‘Beaufort Remembers’ Documentary Premiering Dec. 1

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A shot of Beaufort, NC, looking east, taken in the 1950s for a postcard. (Courtesy Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina)

Contributed by Jo Ann Hoffman / Beaufort Documentary Group

A documentary film of daily life in Beaufort from the 1920s to the 1960s, told through the voices of those who lived it, will be shown for the first time at Beaufort Hotel on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 4:00 p.m.

The film was conceived and produced by the Beaufort Documentary Group with Scrapbook Video Productions, Inc., as an independent project relying mainly on contributions of the citizens of Beaufort—their memories, stories, photos and finances.

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Tickets are $10, and may be purchased at the Beaufort Historical Association, 130 Turner Street.

“We are thrilled to be providing this legacy of living memories to the town of Beaufort,” said Judy Adams, primary sponsor and chair of the Documentary Group.

“It’s not only a way to preserve priceless stories and photos of Beaufort’s recent past, it’s also a perfect tribute to our elder citizens. These are the people who’ve built the businesses and raised the families that have made Beaufort the wonderful place it is today.”

Interviews with Beaufort residents who grew up here and lived here from the 1920s through the 1960s are the heart of the film.

“The re-telling of personal stories from one generation to the next has long been a way to preserve culture and values,” said Filmmaker Mark Albertin.

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“My years of working with oral history have been a rare privilege for me,” he said. “I’ve met dozens of inspiring older people and am constantly reminded of the gratitude we owe to those who came before us. ”

Albertin added that Beaufort Remembers also makes liberal use of personal photo records and local history experts. A brief overview of Beaufort’s earliest history is provided for context.

Albertin, who owns Scrapbook Video Productions in Augusta, Ga., has decades of experience in creating documentary films, many of which have won awards and recognition at film festivals. Several oral histories in the Remembers series, originated by Mr. Albertin, have aired on public television in their respective cities and towns. He’s hoping the same for Beaufort Remembers.

Adams said the film has been in production for 18 months, since the Documentary Group’s initial meeting in June 2018. She added that much of the enthusiasm and energy to undertake the daunting project came from Liz Burke, who had arranged a Living History Forum in 2014 to allow her older relatives and their friends to talk about their memories of life in early 20th century Beaufort.

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“We had the gathering at the old courthouse,” said Burke. “I didn’t know what to expect, but when word spread, it was standing room only, and we had to turn people away!”

That experience made her aware that a recorded collection of personal memories would make a permanent contribution to the heritage of Beaufort, and thus to the state.

“So Beaufort Remembers was born,” Burke said.

Additional members of the original planning group are Jo Ann Hoffman and Jeanette Holland.

Hoffman, a writer, had previously worked with Albertin as script writer and editor on his Remembers films and other documentaries. She was able to interest Albertin in adding a Beaufort film to the series.

Holland, a local businesswoman and lifelong resident has a deep knowledge of Beaufort life and people.

“Jeanette’s insights and contacts were invaluable to us throughout the project,” said Adams.