Alatex-Andala Memorial Dedication Honors Thousands Of Former Employees In Andalusia

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By Catalina Trivino

It's an emotional day in Andalusia: the grand opening of the Alatex-Andala Memorial Park was held today, which recognizes the thousands of people who worked at the textile and apparel plant between 1923 and 1992.

 

The Andalusia community, city and state officials gathered to celebrate a legacy -- one that used to be home to one of the biggest employers in Andalusia.

 

 

Blood, sweat and tears -- that's what hundreds of people came here to remember. Paying tribute to thousands of families who worked at the former Alatex-Andala apparel company, which was a way of life in Covington County for almost 70 years.

"I can't think of another building in Andalusia, Alabama that has shaped as many lives or had an impact on as many lives as the building behind me, the old Alatex office building complex," Said Andalusia Mayor, Earl Johnson, during the dedication ceremony.

The grand opening for the Alatex-Andala Memorial Park unveiled monuments to honor former employees who worked at the plant. Inside the building are pictures of employees on the job -- some dating as far back as the 1920's.

And it's struck emotion for many -- including 86 year old, Rosalyn Tiller, who worked at the plant for 41 years.

"Today was just something that will be going down in history," Said Tiller, who was also one of the oldest members who worked at the plant and attended the dedication. "I was just so thankful that this place was here. It provided such a good living and for so many people not only in Andalusia, but surrounding counties and all."

It's a meaningful day she shares with others who helped fund the park by buying bricks and engraving names of former employees.

"Most of the people you can see from the bricks were here for 30, 40 years... a whole lifetime," Said Bill Hammeter, who worked at the plant for 30 years.

And now, this park will remind visitors about the contribution of the 3,000 workers that once operated this company.

City officials tell CBS-8 the next project for the Alatex-Andala Memorial Park is to paint a mural of how to make a shirt.

To help fund that mural, you can buy a brick for 100-dollars... or make another donation. Visit cityofandalusia.com for more information.

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