Community gathers to honor and remember Dr. Donald Hines
Two days before his death, an ailing Don Hines sent word to Bunkie Mayor Bruce Coulon that when the time came, he would like to have a special memorial service in Haas Auditorium, a building which represents what the former senator was all about -- giving and protecting.
During his long run as state senator, Hines was instrumental in restoring the building which was built in the 1930s. Former Bunkie Mayor Gerard Moreau, emcee for the service, noted the building housed 200 hurricane evacuees just a few months after it was re-opened.
“That is what doc was all about -- helping people of Louisiana,” Moreau said.
The auditorium was filled with political officials, family and friends who came to honor the life of the Bunkie physician who left an impact on education in Avoyelles and helped to establish a hospital.
Hines, 85, passed away on June 18. He had been ill for the past few months.
Gov. John Bel Edwards attended the service to honor the life of his close friend and political ally.
Pastor Mike Clark of Casa Aleluya orphanage in Guatemala, shared Hines’ love for helping children who are unable to receive healthcare in Guatemala.
Clark said if he needed equipment, Hines would make sure it was on its way that same afternoon. Hines brought LSU/Louisiana memorabilia to Guatemala, which is now on permanent display there.
Hines' grandson Donald Newton of Bunkie, emotionally recalled the love of outdoors and politics they shared.
His remarks were met with a thunderous applause from those attending the service.
Fr. Scott Chemino, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, spoke about the contributions Hines made in and around Louisiana during his lifetime.