Dr Alzo Reddick Sr-The Orlando Times
Dr. Alzo J. Reddick, Sr.: What Manner Of Man?
BY DR. BARBARA J. MCLEAN-SMITH
Photo Cutline: Dr. Alzo J. Reddick with his wife, Mrs. Eloise Reddick
ORLANDO - On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, The Central Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, with The Honorable City of Orlando, Commissioner Bakari FBurns, District6 presidinghonored Dr. Alzo J. Reddick with a plethora of accolades and gifts. The Right Reverend Dr. J. Roy Morrison, Lead Pastor of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church of Orlando, and Dr. Reddick’s pastor delivered the invocation for a night of celebratory tribute to honor this manner of man.
Whenever in the presence of Dr. Reddick, the success and awe of the man makes the responseapparent in the answeringof the question, What Manner of Man? Dr. Reddick,most importantly, is a man of God, United States Army Veteran, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, an uncle, a friend, an educator, a politician, a community activist and servant, an entrepreneur, a historian, a mentor, a friend, an Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. man, a visionary,a leader, a trailblazerand most definitely, a man of high ideals, integrity, and accomplishments.
The Honorable City Commissioner Regina Hill, District 5 opened the celebratory occasion with a tribute to Dr. Reddick’s many accomplishments and acknowledged that Dr. Reddick is recognized as a man of many African American “firsts” in the state of Florida.
Dr. Reddick is renowned as thefirst Black State Representative to pass twoconstitutional amendments since the “Reconstruction” erathat became law; the first Black teacher at Winter Park High School; the first Black administrator at Rollins College; the first Black chairmanof the executive branch of the Orange County Democratic Committee;and a champion in many other “firsts”.He is indeed aninnovatorin numerous other firsts and continues to serve as a community servant leader.Among Dr. Reddick’s missions and achievementsare hisfounding and leadership in the “Soldiers to Scholars” program, initially housed at Valencia College and currentlylocated at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The Soldiers to Scholars program has been both,invaluable to honorably discharged military veterans, and to many inner-city youths of Orlando. For the veterans, the program is an inroad to higher education for themselves in addition to serving as aidsto children in need of role models, mentoring, life skills development including discipline and tutoring in schools and communities throughout Orlando.
For his work, presented to Dr. Reddick by Dr. DanielC. Hoslenbeck, Senior Vice President Emeritus of UCF and an O6 U.S. Navy veteran,was a “Commanders Coin” issued by the“Local MilitaryCommands”. This high honor is to highlight Dr. Reddick’s impeccable community service and leadership to his community, children, youth, and to his family.
As attested to by U.S. Representative, Congresswoman, Val Demings, District 10, “Being first in anything is not easy”. Congresswoman Demingscontinuedby sayinghow happy she was to be at home and to be a part of such an auspicious occasion “where we are here tonightfor one simple reason and that is to“Give honor to whom honor is due”.Congresswoman Val Demingswent on to present Dr. Reddick with a Certificate of CongressionalSpecial Recognition for his work in the City of Orlando and the State of Florida.One after another, the “Who’s Who” in Orlando presented Dr. Reddick with innumerous awards, certificates, coins, and a jacket emblazoned with “Buffalo Soldiers” mementos from theBuffalo Soldiers Museum in Houston, Texas.Anyone who knows Dr. Reddick knows his passion for history and the showcase of The Buffalo Soldiers and other historical collectionson display in his office.
Speaker after speaker continued to honor a man who has contributed so much to Orlando and its residents. State Representative Geraldine Thompson, District 44, former Valencia Community College administrator and noted founder of theWells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culturespoke of her interactions and friendship with Dr. Reddick. Representative Thompson began by saying “That there are people who make the news and there are people who make history; Dr. Reddick is certainly one who makes the news, but he isalso one who makes history”. She spoke about Dr. Reddick being a “Model of Achievement” to young students brought to Valencia during the weekends and summer to learn and see what college life is about. Dr. Reddick has touched the lives of many people from all walks of life.
As the night exuberantly went on, there were remarks from our Honorable Orange County Mayor, Jerry Demings, Jermaine Patterson, Vice President of the Delta XI Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. Fraternity, Tom Flewellyn, Senior Vice President of Synergy Healthcare Services, LLC, Eloise Abrahams, Executive Director of Guardian Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Dr. Reddick’s nephew, Kevin Britton.
Speaker after speaker had remarks about what manner of man Dr. Alzo Reddick was and still is as he makes an indelible mark on the minds and hearts of so many people.Dr. Reddick’smost recent and memorable work is as a working member of the Board of Directors of Guardian Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Centerlocated at John Young Parkway and Church Street;a beautiful multi-million-dollar, state of the art facility that provides a home, nursing care and rehabilitation to senior citizens of Orlando and surrounding communities.
Dr. John Cummings of the Orange County Branch NAACP presented Dr. Reddick with the highest local NAACP Award, The Rufus C. Brooks Civil Rights Award. Criteria for the award,undeniably, was met by Dr. Reddick who had fulfilled each criterion and beyond and who is a lifetime card carrying member of the NAACP.
Doris Baily Morris, Regional Director of the National JuneteenthAssociation recognized and applauded Dr. Reddick as he had introduced Juneteenth legislation back in 1991. A Juneteenth rodeo launched in 1992.Emblematic Juneteeth shirtswere so befittingly presentedas tokens of appreciation to Dr. and Mrs. Reddick for the support given the Juneteenth Celebrations and Rodeos over the years.
Dr. Reddick in his dapper appearance, charm and levityleft everyone with yet another history lesson in reference to teacher pay,and education He charged the power of all gathered in the room “to do like Dr. W.E.B Du Bois… recognize the talent in Black children and tell them that they can be somebody…make sure, if I cannot protest with you that you protest and promote the naming of some of our Army Posts after Black Army Soldiers”.
In closing, Mrs. Eloise Reddick, a retired educator, and a restaurateur gave a few heartwarming remarks to thank everyone for the tribute to her husband and to remind us that she had fed many of us at her “Queen Bee’s Restaurant” over the years. A fond memory, for sure.
In reference to the What Manner of Man question, the orderof recognition and tribute to this listing of milestones and accomplishments of an extraordinary man and his workdoes not matter as Dr. Alzo Reddick was identified, recognized and highly commended as he metall criteria of each honor at any one time.