June 22, 2013

Thanks for a benefactor

DAR honors Bandy

Rachel Brown

— Jack Bandy didn’t know he was going to get an award for his work in helping preserve history.

“They just told me to be sure and be here,” he said.

Bandy, the benefactor and namesake for the Bandy Heritage Center of Northwest Georgia, accepted an award from the Robert Loughridge Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution on Thursday night at Dalton State College.

The Historic Preservation Recognition Award given by the Dalton chapter is a national honor that goes only to select individuals, organizers said. Kathryn Sellers of the organization said DAR members wanted to do something to show appreciation for Bandy.

In 2009, Bandy endowed the center, which is part of Dalton State College, with $2 million for staff and materials. The center has since hosted numerous lectures and symposiums and recently finished digitally archiving a Civil War-era journal full of period newspaper clippings, which was on display Thursday night. The center coordinates with historical societies and similar organizations throughout the region and is a public resource of information.

“Jack saw the value of preserving our heritage,” Sellers said. “The Bandy Heritage Center now offers online exhibits about the region’s culture, the ‘handmade’ carpet or chenille industry, historical art of regional artists and the Civil War, and traveling exhibits like the recent World War II exhibit.”

The center also offers training for students and teachers, publications and educational programs on the carpet industry and regional historic crafts, and is a repository for three-dimensional artifacts and memorabilia.

“Jack Bandy has provided an avenue for the region’s rich traditions to be presented so that future generations can comprehend more fully their predecessors, the communities and themselves,” Sellers said.

Local DAR regent Dorothy Weathersby said Bandy’s work with the center, various local historic houses and “general support of the area’s many historic items certainly make him a worthy recipient of the award.”

The award honors an individual or group that has done “remarkable work at the community level” for historic preservation, Weathersby said. “It is designed to recognize worthy local individuals for outstanding achievements in preserving America’s heritage. It includes work on buildings, manuscripts, documents, landmarks, etc. All nominations made by local DAR chapters must be approved by the National Society.”