New Hall of Fame class to be inducted Friday

Published 3:42 pm Monday, November 5, 2012

The seventh class to be inducted into the Atmore Hall of Fame will be officially welcomed into the annals of the town’s history Friday night when four new members will be brought into the fold.

Buster Joyner, William Corman, G.R. Swift Jr. and Buford Rolin were voted into the prestigious family of Atmore history-makers earlier this year, and the men will be honored later this week at The Club, located on Alabama 21.

Each recipient was required to receive two-thirds votes from committee members in order to become a hall of fame member and chairman Lou Vickery said each is a deserving choice.

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“I really think this is a great group and we’re excited about it,” Vickery said. “The interesting thing about the class this year is the fact that they all played such prominent roles. When you talk about names like Swift, Joyner and Corman, those are old family names for Atmore itself. Their families played very prominent roles. Buford grew up around here and, even though his work was done predominantly with Poarch, he’s helped Atmore a lot.”

Vickery said another interesting fact about this year’s class is that the inductees came from only two of the four categories under consideration. The two categories represented this year are government/civic and business/medical, while the two not represented are teachers/ministers/ actors and players/coaches.

While three of the four inductees for this year’s class are deceased, they will be honored posthumously Friday night when Rolin is honored on stage. This year’s ceremony will get underway at 6 p.m.

Below are brief biographies of the four inductees.

 Wilbur Stewart (Buster) Joyner

Wilbur Stewart “Buster” Joyner was born on June 13, 1916, and lived until Feb. 11, 1997.

He was married to Sarah Vail Joyner and had six children, Bob, Sissy, BB, Mary, Ruthie and Julia.

He served as a chief petty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, while also becoming a charter member of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, Atmore Rotary Club and Atmore VFW. He served on the City of Atmore Board of Education, and was a Boy Scout Leader, Explorer Post 205 Leader (had six Eagle Scouts in one group), president of the A.C. Moore PTO, an avid supporter of ECHS. He received the “Service Above Self” award from the Atmore Rotary Club in 1989.

During his life, he was also a friend and counselor to hundreds of Atmore youth.

 William F. Corman

Corman was born in Louisville, Ky.,  in March of 1906 and died in Atmore in September of 1999. He was married to Juliette Temple Corman for 45 years until her death in 1998. He had four children, including Jim Corman, Julie Johnson, Myna Hayles and Paige Jones, and nine grandchildren.

His miltary service includes serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps from March 1940 through July 1946 where he was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, England, France and Germany. He reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

From 1946-93, he served as president and CEO of Southland Telephone Company and Southland Communications Corp. From 1993-99, he served as the vice president of business development for Touch 1.

Some of his civic activities included Boy Scout Master, founding director and the second president of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, member and president of the Atmore Lions Club, chairman of the Atmore Industrial Development Authority, board member and president of the Atmore United Way and founding director and chairman of Escambia Academy.

In industry, Corman was the president of the Alabama/Mississippi Independent Telephone Association, founding director and first president of OPASTCO, director for the United States Telephone Association and was selected as the United States Telephone Association Man of the Year.

George Robinson Swift Jr.

Swift Jr. was born on July 19, 1928 in Atmore and died in January of 2004 in Atmore.

He was married to Frances Page Swift for 51 years until her death in 2002 and was then married to Lucille King Swift from 2003 until his death. He had two children, George Robinson Swift III and Lisa Annette Swift and six grandchildren.

His military service included a two-year stint in the U.S. Army from 1950-52.

He was the vice president of Swift-Hunter Lumber Company in Atmore, the president of Swift Lumber Company, was a director for the Board of Directors for First National Bank and served as the board’s chairman from 1975-87.

His civic activities included serving as president of the Atmore City School Board, president of the Atmore United Fund, president of the Atmore Lions Club and president of the Atmore Country Club.

Buford Rolin

Buford L. Rolin is a member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.  He has served as Secretary for the Tribe and has served as the Vice-Chairman from 1991-2006.  As of June 12, 2006 he was elected Chairman of the Tribe.

In 1989, Mr. Rolin received a service award from the Indian Health Service for improving the Health of Indian People.  In 1993, he was awarded the Director’s Award for Excellence by the Indian Health Service.  In 1996, he also received the Area Director’s Special Commendation Award from the Indian Health Service.

Mr. Rolin has served on many national organizations including the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the Atmore Area Partnership for Youth Board of Directors, and the Florida Governor’s Council on Indian Affairs.  He has held various positions pertaining to the Northwest Florida Creek Indian Council, the National Committee on Indian Work, the Episcopal Church, The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Creek Indians Arts Council, Creek Indian Heritage Memorial Association, and the United South & Eastern Tribes (USET) and currently as Vice-Chairman for the National Indian Health Board (NIHB).  He also served on the State of Alabama Public Health Advisory Board.

Mr. Rolin was appointed in 1998 by Dr. Michael Trujillo, Director, Indian Health Service, as Tribal Co-Chair National Steering Committee (NSC), for Reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA).  He was also appointed in 1999 Tribal Co-Chair to the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee by Dr. Michael Trujillo.

During 2000, Mr. Rolin was appointed to the White House Commission on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Policy by President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Rolin was appointed to NCAI Tribal Leaders Health Information Technology Task Force in 2001, by NCAI President Tex Hall.  Mr. Rolin was elected Chairman of that committee.

Mr. Rolin was the Co-Chair for the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide Planning Committee. The last meeting was held in August 2006 in Edmonton Alberta, Canada.

Mr. Rolin is the Co-Chair of the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee as well as a member of the IHS Strategic Planning Committee. In October, 2010, Mr. Rolin was appointed to serve as a Board Member of NARF, Native American Rights Fund.  In November, 2010, he was appointed to the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Region IV.