Church of Redeemer to host Camille memorial on Sunday

The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer will hold a Camille memorial observance on Sunday at noon at the newly restored Camille memorial on the church grounds on the beachfront in east Biloxi.

Sunday is the 39th anniversary of the night in 1969 when Hurricane Camille struck Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, claiming 172 victims on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a figure that includes 37 individuals who remain listed as missing, and three individuals – referred to as Faith, Hope and Charity – who have never been identified.

This year’s 30-minute program – which will feature a scripture reading, remarks by Mayor A.J. Holloway, a prayer and the reading of the names of Camille’s identified victims – will be conducted at the newly restored memorial.

“I am most grateful to the folks of the Biloxi community who have helped us finally get the Camille memorial restored to its former beauty,” said the Rev. Harold Roberts of the Church of the Redeemer.

All five of the double-size tablets bearing the names of the Camille victims were replaced and remounted, and the monument’s plumbing system, which controls water that flows over a centerpiece mosaic, was restored. “And,” Roberts said, “the electrical system had to be redone, since it was connected to the church, which is no longer there.”

The Camille Memorial was the brainchild of Julia Guice, who served as Biloxi’s Civil Defense director at the time of Camille. Guice, a member of the Redeemer congregation, began the project in 1999 and completed it in 2002, after securing funding from cities and groups along the Coast. The memorial features a mosaic by Coast artist Elizabeth Veglia, marble tablets bearing the names of the victims, and standing over the display was a bent flagpole flying the U.S. flag, which had become the signature symbol of the Camille recovery.

Related info online

— To see photos from the 2007 Camille memorial observance, click here.

— To see the Biloxi Public Library’s background on Camille, including a photo gallery of Camille’s damage and links to noteworthy Camille web sites, click here.