Posted by Doreen Higgins on Sep 11, 2017
We were honored to welcome Mrs. DeLoach to our breakfast meeting this week. Mrs. DeLoach is married to Eddie DeLoach, Mayor of Savannah. She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in mathematics and after moving to Savannah, taught math at Winsor Forest, Robert W. Groves, and Country Day schools. She has two grown children and grandchildren.
 
Mrs. DeLoach told us that when her husband expressed an interest in running for Mayor of Savannah they both agreed that they would be honored to offer service to the people of the city. But, she said, I never thought about being the ‘first lady.’ When he was elected, I felt overwhelmed, she said, by the honor of his election, but what would be my role? She began to find her role when hurricane Matthew hit the city last year. Her husband told her to leave because of the hurricane – he, of course, had to stay. But she heard of the hardships suffered by those affected by the hurricane, food shortages, no power, everything closed, couldn’t earn money because businesses were closed, she wanted to help. She and a friend started “Operation Feed Savannah” – they bought food where they could – and fed 3000 people, including workers and visiting workers helping to clear the city.

Mrs. DeLoach turned to the subject of City Hall. It’s a beautiful building, she said, and has suffered some fifty years of disasters. It has housed businesses, mayors and their staffs, it has had a long history and one can visit it now, there are tours available. Perhaps one day it will be a museum. Mrs. DeLoach answered some questions about hurricanes – Hurricane Irma was lurking as she spoke – she explained about evacuation areas a b, and c, told us not to wait for the evacuation order, just go.

In conclusion, Mrs. DeLoach spoke about educational matters. She spoke about the summer 500 program, and of the importance of teaching young people the “soft skills,” how to dress, how to interact with others, the importance of on-time presence and of obeying orders from employers. She repeated a theme which we have heard from so many speakers, that education begins at birth, that poverty is a key factor in poor learning, and that there must be early education. She added that she is a firm believer in apprenticeships; not everyone is well suited to college and a great living can be made with many skills learned outside academia.
 
Below are pictured Mrs. DeLoach and John Porter, Program Committee Chair.