Soles to serve as grand marshal

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Dec 05, 2012 - 01:51 PM

Photo: Earl Soles will serve as grand marshal of the Mathews Christmas Parade. He is recognized for his leadership in New Point Comfort Lighthouse preservation efforts.

Earl Soles will serve as grand marshal of the Mathews Christmas Parade. He is recognized for his leadership in New Point Comfort Lighthouse preservation efforts.

Cobbs Creek native Earl Soles, one of the drivers behind the preservation and restoration of New Point Comfort Lighthouse, has been named grand marshal of the Mathews Annual Christmas Parade, which will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday from Thomas Hunter Middle School.

Soles, who humbly takes little credit for the preservation efforts, said the project of keeping the landmark safe from rising seas and weather has been a labor of love and has included the work of many other people.

"It’s nice to be honored for something you’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing," Soles said about being chosen as grand marshal. "My first notion was, ‘I can’t have any of this.’" However, he said he is looking forward to being a part of Saturday’s parade.

Soles retired from Colonial Williamsburg, where he most recently worked as director of a program called historic trades. He also was director of historic programs and operations for Colonial Williamsburg.

Ultimately, Soles said the lighthouse will have to be moved at some point, and the task can be done, brick by brick. However, the lighthouse is safe for now, and will remain in its current location at the very southern tip of the county Soles calls home.