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de Aviles Award artwork

On Monday, February 25, the St. Augustine City Commission will honor Charles A. Tingley, Senior Research Librarian for the St. Augustine Historical Society, with one of the city's highest awards, the de Avilés Award.

The presentation will be held at 4:00pm in The Alcazar Room, City Hall, 75 King Street., just prior the City Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting which begins at 5:00pm, and may be seen live on GTV/Comcast Channel 3 and at www.CityStAugTV.com where it is also available for on-demand viewing the following day.

image of Charles Tingley, recipient of 2019 deAviles AwardTingley, who began his association with the St. Augustine Historical Society in 1978, has worked as a librarian there since 1994 and as Senior Librarian since September 2008.

Tingley has employed his skills in historical research to assist in the development of exhibits for the Daytona Museum of Arts & Sciences, the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, and the Colonial Quarter Museum. He has been an instructor with the Florida Humanities Council, and since 1998 with Eckerd College’s Elderhostel/Road Scholar program. Since 1999 he has been the library manager for the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

Above and beyond his time spent on behalf of the St. Augustine Historical Society, Tingley has been and continues to be active in leadership roles for a wide variety of organizations. Currently he serves as the president of Friends of the Huguenot Cemetery, Inc. He was the founding president of the Friends of St. Augustine Architecture and was vice president of Save Our Bridge.

On four occasions he served as the president of the St. Augustine Archaeological Association, and is a past president of the St. Augustine Men’s Garden Club and the General Society of the War of 1812 in Florida. He has been a member of the state board of trustees of the Florida Anthropology Society, the Sons of the American Revolution, and is a past state officer of the Military Order of Loyal Legion of the U.S.

Tingley’s public service includes being a member of the City of St. Augustine’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, the St. Augustine Historic Architectural Review Board, the Plaza Restoration Advisory Committee, the Presidio de San Agustin Commission, and as chair of the St. Augustine /St. Johns County Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution Commission.

Frequently called upon by publishers to review school texts for historical accuracy Tingley has taken part in documentaries produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation, French National Television, Public Broadcasting System, the Golf Channel, and regional television productions.

In 2013, several of his architectural photographs were published by the University of Florida Press in “Heart and Soul: Sacred Sites and Historic Architecture,” and his Florida Historical Quarterly article, “Another Invisible Man: Alexander H. Darnes, MD” earned the Arthur C. Thompson Award for that publication’s best article of 2016.

For his “outstanding volunteer work in the St. Augustine Community,” Tingley was honored in 1993, along with three others, by the St. Augustine Historical Society with an Award of Excellence. The other recipients were Dr. William Adams, Dr. Michael Gannon, and Dr. Daniel Schafer, all outstanding Florida historians.

Tingley is credited with proposing that the rebuilt San Sebastian River Bridge on U. S. 1 in St. Augustine be designated by the Florida Legislature in 2013 as the Ponce de Leon Bridge to commemorate the 500th anniversary of his visit. During the Columbian Quicentennary in 1992 he suggested that the city affirm its ties to Spain by reinstating the use of the coat of arms proposed for the city in 1715.

A native of Clearwater, Florida, Tingley pursued his higher education at Hillsborough Community College, the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. Upon receiving notification of the award, he was quick to recognize the work of the librarians who preceded him including Abbie Brooks, Emily Wilson, Jackie Fretwell and Taryn Rodriguez-Boette.

de Avilés Award

de Aviles Award artworkThe de Avilés Award was initiated by the commission in 1988 and, since 2002, its presentation has been limited to one per year. Since its inception the award has been presented 33 times to recipients who have been “...identified in the field of public service or those well-known and respected by the citizenry who have dedicated and honorable service to the community of St. Augustine and St. Johns County.”

A nomination for the de Avilés Award originates with a member of the city commission that is presented to the city manager who then puts it before the entire commission for confirmation. Tingley was nominated by Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline.

“This is a unique opportunity to recognize a well-deserved, behind the scenes, devoted resident for his 40-year collaboration with our local historical society and citizenry,” wrote City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline in her nomination letter describing Tingley as one “who has dedicated his life to finding and sharing our authentic selves with thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people across the world.”

“He began as an energized volunteer with an acute memory for history, architecture, places, events, and of course people. He mastered the holdings of the library and its archival collections, providing unparalleled research services to scholars, visitors, and residents. For decades, Charles has ensured the accuracy and authenticity of our beloved city's history, no matter the era or arcane subject,” wrote Sikes-Kline, adding “Charles A. Tingley is a deserving recipient of the 2019 De Aviles Award.”

For more information about the presentation, contact the City of St. Augustine’s Public Affairs office at 904.825.1004 or at info@citystaug.com. For a list of all recipients of the de Avilés Award see the story at www.CityStAug.com.