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TELL CITY - A new City Hall gazebo dedicated last week honors the memories of a couple who always felt blessed to live in Tell City, their sons said Wednesday.
The family of the late Charles "Chick" and Virginia Borders stepped forward to acknowledge their sponsorship of the gazebo that hosted its first Schweizer Fest events last week and will serve the community for decades to come.
Brothers Gene and Bill Borders presented a plaque to Mayor Barbara Ewing naming the structure the Charles and Virginia Borders Colonnade.
Charles Borders was transferred to Tell City in 1943 by Kenrad to help establish a new tube assembly plant that would eventually become General Electric. His wife, Virginia, and their sons, Don and Gene moved here a short time later. Charles was a native of Washington, Ind., while his wife had been born and raised in Cannelton.
Two years later, Charles joined William Tell Woodcrafters, a fledgling company that prospered in the booming post-World War II economy. In 1954, the company formed a new enterprise, Swiss Plywood Corp. The Borders family prospered with the businesses and felt an obligation to give back to the community, with time, talent and money.
"Mom and Dad were fervent believers in Tell City," Bill Borders said, recalling the scouting, hospital and civic groups the couple joined and supported. Charles loved music and applied his talents to the choir at St. Paul Church and a local barbershoppers group.
The idea of constructing a gazebo to replace the main stage erected for each Schweizer Fest had been discussed for at least three years, Gene Borders said, and a proposal to erect it in the city's sesquicentennial year was endorsed by the Tell City Common Council this spring after a presentation by members of Schweizer Fest Inc., the festival's steering community.
Its design complements that of City Hall, with graceful concrete columns, brickwork at its foundation that matches City Hall and a synthetic slate roof. It's designed to be maintenance free for years.
Gene Borders thanked the contractors who worked on the project, including Casey Electric and Casebolt Construction.
The concrete slab under the gazebo, Gene Borders said, is flawless.
Charles Borders loved City Hall Park, walking through it to morning Mass at St. Paul's seven days a week, his son, Bill, said.
The bronze plaque naming the gazebo was presented to the city in the name of the Borders siblings, Gene, Bill, Betty, Patrice, Sue, Mary, Mike and their late brother Don.
"Mom and Dad did not seek attention and we, their children, hope that we have not offended them by underwriting this project," Bill Borders said. "But when it was launched, Gene thought that this would be an appropriate, lasting tribute to their memory. We hope this will be a place where the sounds of family celebrations and music are heard frequently, for there could be no more fitting tribute than that to a couple for whom family and music were so dear."