By Sherrie Evans
On Thursday, April 5th at the Black Diamond Museum, Mayor Carol Benson, along with a host of friends and family, surprised past Mayor Gomer Evans Jr. with the announcement that the lower portion of Lawson Avenue would now be formally changed to “Gomer Evans Jr. Drive.”
Evans was appointed as the Mayor Pro Tem in late 1973 following the death of then Mayor Vic Weston. He went on to be elected and served as Mayor from 1974-1978. During his term he was instrumental in making major water improvements for the city, establishing a sound financial operation, the Senior Citizen Satellite Center, care of the Cemetery, and instrumental in the incorporation changing Black Diamond from a town to a city.
He is well known in the area for his involvement with the Diamond Lodge 83 (Masons) and they honored him a year ago by naming that building after him, now known as the Gomer Evans Masonic Center. He has also served as the city’s Chief of Police.
Evans is one of 9 children born to Gomer Evans Sr. and wife Alice. His father served as a fire boss in the mines. He was the only one born in Bellingham (1927) when his dad was called there to help with the mines; but he has lived his entire life in Black Diamond. His current home is on the new Gomer Evans Jr. Drive and across the street, where the land is vacant, the home he was raised in used to be there. It is a fitting tribute that the “Evans” name is on that street.
Mayor Benson made several remarks about his legacy and his contributions to the city. Evans is an active volunteer with the Black Diamond Historical Society.
This is a quote from him from a prior article that is on the BlackDiamondHistory Word Press site
Gomer Evans along with City workers Dan DalSanto and Alex who actually placed the street signs that faces Highway 169 across from the Cenex.
A fitting response to “Where do you go from here?” was the statement, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and when there’s a need, I’ll be there.” To paraphrase a familiar advertisement, “We’ve come a long way, baby.” To quote an old saying, “The man who never does anything wrong, isn’t doing anything”—Gomer Evans did a lot of things right.