Former councilmen Randal Wallace, Wayne Gray and former Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes gathered at the Law Enforcement Center along Oak Street where, they prepared to say their final goodbyes to city residents and current council members.
The main part of the gathering came at the end, when a portrait of Rhodes was unveiled, adding him to the long line of portraits of former Myrtle Beach mayors.
“What I’m most proud of is the unity brought to council,” Rhodes said. “We had a vision. It wasn’t an I, it was a team. But it takes a lot and behind every successful person has got to be a good wife or a good husband. She was a great part in my success.
“When I took office I had two grandchildren. Since then, we have grown about 10 and one on the way. Now I’ll get a chance to enjoy it. It’s been a wonderful ride. It’s been a great honor and a great privilege to represent this city, the citizens and the tourists that come here.”
Rhodes was also presented with a portrait of Savannah’s Playground, which he said is one of his biggest accomplishments he completed while in office.
“I want to say thank you to ya’ll for this today,” Wallace said. “Thank you for the 16 years that I had the opportunity to serve and be a part of the city. I think we did a lot of good things. You folks have all been wonderful and have been overwhelmingly great to me.”
Wallace was presented with two portraits of his late father, who passed in early January. The portraits were taken by well-known Myrtle Beach photographer Jack Thompson.
Gray, who brought his 16-year-old daughter with him said, “I want to thank you. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to represent the City of Myrtle Beach. I am proud, and encourage you in your service.”
Gray was presented with a picture of Myrtle Beach as well as a portrait of Peaches Corner, a diner located along Ocean Boulevard in downtown Myrtle Beach.
Rhodes was not the only former Myrtle Beach mayor to have a portrait put on the wall. Former Mayor Mark McBride now has a picture on the wall, after nearly 12 years without one.
When asked, Mark Kruea, public information officer for the city, said that McBride chose to not sit for a portrait after his final term of mayor ended. During the first meeting of 2018 councilman Mike Chestnut suggested they put his picture on the wall.
At a city council meeting shortly after the Ocean Boulevard shooting that left several people injured, McBride said, “Just a personal thing, you know, I’ve been gone for 12 years. Maybe it’d be nice if ya’ll put my picture up on the wall one of these days.”