Atchison retires from chamber

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Bonnie Atchison, outgoing executive director of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce, is retiring after 10 years of service.

She was treated to a surprise celebration of her years of service during the chamber’s 10th anniversary open house held at the Jeanette Niven House in Columbiana last week.

Atchison was honored by State Rep. Mike Hill with a House resolution, by Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe with a &uot;key to the city&uot; and with a permanent brass plaque for &uot;Miss Bonnie’s Office&uot; at the Niven House from Linda Wren.

In addition, Peggy Wood announced that the Novella Club has donated an art book to Shelby County High School in Atchison’s honor.

Also on hand were current Chamber President Helen Phillips, incoming Chamber President Richard Cook of Alabama Power, incoming Executive Director Stacey Walkup and Atchison’s son, Michael Mason.

Atchison recalled the early days of the chamber.

She recalled one of the chamber’s founders, Johnny Lowe, and early

presidents Bob Sauer, Tom Seale and Kim Price.

In presenting Atchison with a key to the city, Lowe said the tradition dates from the time in which cities had walls and gates.

&uot;Keys were made and given to very few people,&uot; he said.

&uot;Keys came to symbolize the trust you gave to them.&uot;

Lowe showed that trust he has in Atchison as he &uot;accepts anything Miss Bonnie tells me.&uot;

Lowe said &uot;Miss Bonnie&uot; was also his 10th grade English teacher and a dear friend to his parents.

And throughout his life and the lessons he learned, &uot;Miss Bonnie, you were my reinforcement.&uot;