By Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer
Last week, Lisa Daise called and invited the Lunch Bunch to a special gathering, the retirement party of Arthur Cummings. Cummings retired as Beaufort County Building Codes Director after 36 years of service.
We happily attended the celebration, hosted by members of Cummings’ church, Bethel Deliverance Temple. Employees from the county and several local builders attended the event, held under the large tent beside the Hilton Garden Inn.
Cummings made his special ribs with the help of a deacon at his church, Willy Tripplett. And yes, I asked for the recipe to no avail. The ribs fell off the bone! I haven’t tasted ribs like that in quite a while. They were simply delicious! And, even better, Cummings will have more time to prepare the entrée for family and friends now that he is retired.
The party also served potato salad (which was so popular it was gone before we could sample it), baked beans, cole slaw, as well as hot dogs and hamburgers, prepared by Wilmot Schott and Clyde Smith, both inspectors for the county, and barbecue made by Cummings’ son. It was the perfect retirement picnic.
Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, presented Cummings a resolution that was unveiled during the 119th session of the 2011/2012 South Carolina General Assembly recognizing and honoring his service to Beaufort County.
Arthur Cummings’ wife of 41 years, Rosa, was also present and particularly proud of her husband. She laughed when I asked Cummings what his plans were now that he’s retired. His answer? “Golf, golf and more golf!”
Not surprisingly, his employees gave Cummings a putter as his retirement gift. But, they couldn’t present it without joking around a bit. They first gave him a fishing pole, but the putter was disguised. His look of initial disappointment quickly changed when he saw the putter. “I like to fish and all, but golf is my game,” he said.
Allen Patterson commented on Cummings retirement, “It’s been wonderful working with Arthur. He’s great at mediating problems, and he’s going to leave behind a big mark in this county.”
Clyde Smith agreed, “I’ve known Arthur a long time as a contractor and as an inspector. He’s been a good friend all the way through.”
Wilmot Schott has worked with Arthur Cummings for 23 years. “We’ve become family. We became fathers together and went through deaths together. I sure am going to miss him in the office,” says Schott.
Cummings was instrumental in getting the Beaufort County Inspection and Code Enforcement Department titled as the first building department in South Carolina to earn The International Accreditation Service (IAS) Building Department Accreditation. The accreditation verifies that the department is operating at the highest legal, ethical and technical standards.
Cummings will be missed by employees and builders across Beaufort County. But golf pros in the area will now enjoy Arthur Cummings’ smiling face.
The staff at The Island News congratulates you and wishes you well in your deserved retirement.