Sunday, May 18, 2008

Public Apology to Harry Lawrence

I’d like to publically apologize to Harry Lawrence, a long time civic leader dedicated to improving Laguna Beach. I am chagrined that I have caused him pain.

Harry Lawrence a former Historical Society Board Member and a former member of the Main Beach Park Committee generously provided me material to scan and use at the recent Historical Society History of Main Beach Park program. I was surprised that he did not attend while he was surprised and hurt that he was not invited.

How I botched this is complicated and I should just fully and completely apologize.

Harry and I agree that the Main Beach Park and the Window to the Sea that we all enjoy is a remarkable achievement and something we can all be proud of. I did zero work and Harry Lawrence spent decades diligently working to make it a reality.

Harry Lawrence has lived in Laguna Beach since the 1940s and has been a business owner, Warren Imports, and been involved in civic affairs for many years. Among other accomplishments, he has served as Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Beautification Council, and President of the Laguna Playhouse.

Harry was the Patriots Day Parade’s 2008 Grand Marshal. According to local papers “After 22 landings in the Pacific during WWII, including Guadalcanal and Bougainville, business took Harry and wife Maxine around the world again with Warren Imports, which they ran from their upstairs apartment in South Laguna, adding to their residence/business until it grew into the popular French 75 complex.
Lawrence managed to merchandise Asian imports and art while keeping Laguna foremost in mind, according to many testimonials. Rushing home from Hong Kong and Singapore meetings, he chaired committees that contributed to preserving the town's villagelike scale. In the late 1950s when the Main Beach boardwalk had deteriorated and developed a dubious reputation, Lawrence helped spearhead the drive to create Main Beach Park, among Laguna's loveliest beaches.”

For Harry not to have been invited to attend the History of Main Beach Park program is inexcusable.


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