The Peoples Bank Joins Pass Recovery

The anxious crowd wore winter coats and gloves to the wind-chilled celebration. Even the bank president came protected from the elements, with a warm wool cap.

But news of the bank's building plans gave the mayor a warm feeling.

"We appreciate the fact that you're coming back to our town. Yesterday,we laid a piece of the puzzle with the Boys and Girls Club. Today we have another piece of the puzzle. A cornerstone of rebuilding the new Pass Christian," said a smiling Mayor Chipper McDermott.

The bank will build in the shadow of a stately live oak. Plans for the new branch bank feature charette-inspired touches: pedestrian friendly and designed to blend with the downtown neighborhood.

"We want it to be a friendly place. Again, the charette idea. Pedestrian friendly. And we hope it is. The only problem is having to build up to meet the necessary height requirements. But we think we've got that accomplished," said bank president Chevis Swetman.

Pre-Katrina, The Peoples Bank of Pass Christian was located about a mile west of downtown here at Henderson Avenue and Second Street. The branch facility was destroyed twice by hurricanes: First Camille in '69 and then Katrina.

The decision to build downtown further energizes an area that's quickly becoming known for the character and resilience that reflect Pass Christian.

"I'm even more proud, because I live here. I'm a citizen of Pass Christian. And I know what this means to the community," said bank employee Lori Woods.

It means expressing confidence in a community. A local bank knocked down twice before, will rise again.