BY JAMES HARPER
The daughter of a popular Daytona Beach educator and coach, who is now retired, wants the city to rename part of Derbyshire Park after her dad.
Dr. D’Lorah A. Hyacinth, a motivational speaker, author and minister who also works for Volusia County Schools in human resources, has acquired the required number of signatures for the Daytona Beach Planning Board to consider renaming the park after Harold V. Lucas.
Hyacinth initially wanted the entire park named after Lucas. During a recent meeting with Daytona Beach staffers, it was suggested that only the playing field be named in his honor.
“After conferring with city staff, I now understand the desire to preserve the current name of the park and to not detract away from Mayor (Yvonne Scarlett) Golden’s new facility,” Hyacinth stated. “Therefore, I have amended my request and am now seeking to name the athletic fields of the park as the Harold V. Lucas, Jr. Athletic Fields.”
Planning board first
The first hurdle for Hyacinth to get over is approval from the planning board, but the ultimate decision will be made by Mayor Derrick Henry and the city’s commissioners. Hyacinth’s proposal goes before the planning board on Dec. 20. She submitted the petition on Oct. 5
She spoke at a Dec. 5 city commission when she learned that commissioners were considering changing the requirements for naming city property and streets.
“My petition should not be targeted (nor should new requirements) impact the petition I submitted,” Hyacinth told the commissioners.
The commissioners were in agreement that the threshold to renaming is too low but assured Hyacinth that her petition will be judged under current guidelines.
She told the Daytona Times on Wednesday, “During the commission meeting, it was clearly stated that my request would fall under the current re-naming policy. Therefore, I no longer have concerns regarding city staff’s desire to change the policy while my request is pending.’’
Daytona Beach resident Marjorie Johnson said at the last commission meeting that she also is worried about criteria used to rename streets and public property. She asked, “Are you checking these people out to see if they have a bad record? Check these people out to see if they have a criminal record.’’
City Manager Jim Chisholm told Johnson that the current policy does not speak to that issue, which is one of the reasons the city would like the current commission to take a look at updating guidelines.
Johnson’s comments were not in reference to the renaming of Derbyshire Park. She said she had concerns about renamings that have taken place in the past.
The city established the policy for naming city-owned land and facilities in 1999 due to occasional requests to consider naming or renaming a city facility to honor or commemorate a person or event.
Hyacinth says her father Harold V. Lucas, Jr. fits the bill to have the park renamed in his honor.
Information about Lucas she provided included his service as a Korean War veteran, 40 years as an educator and administrator, 50 years as an athletic coach and philanthropist.
Hyacinth also noted that Lucas established the track and field program for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, was selected to sit on the inaugural Educational Standards Commission, and developed the prototype for discipline guidelines in Volusia County Schools while serving as assistant principal at Mainland Senior High School.
“This came about in an effort to ensure equality of discipline consequences in the midst of recent desegregation,” Hyacinth said.
Hyacinth said that while Lucas’ resume details his accomplishments, “It cannot speak to the value of the interactions that he has had with those whom he has taught, coached and mentored.
Throughout his career and even in retirement he has personally touched the lives of thousands of young people, who are now touching the lives of others.”
Longtime ties to B-CU
Lucas’ father, Harold V. Lucas Sr., founded the business department at Bethune-Cookman and his mother, Beatrice Cato Lucas, was the first Miss B-CC (Bethune-Cookman College).
Hyacinth said B-CU has always been a major part of her father’s life because as a youngster he accompanied his father on visits to the school’s founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
Hyacinth also noted that her father was a Wildcat mascot, water boy, trainer for the football team and B-CC’s first kicking specialist on the football team.
“He has contributed countless hours to Bethune-Cookman University athletics and has contributed financially to numerous areas of the university,” Hyacinth added.