New Bern’s “First” Leaders recognized during reopening of City Hall Courtroom

New Bern Board of Aldermen
Aldermen Barbara Best, Sabrina Bengel, Jameesha Harris, Mayor Dana Outlaw, Aldermen Johnnie Ray Kinsey and Jeffrey Odham (not pictured; Robert “Bobby” Aster)

New Bern’s City Hall was damaged by Hurricane Florence in September 2018 and after months of renovation, the staff, contractors, and all involved did a terrific job restoring the Courtroom.

The reopening and dedication ceremony took place last week, July 13, 2021.

As the unofficial historian, Alderman Sabrina Bengel detailed the history of City Hall, historic firsts and the Courthouse restoration process in this video:

She recognized the late Kathleen Orringer, New Bern’s first woman Alderman; Barbara Lee, first African American woman Alderman; the late Leander Morgan, Sr. as the first African American Mayor; and the late Ella Bengel as the first woman Mayor. Mayor Dana Outlaw made remarks about the leaders. Alderman Bengel invited NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Morgan to speak on behalf of the Morgan Family. See Part 2 of 3:

She also invited Steve Bengel to speak on behalf of the Bengel Family. See Part 3 of 3:

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By Wendy Card