We send our deepest sympathies to the family of the Hon. Paul l. Gaines, Sr. upon his recent passing.

He was a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was a role model for people of all backgrounds. 

He was a true leader in the community, serving as a teacher, coach, university administrator, elected official, and member and chair of numerous commissions, boards, and committees.

Mr. Gaines received many, most-deserved awards in recognition of his outstanding work and deep commitment to help improve the quality of life for others. 

He was modest about his many remarkable accomplishments and was always ready to mentor and teach others to find a pathway to success. He was a strong advocate for equality and justice. He was a person of impeccable integrity, enduring patience, and compassionate understanding.

Mr. Gaines was the leading force in the establishment of the monument in Patriots Park in Portsmouth that stands today and that commemorates the bravery of the famous Black Regiment who won a decisive battle for freedom in the American Revolutionary War. 

We admire and appreciate all that Mr. Gaines did in his lifetime and we should all honor his memory by working peacefully together to achieve harmony and unity in this country.

We also join in the call to re-name Equality Park after him: “Hon. Paul L. Gaines, Sr. Equality Park,” in recognition of the outstanding contributions he made to our community.

James I. Winters