CMPA to unveil statue of late Pensacola Mayor Emeritus Vince J. Whibbs Sr.

Press release: The family of Vince J. Whibbs, Sr. and the Community Maritime Park Associates invite the community to attend an unveiling ceremony for a life-size statue of the former Pensacola mayor and businessman at the Vince Whibbs, Sr. Community Maritime Park on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 11 a.m.

Known for his commitment to public service and his love of the Pensacola community, Whibbs was the Mayor of Pensacola from 1977 to 1991. He also served seven consecutive terms as a member of the Pensacola City Council. Whibbs was a major contributor to the development of the Community Maritime Park, which was named for him after his passing in 2006.

The statue, funded entirely by the Whibbs family, was approved by the CMPA Board of Trustees in May 2015. In addition to the statue unveiling, the Whibbs family is celebrating the occasion with refreshments and live music. Festivities are expected to conclude at 1 p.m. The public is invited to attend this free event.

Note: The weekend before his death, Pensacola Mayor Emeritus Vince Whibbs was working on a speech in support of the Community Maritime Park. I was given his notes for that presentation. It was a typical Vince Whibbs’ speech filled with optimism, inspiration, and public service.

Who are we? What are we?

If we don’t know, how in the world will we ever be able to convince John Q. Pensacolian that the Community Maritime Park is the best and the only solution to the renaissance of Downtown Pensacola?

I can’t answer for you, but this is what I am convinced what we are and who we are:

We are a group of men with the vision to bring solid, sound beatification to our community through a redefinition of the highest and best use of our waterfront assets and a renaissance of pride and confidence in our community.

The goal is to have waterfront access for all our citizens and visitors – 24 hours a day, 365 days each year, and to provide a gathering point for families to enjoy safe, serene accommodations as we share educational, recreational, social and athletic activities in a park we can all use.

The strategy is to convince the uninformed citizens of Pensacola that a Community Maritime Park will serve the best interests of all residents of our City through:

  • A public awareness campaign that will put forth the true facts of the effort.
  • Develop public support of the maritime museum to be partnered with the University of West Florida. engaging the student body to get it done.
  • Fan fever of baseball fans to get out the vote to defeat the referendum. There are thousands of Little Leaguers here in Pensacola who love baseball.
  • Put “Families to Work” supporting the park and to defeat the referendum.
  • Emphasize the importance of job creation through the 1,500 jobs needed to construct the project and the close to 1,000 permanent jobs providing opportunity for our sons, daughters and grandchildren to stay in Pensacola.

Refute the fallacious statements that the maritime park will raise taxes for all the citizens of Pensacola.

The above will get us started, but it will never happen unless we, individually, and collectively feel
and reflect the passion that we must have to convince our fellow citizens that the park is not only possible, but absolutely necessary, and we can make it happen.