BUCKHANNON — Three local businesses that have stood the test of time were recognized as Centurions on Monday morning at the Innovation Center. West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner visited Buckhannon to honor The Record Delta, St. Joseph’s Hospital and West Virginia Wesleyan College with Centurion Awards in celebration of more than 100 years in business.
Warner expressed that in addition to his regular duties as WV Secretary of State, recognizing the state’s enduring businesses has been one of his most enjoyable projects. “Those of you that have been in business for 100 years, you’ve passed a milestone—you’ve hit this mark that designates you—that’s what our office is trying to do here, is bring attention to those that have stood the test of time,” Secretary Warner stated. “For 100 years, you’ve withstood probably the first World War, you’ve withstood the Great Depression, the second World War, the Korean War, Vietnam, right up to today with COVID-19, and you’re still in business. You are still successfully hiring people, providing jobs for the community, and that’s what we are representing today is our gratitude… I hope that you continue not just for another 100 years, but for centuries to come. That’s why we named it the Centurion Award—the strength, the ability, the endurance, willing to train the next generation—that’s what we are here to celebrate today.”
“The first, happens to be the oldest business on record in Upshur County,” Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Queen said as The Record Delta was recognized. “Telling the stories of our communities, our counties, our government and the lives of the people who live here, the oldest business of record in continuous operation and our first Centurion we recognize here today is none other than The Record Delta, founded in 1872 here in Upshur County.”
Accepting the Centurion Award on behalf of The Record Delta, Publisher James Austin stated, “I would like to thank the community for their support over the past 100 plus years. We certainly couldn’t do it without the support of the local businesses… The newspaper has a tremendous responsibility and that’s not something we take lightly. We record history and we want to make sure we truly get the facts right. I just want to thank all the local businesses and the people who read our paper every single day.”
“Our next Centurion was founded in 1890 and certainly when you think of Buckhannon, you think of West Virginia Wesleyan College and its founding here,” Queen stated. Secretary Warner also pointed out that West Virginia’s elections are safe and secure due in large part to his office’s Information Technology guru Dave Tackett, who is a WVWC graduate.
Wesleyan President Joel Thierstein expressed, “This is a great honor and I am humbled to receive this award on behalf of the 131 years, hundreds of faculty and staff, and thousands of students who have come through West Virginia Wesleyan College. It is a tribute to the persistence and perseverance of all those who came before us.”
Founded in 1921, St. Joseph’s Hospital was the final Centurion institution to be honored as Secretary Warner stated, “If we don’t have our health, we don’t have anything.” St. Joseph’s Hospital President Skip Gjolberg accepted the award, accompanied by Sister Francesca Lowis. “It started 100 years ago with four Sisters coming over here and it’s an interesting story, you guys have probably read it—they were supposed to be on the Titanic and they missed the Titanic because of some paperwork errors and that was the hand of Providence. Then, it happened again—they were supposed to take a certain train and they didn’t get that train—that train derailed; people were killed. God was watching over them as they came here to start St. Joe’s.”
On behalf of the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, Kathy McMurray also presented certificates recognizing the achievements of these three local Centurions. Congratulations and our staff at The Record Delta wishes our fellow Centurions continued success in Upshur County.