After a career of legislative milestones, Galliano native and former State Representative Richard “Dick” Guidry was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame last weekend.
Located in Winnfield, which is also the home of former governors Huey and Earl Long, the Hall of Fame also includes a political museum that highlights many of the individuals and issues that have shaped Louisiana over the years.
Guidry’s first milestone took place with his first election when he was elected to the House in 1952 at 23 years of age. To this day, he still holds the record as the youngest legislator ever elected in the state of Louisiana.
Guidry served one term until 1956 and then served again from 1964 until 1976.
Serving at a time of critical infrastructure needs in the area, Guidry was instrumental in proposing legislation that led to numerous present day projects that serve the area. Chief among the accomplishment by Guidry was the legislation he sponsored creating the South Lafourche Levee District.
Today, because of that legislation, the 10th Ward of Lafourche Parish has a ring hurricane protection levee system that has proven its worth in protecting the community from flooding and storm surge many times over.
“During my time in the legislature, a levee was something that we badly needed in South Lafourche,” Guidry said recently. “We doggedly pursued the idea until we made it a reality and time has proven that it was a good move.”
Guidry also introduced legislation that led to the construction of pumping facilities in Donaldsonville that would provide a supply of fresh water into Bayou Lafourche. This legislation eventually led to the sale of bonds that financed drinking water facilities for the south Lafourche area.
Working with former Senator A.O. Rappelet, Guidry also was instrumental in the establishment of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission.
Guidry also played a lead role in the legislation creating the Raceland hospital district as well as the funding for the construction of the original Lady of the Sea Hospital in Galliano.
He was also a tireless advocate for Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, and as a floor leader for two governors, was instrumental in securing funding for the growth of the school.
“I was fortunate to serve in the legislature at a time when our area was in the beginning stages of significant growth and the needs to spur that growth were many. I’m happy that we were able to help the area grow and prosper through the legislative initiatives that were begun back then,” he said.
These days, Guidry, at 84 years of age still resides in Galliano with his wife Phyllis. They have been married for over 60 years and are the parents of five adult children.
“This nomination and induction is one of the highest honors I’ve ever received. It is most appreciated and let it stand as a testament to the hard work many have put in to help make our community and region a better place to live and work.”
Posted on Fri, February 7, 2014