• 73°

Community turns out at pool renaming to honor Fred M. Evans

A invaluable community figure

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post - Janine Evans, the daughter of Fred Evans, speaks during a renaming ceremony at the new Fred M. Evans Pool in Lincoln Park.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post – Janine Evans, the daughter of Fred Evans, speaks during a renaming ceremony at the new Fred M. Evans Pool in Lincoln Park.

Fred Evans

Fred Evans

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post - A crowd of community members and city staff gathered at the newly renamed Fred M. Evans Pool on Saturday for a ceremony to honor the late Fred Evans.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post – A crowd of community members and city staff gathered at the newly renamed Fred M. Evans Pool on Saturday for a ceremony to honor the late Fred Evans.

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Several dozen people on Saturday gathered at Lincoln Park to honor the late Fred M. Evans, but the pomp and circumstance means little unless his spirit lives on in Salisbury, said his son Fredrick Evans Jr.

During Saturday’s event, the City of Salisbury unveiled the newly renamed Fred M. Evans Pool. Salisbury native Wilson Cherry also announced a new Salisbury-Rowan Sports Hall of Fame award in honor of Fred M. Evans.

Fredrick Evans Jr. even made a confession during the ceremony. In his youth, he said people thought his dad owned the pool. Fredrick Evans Jr. joked that he used it to his advantage as child.

The Evans family asked attendees to think of the renaming ceremony as celebratory rather than sad. At the end of a string of kind comments from others, however, Fredrick Evans injected a dose of reality into the ceremony.

“We’ve got to take the same spirit that he had and bring it out into the community,” Fredrick Evans said. “There is no Fred M. Evans out in the community … This all means nothing if we’re not prepared to continue his legacy.”

Some Salisbury children are “running wild” without a mentor, Fredrick Evans Jr. said. Artwork displayed in the City of Salisbury means little unless Salisbury residents have control of their town, he said.

“We’re only as strong as the weakest link,” he said.

If the number of people who turned out to say a few kind words about Fred M. Evans is any indication, he was an invaluable community figure. He served as a lifeguard at Lincoln Pool and taught countless people to swim. He was the first black assistant principal at the formerly all-white Boyden High School during integration. Former Salisbury High Principal Windsor Eagle said Fred M. Evans was instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition during integration.

“He offered his friendship. He offered his wisdom, and he explained a lot that I wouldn’t have known otherwise,” Eagle said.

In the community, Fred M. Evans was also involved in a number of community organizations. He died last year.

In just a few words, some speakers during Saturday’s ceremony noted Fred M. Evans impact on individual lives.

“He kept me out of prison,” the speaker said.

Another said: “Mr. Evans was just like a father.”

Speakers noted that Fred M. Evans didn’t hesitate to speak his mind, but he was also always willing to provide his counsel and a helping hand. Whether it was a story about learning to swim or a life lesson, everyone seemed to have a nice word to say about Evans. More than one person noted that there was never a fatality from drowning during Evans’ time overseeing the pool. His daughter Janine Evans remarked that she learned how to count change at the pool.

During Saturday’s ceremony, Cherry said the Salisbury-Rowan Sports Hall of Fame would be handing out a new award this year in honor of Fred M. Evans. In August, Cherry said the Sports Hall of Fame would present the first ever “Fred M. Evans Community Service Award.” It will be presented to a person who has “contributed to the recreational and sports needs of Rowan County,” Cherry said.

Cherry concluded his remarks by noting a quote from the well-known sportswriter Grantland Rice.

“For when the one great scorer comes to mark against your name, he writes — not that you won or lost — but how you played the game,” the quote goes.

In his life, Fred M. Evans showed that he had ethics, morals, leadership, friendship and love, Cherry said.

“To the Evans family, I want to thank you for taking me into your home so many times and feeding me and looking out for me,” Cherry said. “I will never forget all the kind things that Fred M. Evans and the Evans family … has done for me over the years. God bless all of you and thank you for coming out to honor this great man.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

Comments

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

News

Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate

Coronavirus

Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief

Crime

Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint

Education

Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools will survey families, stakeholders about next superintendent

Local

Library to reopen for in-person visits Oct. 1

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office K-9s to receive bulletproof vests

Crime

Man charged with sex offense, raping teen

Business

Commissioners receive analysis of county’s development application process

Crime

Man arrested in Spencer in connection with Charlotte murder investigation

Local

County government losing assistant manager, social services director

Education

RSS will collect information on full K-5 return

Education

KCS sees smooth transition back to classes, unlikely to transition to all in-person for K-5

Nation/World

Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend

Local

Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC

Coronavirus

12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active

Crime

Blotter: Concord man faces drug charges after hotel disturbance call

Crime

Rockwell teen charged with rape of a 14-year-old girl

Crime

Police: Charlotte man caught stealing funeral home employee’s truck