Former St. Augustine Record managing editor Margo Pope receives history award

ByTommie C. Curtis

Jun 2, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
On Monday, May 23, 2022, the City of St. Augustine presented retired long-time St. Augustine Record editor Margo Cox Pope with the 2022 Adelaide Sanchez Award for Historic Education and Interpretation.

On Monday, May possibly 23, 2022, the City of St. Augustine presented retired extensive-time St. Augustine Document editor Margo Cox Pope with the 2022 Adelaide Sanchez Award for Historic Schooling and Interpretation.

The two Margo Pope and Adelaide Sanchez labored as journalists in St. Augustine, and now they’re connected by something else.

Pope grew up in St. Augustine, and, in some methods, grew up at The St. Augustine Record, ultimately performing for the newspaper for much more than two many years as a expert journalist.

Sanchez worked for The Record from 1930-43 and worked for the Miami Herald as assistant woman’s editor. She returned to St. Augustine and donated her residence for historic preservation uses.

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Margo Cox, now Pope, is dropped off at the old Record building in a St. Augustine fire truck after covering a city budget story in 1966.

Margo Cox, now Pope, is dropped off at the aged File constructing in a St. Augustine hearth truck following covering a metropolis price range story in 1966.

On Monday, Pope turned the most up-to-date recipient of an award the town developed in honor of Sanchez: the Adelaide Sanchez Award for Historic Training and Interpretation. Pope, 75, of St. Augustine, been given the award in entrance of a crowded commission assembly space at Town Hall.

“I was blown away when I heard about this,” Pope told the group. “I genuinely am however in a lot of shock simply because as I was stating when I came in, and I’ve stated quite a few times in advance of recently, I’m not used to staying at the entrance of the place other than badgering some of these superb commissioners.”

Sanchez, who died in 1994, remaining her residence on Marine Street to the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board. When the board was abolished, the assets went to the town. In line with Sanchez’s wishes, the house was marketed and the proceeds went to a trust “with the interest gained remaining designated for awards, applications and stipends with the purpose of advancing the interests of historic restoration, preservation, education and interpretation,” according to the town.

The metropolis awarded Pope a miniature lion like the marble statues on the west side of the Bridge of Lions.

‘The initial draft of history’

The metropolis selected Pope for her contributions in journalism and other perform preserving and sharing history, these kinds of as her efforts at the historic Peña-Peck Residence and contributing to Textile Arts Guild of St. Augustine.

Pope’s family members and officers from throughout the neighborhood attended the award ceremony.

Pope grew up in St. Augustine ― her moms and dads moved here in the ’40s soon after Earth War II, Commissioner John Valdes reported. And immediately after decades in the group, she’s had a hand in many functions and businesses over the many years beyond the newspaper.

“I do not know any person other than possibly the bishop himself that can command a entire row of nuns, but the Sisters of St. Joseph are in this article in force,” Mayor Tracy Upchurch claimed on Monday.

Pope explained her earliest mentions in The File commenced in the ’50s when Pope was 8 many years previous and a scribe for the Wetomachich Bluebird chapter of the Camp Fireplace Girls, a youth group that Pope described as related to Cub Scouts. Pope wrote about their pursuits, and the blurbs ran in The Record’s youth area, she reported.

Pope’s mom, Angela M. Cox, wrote for The Document and other publications, and her father, J. Edward “Crimson” Cox, would choose her to the old St. Augustine Record building at Bridge and Cordova streets on Saturdays when he wrote about sports happenings for the city’s recreation department, which he led.

“It can be all in my blood,” she said.

Margo Cox, now Pope, proofreads The Record as a paid intern during her senior year in high school.

Margo Cox, now Pope, proofreads The File as a paid out intern for the duration of her senior yr in substantial faculty.

Pope’s professional journalism profession spanned a long time of get the job done at The Florida Occasions-Union and The History.

Over additional than 20 decades at The History, her titles included handling editor, features editor, distinctive projects editor, nearby columnist, affiliate editor and editorial webpage editor. While she retired in 2012, she nevertheless contributes a column, Pope’s Look at.

She claimed on regional govt and is an advocate for potent regulations that make sure public accessibility to govt conferences and documents. Her April column encouraged folks to become “Sunshine warriors.”

“I just take very critically the notion that newspapers ― reporters, editors ― defend the initially draft of background,” Pope said. “Mainly because if you think about it, and I do it, too, in which do I go to get started the story? I am above at the investigate library heading by means of each imaginable clip they have.”

Safeguarding the city’s treasures

Development on the Peña-Peck home commenced in 1750 as a home for Spanish colonial treasurer Juan Estevan de Peña. It was continuously occupied by households until finally 1931 when the house’s past proprietor, Anna Gardner Burt, died. Burt remaining the property and contents to the metropolis of St. Augustine with the stipulation that the residence was “preserved as an example of the aged antebellum households of the South.”

Following Burt’s dying, the Woman’s Trade of St. Augustine took around the stewardship of the constructing and its contents, renting it from the metropolis. People can now tour the property at 143 St. George St.

Pope has served maintain and promote the house about the several years, including serving as Woman’s Trade president, and she’s presently the Heritage Committee chair.

“As such, Pope is dependable for making certain the reliable history of the Peña-Peck Household, as well as delivering the Woman’s Trade to readers,” in accordance to the metropolis.

As part of the city’s 450th anniversary preparations, she aided direct the development of a customer orientation centre at the house.

Pope has also aided re-enact background, way too.

As portion of the Textile Arts Guild of St. Augustine, she has promoted “15th century blackwork stitchery.”

Pope explained her curiosity in the city’s record came in portion from her experiences as a little one increasing up in the oldest town, this kind of as watching an archaeological dig choose put in close proximity to her residence on Marine Road.

“They would enable you glimpse, but you couldn’t contact just about anything,” she said.

Historian Susan Parker, who holds a doctorate in colonial history, has recognised Pope given that grade college, according to the metropolis.

“While the Pena-Peck Residence is the closest to her heart, her concern radiates to other historic treasures and informing the public of their value,” Parker reported in the launch.

In her speech to the Fee on Monday, Pope inspired persons to assistance historic preservation.

“Whether or not you contribute economically, you volunteer, it all can make a big difference in preserving the historic file of this amazing happy metropolis, America’s oldest,” she reported.

― Journalist Peter Willott and previous reporter Marcia Lane contributed to this report.

This posting initially appeared on St. Augustine File: St. Augustine officers honor journalist Margo Pope with award