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Date of Issue: April 09, 2008

Founder's day first in Holmes Beach

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Another honor for Island's 'super hero'
Debra Lannon helps Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine reveal the sign honoring her late husband and the city's much revered community officer, Pete Lannon, at the city's skate park rededication Friday. The park was named for Lannon to recognize his contribution to the Island youngsters he helped mentor for seven years before his death last summer. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy
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Honoring Pete Lannon
Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine joins family members of the late Pete Lannon, Jessi Lannon (daughter), Debbie Lannon (wife), Christy Lannon (daughter in law), Don Lannon (brother), Mayor Rich Bohnenberger, and Pete Lannon Jr. (son) at the unveiling of the sign in Lannon's name at the city skateboard park. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy
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Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger hosted a full house of community supporters at city hall for the April 4 Founder's Day event he initiated to recognize citizens and their contributions to the city and to begin building an historical record and display at city hall. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

History on Anna Maria Island is somewhat short.

Although the Island itself dates back thousands of years with Native Americans and shell mounds and fishing and mosquitoes, for Holmes Beach the history is circa 1950.

That was when citizens first gathered to decide if the area which is now Holmes Beach should be a municipality.

The meeting date was March 13, 1950, said current Mayor Rick Bohnenberger on Friday, April 4. It came about due to zoning issues between the city and Manatee County.

“Anna Maria was established,” the mayor said. “Bradenton Beach was a question.”

The votes for what was to eventually be named Holmes Beach were taken. Palm City got two votes; Mid-Island City, seven; Coquina Beach, 21; Tarpon Beach, one; and Holmes Beach, 23.

A revote between the top two, Bohnenberger said, had Holmes Beach the winner in the name game.

“Land grants” in Holmes Beach back in the day went to J.E. and Maud Holmes, Hugh G. and Jean C. Holmes, John E. Jr. and Betty Holmes, F.B. and Maudelle Giles, Karl and Lorna Karel, Ronald and Caroline Karel Boyer, and Peder Mickelson  & Son Inc.

In the first “Founder’s Day” celebration for the city, a plaque was established to honor the members. Halsey T. Tichnor Jr. was the first mayor; aldermen were R. Maxwell Ingram, Frank Guiles, John R. Miller Jr., and John R. Holmes Jr., and Oscar Russell. Clifton P. Walker was the city clerk, and Louis A. Meyer was town marshal.

It was a day of unveilings and pronouncements. Bohnenberger unveiled a plaque which listed civic sponsors, which will be displayed in the lobby of city hall. The list includes the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island, established in 1952; the Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island, established in 1966; the Anna Maria Island Chorus and Orchestra, established in 1992; the Hagen Family Foundation which sponsors many projects to benefit youth in the city; Dan and KayKay Hardy, skate park sponsors; Regions Bank for its effort to create a linear park; the Island Library, established in the 1970s; the Key Royale Homeowners Association; North Pointe Harbor Homeowners Association; Anna Maria Island Historical Society, established in 1990; Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, established in 1948; The Islander newspaper, established in 1992; the Anna Maria Island Community Center, established in 1913; and the Sun newspaper.

Officials unveiled the skate park sign, dedicated to Holmes Beach Police Officer Pete Lannon, who died last year after years of service to the community and especially Anna Maria Elementary School.

Even the young ones were catered to, through the dedication of the “tot park” adjacent to city hall and the skate park. The youngsters have mini-slides and lots of room to play in s safe, fenced area.

All in all, a good morning was had by all.