Tribute to Beloved Fulton Resident Held at Westminster
A tribute to beloved Fulton resident Mamie Louise Black Pasley was held Friday afternoon, August 31, in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury located on the campus of Westminster College.
Although a rainy afternoon, Mamie’s son Victor said in his remarks: “This isn’t rain…it’s tears of joy. Because her family had the wisdom to set aside a part of her estate to give to the College and choose this Memorial to pay tribute to her life.”
Speakers at the tribute included Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe; Dr. Rob Havers, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum; sons Victor and Bruce Pasley; brother Rev. Charles Black, who is Associate Pastor of Community Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA; and Jack McBride, President of the Fulton NAACP.
“Mamie understood the value of education in promoting change and advancing social justice, helping us remove the barriers that often divide people. We at Westminster are inspired by Mamie’s commitment to that truth,” President Forsythe told the gathering. “In the past decade, we have created an educational community on campus that represents a much richer tapestry than was the case sixty-six years ago, and we are doing our bit to form that ‘more perfect union’ in our small corner of the world.”
Appreciation was expressed by President Forsythe for the generous gift the family bestowed upon Westminster from the Pasley estate.
Representatives from the College, the National Churchill Museum and Sigma Chi were in attendance. Support for the event was provided by the Westminster Ambassadors.
In his remarks, her brother Rev. Black said: “The expression she lived by was: ‘What will it take?’ and then she answered: ‘I can do it.’”
After the event, participants proceeded to the Sinews of Peace Room (also known as the Fulton Room) in the National Churchill Museum where a photograph and a plaque was unveiled that reads:
“I was charged with serving rolls and water . . . He (Winston Churchill) was very polite and modest, and said ‘hello’. Segregation was a way of life, and integration became our future. The movement of the world encourages people to study and know the excitement of change.”
---Mamie Louise Black Pasley
“Westminster College and the National Churchill Museum deeply appreciate Mamie Pasley’s role in our history.”
A reception followed in the Undercroft of the Church.
The eldest of a family of sixteen, Pasley worked as a cook to the Sigma Chi House at Westminster from 1958-1970. She passed away in 2004.
At the age of 26 while working for the Fulton Country Club, she came to Westminster to help serve lunch to Sir Winston Churchill and President Harry Truman on that momentous day in 1946 when Churchill came to Westminster to deliver his “Iron Curtain” speech.
Pasley served dinner rolls to the two dignitaries and 100 guests and brought a glass of water to Truman when he was resting after lunch in an upstairs bedroom. One of her vivid memories of the day was Churchill giving the entire catering staff big cigars.
She also attended a special VIP luncheon held in 1996 for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher before her Green Lecture at Westminster.
Her brother, Rev. Charles Black, is a 1966 graduate of Westminster College.
“Mamie Pasley was certainly an eyewitness to history,” said Dr. Rob Havers, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum. “Today we recognize her personal witness to history with a plaque that has been placed in the Fulton Room of our Churchill Leadership Gallery in the National Churchill Museum to honor her loyal service to Westminster and her generosity and the generosity of her family to the College and the Museum.”