Welcome to This Week in History, where we have a look at what was happening in the eastern Wake County area 10, 25 and 50 years ago. In 2003, Wendell was looking forward to celebrating its 100th anniversary. In 1988, Southern Bell began offering a service that many people now take for granted: automatic bill pay. And in 1963, Zebulon was looking forward to a visit from Santa Claus – and a Christmas parade.
In 2003, Wendell was preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary with the help of unofficial local historian George Pleasants. Pleasants looked back fondly on the many events he’d been involved in up to that point, and on what it took to get Wendell’s centennial birthday blast off the ground. And in 1963,
When George Pleasants was 13 years old, his hometown celebrated its 50th birthday. Now, with five more decades behind him, Pleasants is witnessing – and organizing – Wendell’s centennial celebrations.
Wendell’s birthday party bash, the Mayor’s Centennial Ball, the Arts in the Alley event, the Mother’s Day tea party, the Harvest Festival and countless other events this year have something in common: Pleasants.
Wendell’s unofficial historian helped the Wendell Chamber of Commerce and the town put together about 20 events Wendell and other eastern Wake County residents had a chance to enjoy this year as the town celebrated its centennial.
“I realized two years ago that the centennial was almost around the corner and asked the Wendell Town Board to put together a committee that would take care of the festivities,” Pleasants said. “The board, in turn, asked me to choose people who would represent the town’s different sectors in the committee. Besides paying attention to different interests, I picked folks who I thought could get the job done.”
The committee scheduled at least one event for each month that year, and local civic groups and businesses helped finance the event.
Many people now take for granted the systems that allow them to pay their bills automatically – as long as there is money in the account, you will never miss a bill. In 1988, Southern Bell introduced its “Automatic Funds Transfer Plan” to help customers pay for its services.
Southern Bell is offering its customers a new service that makes it possible for them to pay their monthly telephone bill without writing a check.
Called “Automatic Funds Transfer Plan,” it was made available to North Carolina as of Nov. 1.
“Under the plan, a customer can authorize Southern Bell to charge his or her bank account for the amount of the phone bill each month,” said Lois Jones, Southern Bell’s district manager here. “The customer will save time by not having to write a check and prepare and mail his payment, and will also save $3 a year on postage.
The benefit of automatic bill payments is not isolated to the customer. Companies now more rarely have to waste time and money tracking down customers who haven’t paid their bills, or having them lost in the mail.
Zebulon was looking forward to the biggest Christmas parade so far, to feature Santa Claus himself, as well as 18 floats and five high school bands.
There is a Santa Claus, children of Zebulon and the surrounding communities. And he arrives here with the Christmas parade Monday night December 9, beginning at 6:30 o’clock.
Preceding Santa will be the biggest Christmas parade ever held in Zebulon, according to Aaron Lowery, secretary of the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce.
“We are very happy with the results of our planning for the parade,” Lowery said. “Everybody has been so cooperative.”
As of Tuesday of this week, Lowery had a list of 18 floats which ease slowly along the main street of the town for viewing.
“This is eight more floats than we had last year,” Lowery said. “And they are equally as beautiful as the ones last year, or even more so.”
Lowery said five high school bands will participate in the parade. They are Wakelon, Cary, Wake Forest, Shapard and Spring Hope marching bands.