RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - After 10 years of opening Virginia House of Delegates sessions by presenting the state's gold ceremonial mace, Norman "Bud" Roderick is retiring as the House's sergeant-at-arms.
Roderick's final day as the gatekeeper for the oldest continuously meeting English-speaking legislative body in the Western Hemisphere was Wednesday's marathon session that finally adjourned at 12:45 a.m. Thursday.
His departure went unannounced by the House on a day when eight delegates and one senator with combined experience totaling 177 years bade their final farewells on the House and Senate floors.
Each day, the sergeant-at-arms dons white cotton gloves, carries the mace into the well of the cavernous chamber and announces, "The House of Delegates is now in session."
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