GOACC celebrates its first 125 years of history
It makes one wonder how many chambers of commerce can not only boast of a 125 year history, but can also boast of seven businesses with continuous membership for the entire time span.
The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the milestone Tuesday night celebrating 125 years of service to the community at The Brown Center in Pinehurst.
The evening’s ceremony began with Lee Ann Fuselier, chairwoman of Access Services, giving a welcome to the audience before Jarren Garrett, chariman-elect of Baptist Orange Hospital, gave the invocation.
Next, Betty Harmon of Harmon-Oliver Enterprise, LLC, gave an introduction of 125 year members, past chairmen and ambassadors. Larry David of Orange Insurance Agency then gave a historical and video presentation of the chamber.
Entertainment was provided by Hughie Allen and Katherine Frey lead the birthday song and celebration.
The Orange Chamber of Commerce traces its history to an 1887 citizens committee was formed to promote the area’s business potential. A reorganization of the committee resulted in the formation of the city’s Board of Trade in 1899.
A further step in the evolution of the chamber of commerce took place in 1902 with the establishment of the Progressive League of Orange, comprised of representatives of leading manufacturing institutions and businesses.
The league also included professionals and individuals not directly involved in the business world concerned with the growth and development of the city.
League members undertook projects for better roads, a deep water canal, and an opera house and began a campaign to attract investors to Orange.
Between 1918 and 1922, the Orange Chamber was organized from a consolidation of its predecessors. Over the years, the chamber has worked successfully to stimulate business in the country.
The industrial development committee of the chamber was formed in 1947 to bring chemical plants into the area. Today the Orange Area Chamber of Commerce is recognized as an important element in the town’s commercial heritage.