Jacqueline McBride, of Egg Harbor Township, grew up during the 1950s and ’60s in Port Norris, one of seven children of the only black man in the region to own a fleet of oyster boats.

“It was a lively place to grow up, and community oriented,” she said of the section of Commercial Township, where churches were segregated, but schools and boat crews integrated. And churches had visiting days, where black and white would worship together, she said.

“My father did quite well,” she said of her early childhood years with her father, Captain James Elwood McBride, and her mom Lucy McBride. “Someone took him under his wing. It had to be a white man. That’s who owned everything.”

But her world changed in 1963, when her dad drowned in the Delaware Bay at age 50, while tending his oyster beds.

Jacqueline McBride was 11 years old. Lucy McBride kept the family together, and made sure all of her children went to college, Jacqueline McBride said. Lucy McBride also got her associate’s degree, helped start Head Start in Port Norris and was the first black president of the Commercial Township PTA.

Lucy and James McBride were posthumously honored Sunday as 20th Century Legends by the Port Norris Historical Society.

Jacqueline, an assistant external affairs officer in community relations for the Federal Emergency Management Administration, is known as the founder of the Atlantic County Women’s Hall of Fame, and for her community work.

“I remember being a little girl in a pew and seeing all these people coming in (to my father’s funeral),” she said. “From that day I knew I’d spend the rest of my life honoring people while they are still alive.”

200 cupcakes for 100th birthday

Marjorie Hamarich, a resident Woodview Estates Assisted Living in Mays Landing, turns 100 today.

Nina Burden and Emma Bowers, both aged 10, are donating 200 cupcakes to her birthday party. The Gloucester County girls, who started a business called Two Girls and their Cupcakes, have donated about 2,000 cupcakes for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, said a representative of Woodview Estates.

Excellence award

Lucinda Reeves, of Galloway Township, is the Service Excellence of the Month award winner for November at Cape Regional Medical Center.

She has been a member of the materials management team who joined the hospital as a purchasing buyer in 2011, a spokesperson said. She and husband George have five children.

Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

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