO’s, a Master Chief Petty Officer. After 30 years in the Navy, he translated his service-developed leadership and innovative skills as a civilian performing non-military essential support services. He has been recognized for years as one of America’s top experts and top performers in his speciality,
He has been recognized by not only the Department of Defense, but also the Seattle Federal Employees Board (best federal employee team), Washington State Recycling Association (Hall of Fame 2004), Washington State Legislature (state resolution, management and recycling), Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary of Navy, Secretary of Defense, and even the President (White House highest recognitions of recycling at NAS Whidbey). During the past decade, these highlight the more than 50 of the nation’s highest awards he has received.
While accomplishing this exemplary record, he also found time to serve as an Oak Harbor City Council member for 12 years. His trademark reputation was consistently as an open-minded, maximum public participation in government, “voice of the people” representative.
Having resided in Oak Harbor for over 20 years, I cannot recall any other individual with a more distinguished record of national, state and city government service. If the idea of an Oak Harbor Citizen Hall of Fame should develop, Paul Francis Brewer should be one of the first inducted.
As the journalistic icon Paul Harvey would have closed: Now you know the rest of the story.