Bricks on sale for textile monument

Published 11:22 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Employees of Andalusia’s Alatex make clothing in this undated photo. A monument for these employees in in the process. | Courtesy photo


Andalusia area residents will find fliers in their utilities bills this month promoting the sales of memorial bricks at a new national apparel workers monument.

Bill Hamiter is organizing a fundraising effort for the tribute, which will be placed at the former corporate headquarters of Alatex, on River Falls Street.

The building currently is being renovated to become the new home of the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce and a tourist center.

Plans include a monument to apparel workers, as well as tributes to those who made the apparel industry great in South Alabama.

Hamiter said there will be tributes to John G. Scherf, a history of Alatex, a textiles mural, and personal tributes to former textile employees in the form of memorial bricks.

The bricks are $100 each, Hamiter said, and can be engraved with the names, departments and dates of employment of former workers.

Corporate and civic contributions also are being sought, Hamiter said, adding that he is encouraging those organizations to allow their contributions to fund bricks in memory of former employees.

“Instead of having corporate cornerstones, we want as many employee names as possible,” he said. “We really want this to be about the workers.”

The pavers will be used in the walkway and patio areas of the renovated facility.

In the years between 1923 and 1992, Alatex and Andala employed up to 1,500 people in Andalusia, and more than 3,000 total employees. The company also had plants in Troy, Brantley, Enterprise, Evergreen, Elba, Montgomery, Crestview and Panama City.

Checks can be mailed to Alatex Memorial, P.O. Box 429, Andalusia, AL, or delivered to Andalusia City Hall.