Big-city banking with a small-town touch is the goal for Heritage Bank, declared Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Darryl Fisher when he spoke with a roomful of community members Wednesday, May 10, at 5:30 p.m.

Byng residents who were already customers of the Byng bank received an invitation by mail to attend the informal discussion.  Purpose was to acquaint the community with future plans for the bank and to give them an opportunity to offer feedback.

Fisher, who is majority stockholder (98 percent), asked for opinion on the bank’s new name, Heritage.  The group was unanimous in their approval. Fisher explained the change from Pontotoc County Bank became necessary when they added the Stratford bank which is not in Pototoc County. The group was unanimous in its approval of the name.

Even more services are now being offered or will be offered in the near future.   Within a few months, the bank will upgrade to all electronic bookkeeping.  Now offered are automated-telephone banking, debit cards, internet banking, creative-deposit programs, competitive loans for home and business, construction financing, as well as long-term real-estate loans.

“How many of you have a debit card?” Fisher queried.  I think the Milligans were the only ones who did not possess this convenience which the group viewed very favorably. Charles Barrick said he finds a debit card indispensable in his frequent travels.  Another man said he hasn’t written a check in a year. 

Fisher also asked opinion on having an ATM on the site.  Most were lukewarm to this.  It would be okay, but not important. One thing about which the group was negatively emphatic was becoming so automated “you don’t get a live person on the phone.’  Fisher pledged that would not happen at Heritage Bank.

Stressing his interest in Byng, the chairman announced Dr. Steve Crawford, superintendent of Byng School, recently accepted a position on the Board of Directors.  He introduced Chris Watkins, manager of the Byng bank, and a Byng High School alumnus.  “We recruited Chris because he is from the community and he has the interests of Byng people at heart,” Fisher said.

We were particularly interested in comments of Dr. Fisher for we have had a long-term indirect acquaintance with him.  My husband, George, and Darryl’s father, the late R.D. Fisher, were co-workers at the Ada Evening News for many years.  We had followed Darryl’s education and career progress since he was a teen-ager. When George needed heart by-pass surgery almost 20 years ago, Dr. Fisher was an outstanding cardiac surgeon and an excellent choice to perform  the quadruple by-pass.  George made excellent progress and felt that Dr. Fisher has undoubtedly saved his life.

Dr. Fisher retired as a surgeon and turned his attention to writing for a time.  He turned out a first-class novel. We had not heard that he was a majority stock holder in our Byng bank, but it was nice to hear from him again and to know that he still has an interest in this area of Oklahoma.

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We have been in the throes of house remodeling for the past month, and I am happy to report that except for painting the deck and the back porch, we are just about through. Doing the majority of the work was a general, first-class builder that, in this day of specialization, is a rare personage indeed. This builder is Floyd Nugent who lives in the Fittstown area, and he honestly can do anything in construction. We watched him do carpentry and install laminate flooring as well as ceramic tile. He is also a meticulous painter, and he has a reputation of being an excellent cabinet builder. 

My friend, Retha Robbins, had told me Floyd had remodeled the home of her son and daughter-in-law, and they were happy with the results. Then I learned that Floyd was a good friend of Keith Allred.  Since school days, Keith has been one of my favorite people, so any friend of Keith was a friend of mine.

We appreciated his conscientious attention to detail and excellence in craftsmanship. His laid-back good humor made him easy to work with. His father was a builder before him, and Floyd began at the age of 14 he began earning the trade with his dad.





Byng has a new business that  many women are glad to have located here.  It’s Byng Hair Shop  and its located next door to the home of Roger and Lois Stone.   The Stones have lived in the community for several years.  They built her shop first and the family lived in it while they were getting their brick home built.  She says the family of four was “a little crowded” but they survived  it.  They have been in their home four years now, but she had been working at a hair styling place in Ada and she didn’t launch into business for herself until this spring.    

          “I really like just walking across my yard to work.   Between customers I can go home and put a load of clothes in the washer or check on something I have cooking.   Too, I can schedule myself some time to do some fun things.  It’s ideal,” Lois declares.

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          Baptist Women at New Bethel Church have begun a First Place Bible Study with a new book, Healthy Boundaries.  They are beginning a 10-week program which stresses nutrition, exercise, Scripture memorization, and healthful weight reduction.   Following weigh-in each week, the group will participate in a discussion on living more abundantly.  Leaders are Tricia Harris, school nurse at Byng, and Debbie Painter.  Anyone in the area is invited to join the group.  There is no charge for the program, except for the textbook used in the study.

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