Aug. 1—GRANITEVILLE — Civic involvement has been a way of life for Roger O. Boyd over the course of several decades, and the longtime textile employee was the focus of a community salute Monday afternoon, via induction into the Order of the Silver Crescent.
Boyd, an Army veteran who worked for 29 years as a manager for Graniteville Company and (its successor) Avondale Mills, is also known for decades of involvement with such organizations as the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, Historical Graniteville Cemetery Association and the advisory council for public schools in Aiken County Area Three.
He got a standing ovation from dozens of neighbors and family members Monday in a gathering at Hickman Hall, with the award being presented by Sens. Tom Young, R-Aiken, and Shane Massey, R-Edgefield.
The award, bestowed by the governor, "was specifically established as the State of South Carolina's most prestigious service award recognizing a remarkable achievement or action, an individual's dedicated community service or volunteerism," as described on the governor's website.
Boyd, now the property/projects manager for Graniteville Restoration Partners, "has dedicated his life to making this little part of the world a better place," Massey noted.
"He can't do it on his own. There are a lot of people who've helped out, but the fact of all of the number of people who are here today tells me that Graniteville would not be as nice, welcoming, warm and just a great place without Roger Boyd," the legislator added.
Retired teacher Salley Jennings, with a background include time at both Leavelle McCampbell Middle and Midland Valley High schools, noted that Boyd's record includes 93 years of service among a variety of organizations, due to the fact that he worked in a variety of roles simultaneously. His time and talent went to such causes as the Graniteville-Vaucluse-Warrenville Volunteer Fire Department, Economic Development Partnership and Midland Valley Chamber of Commerce.
"Just listening to Sally read the list of things that Roger's been involved in — y'all, I got tired of just listening to the list," Massey joked.
Joel Randall nominated Boyd for the award, with support via letters also coming from Massey and Jennings. Randall's familiarity with Boyd comes in part through their mutual service in the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, Historic Graniteville Cemetery Association and the town's annual Christmas tree lighting.
Boyd, attending along with his wife, Deborah Jean, among other family members, also served with such organizations as the United Way, Aiken County Election Commission, Christian Heritage Church and Graniteville Exchange Club.
"You don't just sit on the couch," Massey said. "There are a lot of people who are going to benefit from your work who don't even know who you are. A lot of younger people are going to have better educations. They're going to have better living environments because of you. They don't even know who Roger Boyd is."
Young made similar comments. "When you think about somebody who serves their fellow man, and in a Christian fashion, the first name that comes to mind ... when I think about that in the Horse Creek Valley is Roger Boyd. He has devoted his life ... to serving the people of the Horse Creek Valley and of Graniteville, and he is most deserving of this award, and I know that the governor and his committee, when they looked at this, it was not a hard decision for them to decide to present this," he said.
"It blowed my mind," Boyd said. "I never expected to receive anything like this, but I do appreciate it really, really, very, very much, and I love y'all. I love every one of y'all. I love Graniteville, and the goal is to do what we can to make Graniteville just a little bit better, and I appreciate it, but guys, I know I didn't do this. I know the people out here that do it every day, all day long, but I appreciate the recognition, and I thank y'all so very much."