Bass wins MEDC award for the Bassfield Post Office – 125th Anniversary Time Capsule Ceremony

Published 11:25 am Friday, February 4, 2022

Jefferson Davis County Economic Development Director Gary Bass has won the 2021 Community Economic Development Award from the  Mississippi Economic Development Council. Bass was presented the award at the annual MEDC Banquet held at the Westin in Jackson on Feb. 3.

The CEDA program is a “Best Practices” program intended to recognize exceptional contributions of communities in the State of Mississippi for the following efforts: business retention & expansion, business recruitment, community development and community involvement.  Bass was awarded for his work with the Bassfield Post Office – 125th Anniversary Time Capsule Ceremony.

In 1895, Alexander Bass applied for a post office for the logging camp community known as Bass’ Field – because the mail was dropped in his field.

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In early 2020, the document he filed that officially named Bassfield was discovered.   This gave Bass’ great grandson the idea to commemorate the event in service to town, community and family history.

After setbacks from COVID and a tornado that tore through Bassfield on Easter, the event was scaled down; from an elaborate celebration with a patriotic parade, dinner on the ground and a 5th Sunday sing to a simple time capsule ceremony in the park with a limited number of masked guests.

The event became more impactful with the inclusion of pandemic and tornado relief efforts in addition to the historical memorabilia.  We symbolically buried the past, the pain and misery of the year 2020 with the hope that the seed shaped capsule would take root and grow the town in a good way.

“A time capsule is nonpartisan,” said Bass.  “It can unite a community toward public service and provide unforeseen unrelated opportunities from the publicity.”  One year later, a long-lost Bass cousin just signed a lease on an empty factory warehouse and is bringing jobs and industrial hemp to Bassfield.  And that great grandson was named Director of the Jefferson Davis County Economic Development District in February 2021.

Bass was also awarded a Community Development Institute Scholarship at the end of the banquet.