Nona and Bennett Whipple received a standing ovation for their service to the community during the POA Annual Meeting on Dec. 1. Nona thanks POA President Phil Anderson for the flowers and Bennett enjoys a kiss and a big hug from General Manager Jill Philmon. Photo by Jim Francis.
Bennett and Nona Whipple were honored Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Town Hall Meeting for their long service to the Big Canoe Community by the POA.
The Whipples who moved from Sandy Springs and built their house 24 years ago on Columbine have recently come full circle by returning to Sandy Springs in Mount Vernon Towers. During their time in Big Canoe, Bennett, one of the last of two World War II veterans in Big Canoe, gave years of service while he was here. He was a founder of Leadership Big Canoe, the new comer orientations, chairman of the elections committee more than once, chairman of the chapel board of trustees and the extension committee for the additions, Squires and Stags, North Georgia Veterans and a columnist and editor of Smoke Signals for several years. Outside the gates, Bennett served on the board of Prevent Child Abuse Pickens. He won the 2005 service award for outstanding service in the community of Big Canoe. A meaningful, but less significant, responsibility was keeper of the rain gauge for reporting in Smoke Signals each month.
Nona, known for her Southern hospitality and cooking, was food editor of Smoke Signals until she passed that responsibility on and became a regular at the door of a sick friend or neighbor with a chicken pot pie or soup. Many a bride at The Big Canoe Chapel remembers her as wedding director for making their dream wedding come true.
Both were regulars at what was formerly known as the Big Canoe Fitness Center with Bennett, 93, swimming laps three days a week. Joining a fitness center recently in the Perimeter Mall area, he complains about no people there to talk to at 10 a.m. and the swimming pool water is “ice cold.” Both the Whipples were very social in Big Canoe and Bennett says he misses the camaraderie he cherished hanging out among the cardio machines and fellow retirees.