Monday, June 09, 2014

Prediction: Thanks to Foresight and Vision by Commissioner Donald Crichlow, Pope Francis Will Visit St. Augustine Next Year

Circa 2005 or 2006, St. Augustine Commissioner Donald Crichlow suggested inviting the Pope here for our 450th anniversary in 2015. We can't find it in city commission minutes.
Some then-Commissioners, including Susan Burk, were skeptical, even rolling their eyes.
Not me.
I never had any doubt.
The idea made sense. The first Roman Catholic Mass in America was here on September 8, 1565.
The same year that Russia's secret police, the Okhrana was founded, St. Augustine was being founded by Roman Catholics. Hispanics. Jews. Free and slave African-Americans. Families.
800 people. What is now the United States of America commenced here. Not Plymouth, Mass. Not Jamestown, Va. Not British slave colonies or fanatical sect colonies. But with a pluralist, multi-cultural Spanish settlement, with multiple languages, cultures and influences. Relative freedom. Right here in St. Augustine, Florida. How cool is that?
My request several months ago for information verifying Commissioner Crichlow's contribution -- about inviting the Pope -- was met with hostility.
Sadly, City Clerk Alison Ratkovic, who formerly worked as a secretary for City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS, reflexively wanted to charge me money for "research."
I am not paying. They can provide it, free of charge. Having waived the archaeological fee for 102 Bridge Street, our City is in no position to charge public interest requesters fees for history and our Right to Know.
Tonight, Mayor Boles righty acknowledged that the idea of inviting the Pope here was Commissioner Crichlow's. Commission Minutes did not reflect discussion on it until 2007, from Mayor Boles, but observers heard it earlier.
That fact is now established, irrefragably, by Mayor Boles and Commissioner Crichlow tonight.
Three cheers for Commissioner Donald Crichlow for originating the idea, some nine years ago.
As Tolstoy's character, General Kutuzov, said in "War and Peace": "Patience and time!"
Viva! Viva! Viva!

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