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Pembroke salutes its oldest businesses
Pembroke Business Awards
Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook and DDA Chair Tiffany Walraven present a Platinum Level certificate to First Bank of Coastal Georgia vice president Vera McCoy for 100-plus years of service. (Al Hackle)

Pembroke has more businesses that have survived for a quarter century or longer than the town’s officials realized when they set out to honor them all.

During an event Thursday morning at Pembroke City Hall, the Downtown Development Authority, Better Hometown Program and city government saluted 19 businesses that fit this category. The list grew to 20 during the ceremony.

“The more we got to looking, the list kept growing. So we were quite surprised to find that we have 19 businesses in the city of Pembroke that are 25 years or older,” said Councilwoman Tiffany Walraven, who chairs the Downtown Development Authority and Better Hometown board.

She and Mayor Judy Cook presented the certificates. Then DDA/Better Hometown Executive Director Marilyn Page sliced a cake decorated for the occasion. It was Pembroke’s second presentation held as part of Georgia Cities Week. Officials bestowed the first honors on the town’s oldest resident, Roxie Williams, 101, the previous Sunday.

For the businesses, the service awards come in platinum, gold, silver and bronze ranks. Pembroke has only one “platinum level” business, more than a century old, First Bank of Coastal Georgia. Although earlier named Pembroke State Bank, it has operated continuously since 1907.

No “gold level” businesses, established less than 100 but more than 75 years ago, had been identified.

These businesses received “silver” certificates for having served customers in Pembroke for 50 years or more: Pembroke Hardware, 70 years; Pembroke Telephone, 65 years; and Cowart’s Cafe, 61 years.

Those receiving “bronze” awards for at least 25 years of service included Owens Supply Co., 48 years; Bedingfield Pharmacy, 43 years; Raulerson’s Wrecker Service, more than 40 years; Ernie’s Enterprises, more than 40; Electronic Services, 40 years; Burnsed’s Body Shop, more than 35 years; Bryan County Farm Bureau, more than 35; Pembroke Pharmacy, 33 years; State Farm Insurance, more than 30 years; Dairy Queen, also more than 30; Lewis Auto Repair, 30 years; Gator Enterprises, 26 years; Express Packaging, 25 years; J & M Video, 25 years; and Busy B Enterprises, 25 years or more.

Flanders-Morrison Funeral Home, reportedly in business since 1946, was to be added after people present Saturday brought this to her attention, Walraven said.

For more, pick up a copy of the April 23 edition of the News.

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