TERRELL CO., GA (WALB) - Georgia's longest serving county commission chairman gavelled his 546th meeting to order Wednesday morning and it was his last.
Terrell County's Wilbur Gamble is retiring after leading the commission for 48 years. And WALB was there for his goodbye.
There was a well-deserved standing ovation for Gamble on Wednesday.
"I would say the 48 years has gone by mighty quick," said Gamble.
48 years, and he never missed a regular meeting, although he said that there were a few times toward the end of his career he thought he might for health reasons.
"Day after day came and it ended up being 48 years," explained Gamble. "And, I don't whether anyone will ever break that record because you have to have a lot of good things happening, God's got to be the main one looking after you."
Known for his good humor, Gamble is most proud that he kept the county out of debt.
"Not many counties anywhere, not many businesses can say that, cause it is real easy when you are spending other people's money to over spend," said Gamble.
His fellow commissioners also spoke about Gamble's dedication.
"And through those 48 years I truly believe whether we liked or disliked what you said or did, your best interest was for Terrell County," said Commissioner Ernest Johnson.
"We've been through some good times, we've been through a few times that wasn't so good," explained Gamble. "But, God has been good to me, and the people of Terrell County have been good to me, I have no regrets."
Gamble said that there is no real retirement for him, he runs a large farming operation and serves on a busy bank board.
He also said his wife has big plans for his new free time.
His son, attorney T. Gamble, was elected as the new county chairman and will be sworn-in in early January.