Remembering Haskins

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

C.B. Haskins

A longtime band director, former principal and gentle, upstanding influence on countless students and administration at Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS) and the county died Sept. 5.

Conway Bernard Haskins, better known as C.B. Haskins, is being remembered by residents of Lunenburg County as an extraordinary administrator, instructor, music teacher, community member and family man to Jackie, his wife and two children.

Haskins graduated from Charlotte County Public Schools and attended Virginia State University (VSU) and majored in music education in 1967, according to his obituary. While at VSU, Haskins was a leader in the legendary “Marching 100” marching band, the symphonic orchestra, and the university chorus.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Haskins went on to serve 36 years with LCPS: 10 years as Band Director, 20 years as an Assistant Principal, and six years as Principal of Central High School before his retirement in 2006.

Haskins dedication toward music and toward the Lunenburg community is evident, according to the obituary, through his work.

Haskins taught piano and instrumental lessons in the county, in addition to serving as Minister of Music for Friendship Baptist Church in Kenbridge, a position he held for nearly 40 years. He co-founded and served as Director of the highly-regarded Saint Level Baptist Church Combined Choir. His choirs regularly performed traditional African-American Gospel, Negro Spirituals, and Holiday Cantatas for church and community audiences across the various regions of Virginia and North Carolina, according to his obituary. Haskins was also on the committee when Lunenburg County decided to name the roads and was a long-time member of the Lunenburg Rotary Club where he was elected President and was selected as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Haskins and Jackie, his wife, were honored in May by the Music Department of VSU for their financial contributions supporting the Trojan Explosion Marching Band.

LCPS Superintendent Charles Berkley Jr., in a copy of his eulogy he gave at Haskins’ funeral, described Haskins as someone who was a force for positive change in the school division.

“When I heard the news of his passing, there were so many thoughts and memories that race through my head,” Berkley said. “Just like many of you, I thought about the last time I saw him. I immediately had memories of all the great things he had done for our school and community. I reminisced about his love of music and the pleasure he gave so many people with his talents. I also begin to remember what a difference he had made on the lives of all the students he had touched whether it was in the classroom, in the hallways of Central’s Corridors, or performing with the band on the field or on the stage. But this occurred to me that this man was one of the best educators to walk the halls of Central of Lunenburg and was an absolute timeless icon.” “As an Administrator, C.B. led his staff in such a way that he exemplified leadership,” Berkley said. “He gave energy, commitment, and inspiration to his staff and to others with whom he worked. He had a great sense of humor, a calm and gentle demeanor. He was bright, systematic, and logical in his thinking. He was always willing to share his ideas and information. He was passionate and caring in matters and would advise all of us to always be kind, compassionate, and humble.”

David Hite, a former student of Haskins and associate with the Lunenburg Rotary Club, said he appreciated knowing Haskins for more than 20 years.

“He went from being my principal to a fellow club member and it was a pleasure,” Hite said. “Mr. Haskins would say the blessing at a lot of our meetings and he would bring his wife Jackie with him most all the time. Both great people. He was a serious man and he also had a great since of humor.”

“CB Haskins was a helping, caring, faithful man, and I am glad that I got to know him,” Hite said.