The West St. Mary Civic Center has been renamed in honor of the late Honorable Joseph "Tooney" Milton Davis, Jr. A ceremony was held at the civic center in Jeanerette on Saturday, February 8.
Davis was born in 1941 in Four Corners. He began his years of public service in 1967 when he was one of the first black men elected to the St. Mary Parish Police Jury.
During his time in office, his desire was to make a difference, according to his son Trent. Some of his accomplishments include the ground breaking of the Elizabeth Barabin Davis Park and Water District Plant, at which ceremony Gov. Edwards was the keynote speaker. Davis was also involved in implementing solid waste collection, laying the groundwork for the Port of West St. Mary and the Intracoastal Canal Bridge in Louisa.
Davis also served on the St. Mary Parish School Board, where he focused on increasing African-American representation in the districts.
Trent Davis says one of his father's greatest desires was to have a civic center built to serve the four corners and the surrounding communities. His dream became a reality in 2005, when the civic center was completed.
During his final term in office, Davis saw to other additions in town, including a swimming pool and tennis courts.
His son says he knows if his father was still alive, he would "still be fighting for the people of West St. Mary Parish. He was a man for all people, loving, giving, and selfless."
Davis passed away in 2008, and the civic center that was once his dream now bears his name.