BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A long-time public servant in Goose Creek was awarded South Carolina’s highest honor on Thursday.

Former Goose Creek City Councilman Kimo Esarey was presented the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Henry McMaster.

“I’m amazed and thankful,” said Esarey. “Goose Creek is such a wonderful place to live and raise a family; I raised all my kids here.”

In fact, his kids are the reason why he started out in public service more than 40 years ago in Goose Creek. From coaching little league in various sports to serving onboard involving recreation in the city.

He later served 20 years on the city council.

Among his proudest achievements, “I’m proud of working with the recreation department,” he said.

The facilities now in place with Esarey’s help over the years are impressive. “And getting the hospital here. That was another thing that I tried to support a lot of.”

Goose Creek Mayor Habib said Esarey’s work helped make Roper Berkeley Hospital a reality.

“It’s a very proud moment for us. We are very proud of Kimo and I’m fortunate to call him friend,” said Mayor Habib.

Esarey is most proud of his family. He uses the iPhone find your friends feature to see where his kids are from time to time. He clicked to see where his daughter, who lives in Hawaii, was this morning. That’s how he first learned that something special must be happening today.

“I was checking on them, I’ll check on them every now and then, and she was at my son’s house in Charleston and I thought something’s up.”

Governor Henry McMaster was in hand to present Esarey with The Order of the Palmetto, the highest award given in South Carolina for public service.

“But it will be right behind my office where everybody can see it. Besides my marriage license that’s the best piece of paper in the world right there.”