I was elated to hear that the marker on the old oak tree, transformed by chain saw artist Burt Fleming into the Freedom Eagle, has been re-discovered by a new generation of Zachary citizens.
The marker was dedicated to the memory of those “WHO FOUGHT DURING THE WORLD WAR”. My father was a U. S. Navy veteran of World War II, and like most boys growing up in the 1960’s, I was raised on old black-and-white movies and tales of heroism from that conflict. Naturally, I assumed the marker was there to honor that generation of fighting men.
It was my grandfather, John L. Kennedy, Sr., who set me straight on the oak tree marker. He explained that the marker commemorated an earlier cohort of patriot citizens, the one who had gone “over there” to fight the war to end all wars, to make American safe for democracy. Like my father, my grandfather had served in the Navy. My great-uncle Preston went to France with General Pershing and the U. S. Army. With other young men from the northern end of the Parish, they departed for the battlefields of Europe from the same depot that sits hard by the now unused railroad that brought Zachary into being less than 30 years earlier.
As a boy, I would walk the short distance down High Street from the Zachary High School campus to Kennedy’s Store (where Delta Finance is today). I passed under the shadow of the largest structure in town, the massive gray water tower, and under the limbs of the gracious oak. At its base was the curious marker that caught the attention of a curious ten-year old.
We are blessed to live in a community that honors those who have served to make possible the freedoms and privileges of living in the greatest country in the history of the world. That old, worn marker reminds us that this tradition of tribute has existed in our town always, and it is our duty to see that it continues forever more.
All of us at Bank of Zachary look forward to the New Year with much anticipation, as we are on the brink of unveiling a new era of electronic banking for our (nearly) 110-year old institution.
In a few short weeks, we will begin transitioning from our existing website to a new, action-based website that will include many new features. The most significant addition will be online account opening for several of our deposit accounts, and an online loan origination system for some of our consumer loan products. To assist users, we will introduce an online chat feature that will allow real-time interaction with the same Bank of Zachary staff members you encounter in our offices and on the telephone.
We are also introducing a robust selection of educational resources, to help users with an assortment of financial questions. These easy-to-find, easy-to-use financial guides will include in-depth “white paper” treatment of many frequently asked life-event questions, along with an easy way to contact the right person at Bank of Zachary to help you with a solution.
What we are not changing is just as important as what we are changing.
The Bank of Zachary will continue to offer the type of friendly, knowledgeable and personal service that our community has come to expect. Whether you bank with us face-to-face in one of our offices, or on the telephone, or through one of a number of electronic devices, we will remain committed to delivering outstanding customer service every day.
We will celebrate our 110th anniversary this July, and a business does not exist for more than a century without learning how to provide for the changing needs of its customers. The Bank of Zachary has proudly accepted the challenge from a technically astute and increasing mobile new generation, and we will meet this challenge without compromising on our ageless commitment to personal service.
If you are a customer of the Bank of Zachary, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your patronage. We understand that you have many choices of financial institutions, and we appreciate being your Bank.
If you are not yet one of our customers, please consider the Bank of Zachary for any of your financial needs. We will do all we can to earn your business by first earning your trust and confidence.
From all of us at the Bank of Zachary, we extend our fondest hopes for a very Happy 2014!
Preston L. Kennedy
President and Chief Executive Officer
With the holiday season quickly approaching, the Bank of Zachary encourages you to Go Local and do holiday shopping at area small businesses. By doing so, you will support small businesses that create local jobs and fuel our local economy—making everyone’s holiday in our community a little bit sweeter.
Spread holiday cheer this season by purchasing as many of your ‘wish list’ items as possible from small businesses within our community. Not only will you be helping local entrepreneurs succeed, but you’ll also be making an investment in our community that you can be proud of throughout the holiday season and beyond.
The holiday season is a great time to take to keep dollars in our community and get to know your local small businesses and what they have to offer. Once shoppers see the great services and products that they can obtain locally, no doubt they will be back for more throughout the New Year.