Passing of the Torch; A Legend retires

by Oct 1, 2010NEWS ka-no-he-da, Uncategorized0 comments

Tommy Lambert takes reins as Cherokee Boys Club General Manager




Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the United States when Ray Kinsland started his tenure as general manager of the Cherokee Boys Club (CBC).  Now, 52 years later he is retiring and passing the reins over to Tommy Lambert, a 26-year CBC veteran.     

Principal Chief Michell Hicks (left) administers the oath of office to new Cherokee Boys Club general manager Tommy Lambert (right) as Lambert's wife Myra looks on. (Photos by Scott McKie B.P./One Feather)

The official oath of office was administered at a breakfast banquet held at the Cherokee Holiday Inn on the morning of Friday, Oct. 1. 

Ray Kinsland speaks during Friday's event. He officially retired Friday after 52 years as general manager of the Cherokee Boys Club.

Lambert, who holds a Business Management degree from Western Carolina University, said that when people talk about passing the torch there is a moment when both parties involved have a hand on the torch at the same time.

“Over the next few weeks, Ray and I will both have a hold of that torch,” said Lambert.  “We will not drop that torch.  The contact name may be different at the Boys Club, but the purpose of the Boys Club will remain the same.” 

Kinsland is planning to work 30 hour weeks for awhile to help with a smooth transition. 

He spoke highly of Lambert and commented, “I am very thankful that Tommy is our new general manager.  I urge you , Tommy, to remember the past as you go into the future.” 

Kinsland said that it is important to remember the Club motto “By prayer and By work” as the organization moves forward.  “May you never, never, never sacrifice your compassion or your integrity.” 

The 2010-12 Cherokee Boys Club Board of Directors take the oath of office.

James “Bud” Smith, assistant director of education at Cherokee Central Schools, said that they anticipate a “seamless transition” and wished Lambert the best of luck. 

“Mr. Kinsland, I could speak up here all day and not do justice,” Smith said, “so, I’ll mostly say thank you for being part of our community.” 

Gloria Rattler, Cherokee School Board chairperson, congratulated Lambert on his new position and said of the Club, “It has and always will be invaluable to the school system.” 

She continued, “Thank you Mr. Kinsland for the years of dedicated service you have provided to the Cherokee Central Schools.” 

Principal Chief Michell Hicks was on hand to deliver the oath of office and install the 2010-12 CBC Board of Directors which includes:  Wilbur Paul, president; Robert Lambert, vice-president; Tiffani Reed, secretary; Dwayne “Tuff” Jackson, assistant secretary; Albert Arch; Jack Davis; Wanda Lawless; Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell; and Kiah West, student representative.  Paul and Rep. Shell were unable to attend as they were on travel and will have their oath of office administered at a later date. 

Chief Hicks also administered the oath of office to new general manager Lambert.  Beforehand though, he praised the countless hours and years of service of Kinsland.  “Ray’s been a friend and mentor for many, many years.  We appreciate you so much.” 

The outgoing 2008-10 Board was honored and long-time Board president Mark Crowe was awarded a special plaque for his 30 years of service to the Board, ten of which as president.

Photo gallery of event: