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Farris sworn in, celebrated as 7th Ward Marshal

Farris sworn in, celebrated as 7th Ward Marshal

Author: Anonym/Monday, January 5, 2015/Categories: Front Page, Latest Stories, Politics

Former Mayor of the City of Hammond, Mayson Foster, was compelled to say it one more time.

“It’s a beautiful day in the City of Hammond,” Foster began, addressing the jam-packed chambers of City Court on Monday afternoon, all in attendance to join in the inauguration ceremony of newly elected Marshal for the 7th Ward, Pat Farris.

Farris now fills the shoes of former 7th Ward Marshal Gordon Anderson, who served as the seated official for four decades.

“It’s been a wonderful ride,” Anderson said to the crowd.

But even all these years, Anderson could not-- and would not --allow the same faux pas he made 40 years ago, to happen again today.

He was referring to his wife, sitting quietly in the audience, and who the now-retired Marshal had accidentally left out of his acceptance speech in 1975.

Looking at his wife in the front row, Anderson said, “She’s the young lady that I fell in love with when we were freshmen at Hammond High School when we were 15-years old. She’s still with me, my much better half, Eloise.”

The outgoing Marshal presented his “better half” with a large bouquet of white roses, before turning his attention to Farris once again and telling him, “I know if you run your office like you ran your campaign, you’re going to make a great Marshal.”

While Anderson’s comments drew great applause from the audience, Farris wasn’t ready to take the wheel just yet.

Farris had his own words for Anderson instead, presenting the longtime Marshal, now retired, with a crystal plaque for his “Forty years of dedicated service to the citizens of 7th Ward and Tangipahoa Parish,” Farris said.

And when the former Mayor Foster approached the podium once again, expectedly to present Farris officially to the public, Foster had an unexpected decision up his sleeve-- but a clever one nonetheless.

Foster thought it only appropriate that Anderson, himself, present Marshal Farris to the citizens of 7th Ward.

This loyal presentation by Foster brought much applause from the public in return.

Farris began by saying to the crowded house, “It is an honor and a privilege to see so many familiar faces here, family and friends. I guarantee you, I will do my very, very best to make you the very best Marshal I can be.”

Farris continued, “I have some very big shoes to fill without a doubt. But I know you’ll always be there for me, Mr. Gordon.”

Retired Judge Jimmy Kuhn congratulated Anderson as well, adding for him that retirement is “sweet in some respects, but can be bitter too."

Judge Kuhn noted that he has personally known, and worked with, every Marshal in Hammond City Court.

But all kinships and quips aside, Kuhn also became serious.

“This is a law enforcement job. It is not a game,” the Judge said. “The people employed by this office have awesome power, and it must be exercised judiciously.”

“Thank God nothing bad has happened in our area, but it’s a dangerous job,” Kuhn said. “As time goes by, there’s more and more kooks in the world, and I’m sorry to say that. But each time a person serves a document, they don’t know who they’re dealing with.”

As recent as a few weeks ago, Kuhn learned of the death of a colleague’s son; a young Deputy Marshal serving documents, but killed while doing so.

Addressing Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards personally in the crowd as well, Kuhn spoke for many when he said to Sheriff Edwards, “We know this is a dangerous job.”

Holy Ghost Catholic Church pastor, Father Roberto Merced, O.P. summed up for many during the closing benediction when he said, “We are gathered here in thanksgiving and gratitude for allowing Pat to become the new Marshal … to give thanks to God for allowing us to witness this amazing transition.”

“Now we know the future looks brighter, because we know that by Your will, Pat Farris was elected the new Marshal and we are thankful.”

“God has amazing things planned for you Pat, for your family, and the City of Hammond,” Father Merced continued, adding that all who had gathered this day did so not only as citizens, but as family and friends.

The pastor closed, “May God bless you and keep you and guide you in your thoughts and actions as you serve this amazing community.”

Take a look at several scenes from today's ceremony in our photo gallery below:


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