Alexandria councilman Harry Silver turns 98, continues to serve community
If you're from Central Louisiana, you've probably heard his name or seen his face. Alexandria City Councilman Harry Silver turned 98 just days ago, but that hasn't stopped him from playing an active role in his community.
Originally from New Jersey, Silver landed here after enlisting in the Air Force, and after all these years, he’s still here.
"My reason for being here is because I sincerely love the city, and I love the people here,” Silver said.
He's now on his fourth term as a city council member.
"Anything I've done, I've done because I think there was a need."
His approach to local government is straight forward and his motive for what he does is clear.
"Communication, which is my buzzword for anything I've ever done. I always find out if you can communicate, you can accomplish anything because you have an exchange of ideas,” he said. “I have a philosophy. I don't mind you complaining, but I don't want you to complain unless you have an answer to that. You have to have a solution. Because it doesn't take any brains to complain. It takes a lot of ingenuity to think and concentrate on how to make things better."
But his work reaches far beyond politics. It would take days to hear all of the stories Mr. Silver could tell about his time and involvement in the area. He’s played a part in local health and wellness.
"One of the things that's outstanding is that I was a member of the board of the Rapides Regional Hospital for 34 years. I think that's a record,” Silver explained. “We worked a deal with HCA, where we sold a good portion of it to them and took the funds and created a Rapides Foundation, which we just celebrated our 25th anniversary."
He’s also taken over the historic and iconic Weiss & Goldring, a specialty store that's been up and running for over 120 years.
"When we came here, I did not realize that when Mr. Goldring left here and went to Shreveport, someone else had some interest in our store,” he said. “I said, ‘We better just take it ourselves.’ I concluded my acquisition in 1960."
It’s a business that's always been there to support its community.
"Whatever we had to rally, we rallied with support and worked together to help things do better."
It’s safe to say Silver’s service, vision and philanthropy have made him the respected man he is today.
"I've never found any place as nice as this, as intimate as this is and has been so gracious in making my life a wonderful life."