Choctaw Community Center Dedicated to Perry Thompson
HUGO – The Choctaw Community Center in Hugh held a first-time honor and a second dedication ceremony.
A ribbon-cutting Nov. 8 opened the one-of-a-kind facility and on Wednesday, Jan. 17, a ceremony dedicated and renamed the building the “Choctaw Nation Perry Thompson Community Center” after the longtime Tribal Council member who represents Choctaw Nation District 8.
The extreme cold weather brought the event indoors where the center offered a warm and welcome setting for a standing-room-only crowd of state and local officials, Choctaw senior citizens, family and other supporters of Councilman Thompson.
Chief Gary Batton said, “I’ve known Perry since 1989, that’s almost 30 years I’ve got to work with him. It’s great of you to come and show your appreciation for Perry. That’s why we’re all here today, and why you’ve asked to name this building after Perry Thompson. He’s always in the community. He’s always out there trying to help tribal members,. He’s always going to do what’s best. Day or night he’s going to be available for you.”
Chief Batton addressed the importance of the councilman’s wife, and all spouses, for their help and support, and closed with a personal note. “Thank you for your friendship, your leadership in Choctaw County, and for all you’ve done.”
Credited with kicking off the idea for the renaming is Center participant Jack Goodrich.
Goodrich said, “This meeting is about Perry Thompson. He has done so much for the Choctaw people of District 8. Perry, congratulations. You deserve every bit of it.”
Also speaking for the seniors at the center, Eddie Wood added, “Perry Thompson has probably done more for the people of Choctaw County and other counties than you can count. He’s friendly. Perry is kind. He looks after people. He tries to help people. And you can’t ask any more than that.”
State Rep. Justin Humphrey, District 19, said of Thompson, “Anywhere you’d go his name would come up as someone trying to better this community.”
Humphrey further commented on the growth of Hugo and thanked the Choctaw Nation for its investment in the area. “The tribe is doing great things,” he said.
The honor moved Councilman Thompson.
“They’re saying it’s ‘my day.’ But I believe it belongs to all the senior citizens today. I’ve been with you for a while now,” said Councilman Thompson. “I appreciate what you all have done.”
The Perry Thompson Community Center is the first built by the Choctaw Nation of this design. The center at 1306 W. Victor St. is located on the north side of U.S. Highway 70, east of the Choctaw Nation Tribal Services facility. It is 10,274 square feet in size and built on 3.43 acres of the Hugo campus. A large assembly space, offices, conference room and full-scale commercial kitchen, for activities. The vaulted ceiling is tilted to give a traditional Choctaw diamondback appearance above. The interior also features polished wood-look tile flooring and an elevated stage area, backed by natural rock and overhead beams.