Redeemer remembers Camille with ceremony this afternoon

Father Harold Roberts of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer says this afternoon’s ceremony at the Camille Memorial in Biloxi will be a bit shorter than in previous years, but the occasion will be just as moving.

The outdoor ceremony begins at 4 p.m. and is open to the public.

Each year, the east beach church has hosted a growing audience for a memorial service to commemorate the Aug. 17 anniversary of Hurricane Camille striking the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Last year’s service, conducted a mere 12 days before Katrina struck, featured a soloist from the New York Metropolitan Opera and a trumpeter with the Peking Symphony.

This year, the 30-minute program will feature a scripture reading, a prayer and the reading of the names of Camille’s 172 victims in south Mississippi, 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.

“The continuity of having a ceremony like this is important,” Roberts said, “and I’m confident it will continue to be, but obviously the restoration of the memorial has taken a lower priority than getting people back into their homes. We have every intention, however, of restoring this memorial because it’s on sacred grounds.”

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 featured 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.

Said Roberts: “It’s been interesting to see the number of people who have been here to look at the wreck of this memorial since Katrina.”

Related info online

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.

Cable One rolls out ‘A Lady Called Camille’ this morning

Cable One subscribers in Biloxi and neighboring cities will have a chance to see another Guice – the late Wade Guice – when the 30-minute documentary “A Lady Called Camille” airs today on Cable 13.

Guice, husband of Julia and Harrison County’s Civil Defense director at the time of Camille, appears in re-created scenes from the period leading up to Camille and the recovery from the 1969 Category 5 storm, which at the time was the worst to ever strike the continental United States.

The city and Cable One, which have shown the documentary each year on the anniversary of the storm as an educational tool, are airing “A Lady Called Camille” for the final time this year.

Cable One subscribers can see the program on Cable 13 at 10 a.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Related info online

–To read background on this city project, click here.

–To see the commercials that Cable One is now airing about the Camille documentary and an upcoming offering, click here.

–To see the advertisement about the initiative in today’s Sun Herald, click here.