One of Banks County’s own was recognized and surprised all in the same day.

Tim Harper, Banks County’s clerk of courts, was surprised by family, friends and officials at the Banks County Courthouse Annex in celebration of Harper’s service to Banks County. And he was recognized by state representative Chris Erwin and state senator John Wilkinson with two resolutions.

Harper was awarded the 2018 Stetson F. Bennett Award by the Superior Court Clerks Association of Georgia.

“You consistently devote unmeasurable amounts of hours and time to your service for your community,” Erwin said. “Your talents, your energies are all focused on bettering this community, Tim. That means a lot to us. It means a lot to the future of this county, and it has meant a lot in the past.”

Wilkinson congratulated Harper’s service. The floor was open for others to speak about Harper’s impact. Stories and laughs were shared as Jimmy Hooper spoke of when Harper worked as a soda jerk at Commerce Drug Store, or when David Duckett spoke of a time when Harper neglected to tell him of a yellow jackets nest when he came to pick up some calves. Both stories were received with a lot of laughter.

There were moments of serious touch, though. Harper, along with members of his family, sat on the first two rows on the right side of the meeting room.

“Anywhere you go in the state of Georgia, when you mention Tim Harper’s name, people say, ‘We know Tim Harper,’” Banks County sheriff Carlton Speed said. “Tim Harper is well-respected. He represents Banks County above and beyond. He is a super, super guy. You can call him, anytime, day or night, he’ll do anything for you. Not only is he clerk of the courts, I consider Tim Harper a friend, and he’s a friend to a lot of people.”

Beverly Logan, clerk of courts in Elbert County, thanked Banks County for allowing Harper to be the leader of the clerks throughout the state.

“Now, as a constitutional officer, he is representing you well and representing all of us well,” Logan said. “He’s a good friend and thank you very much for letting us borrow your native son.”

The Rev. David Collins, pastor of Homer United Methodist Church, first met Harper at a brotherhood meeting.

“I can tell you, Tim is more than just a clerk,” Collins said. “He’s a resource officer for anything and everything you need. You can go to him and ask him. He cares about people. He has helped us, as a church, in several instances with congregation, and people who needed things, needed guidance and help … You talk about serving, he goes above and beyond, that’s for sure. Tim, we sure do appreciate you.”

Before it was over, Harper was called to the front to say a few words and see Erwin and Wilkinson sign the resolutions made for him.

“What can I say,” Harper said. “I came over here for a meeting to talk about I don’t even remember … But I truly appreciate this. It’s an honor, honor to be the clerk of the superior court in Banks County. It’s an honor to be a constitutional officer for Georgia, and I certainly appreciate everyone taking their time with this in their busy schedules to come and honor me today. It’s an honor. I appreciate you. I appreciate your friendship, and I thank you for honoring me with these resolutions."

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