Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
June 5, 2019 – 3:00 p.m.
Via unanimous approval the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) passed Resolution 2019-89 at their June 4, 2019 Regular Meeting, thereby naming the library at the Peck Center the “Ernie Tyson Albert Library.”
Ms. Albert has been a lifelong resident and dedicated advocate of the city’s African American community. In 1989 she began her civic service and for thirty years has dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to mentoring and tutoring the youth of Fernandina Beach. She has excelled in the professional world as a successful African American educator and has held numerous distinguished designations in local and regional African American organizations, including President of Epsilon Mu Lambda Lambda and Secretary of the Price Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Ms. Albert, who was accompanied to the meeting by long serving Fernandina Beach Mayor Charles Albert and former Vice Mayor Patricia Thompson, spoke to the Commissioners to express her gratitude for the honor as well as the work of the volunteers at the Peck Center in encouraging and mentoring community youth.
Ms. Albert said, “I am so humbled at this moment. I never dreamed that I would receive such an honor.” She recapped her history with the library, starting with a dream that children in her neighborhood had a reading problem. With the renovation of Peck High School she set out to use one of the rooms to help children with their reading. Initially there were no books, so she used newspapers as learning tools. “Now,” she said, “I can see all my riches with my volunteers sitting here with me. We have over 5,000 books in that room today.”
She introduced volunteer Marie Santry to talk about a 5-week summer program for 3-7 year-olds that is currently in progress at the Peck Center Library. The program features a variety of learning experiences ranging from reading to dance and theater.
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.