By Vergie Barnard and Essie Deloach
A century or more has passed
Since a wise man had a vision
Of a town along a new railroad.
His name was Pembroke Williams.
An honorable man Judge Williams was
So when time finally came
To name the town they honored him –
“Pembroke” became its name.
Then the year 1905
Leaders devised a plan
To incorporate their settlement
Through which the railroad ran.
Town folk met at Burgess’ store
It being their intent
To install trusted officials
Their city to represent.
Harvesting timber, turpentine,
With a way to ship them too,
Required new homes for workers
So the city steadily grew
Pembroke with dedication and grace
Has earned a prestige of its own
And loyal residents share a part
Of progress it has known.
Neighbors wave and cordially call
To anyone of listening ear
And most will find best of all –
Contentment has dominion here.
Surely its namesake would be proud
To see what it’s become
Our thanks to him for his foresight
And what we now call home.
It's not often one sees a city adopt a poem as its own these days.
The city of Pembroke did just that Monday, when city council members recognized several writers and Mayor Mary Warnell took some advice from sixth graders.
As part of the Georgia Municipal Association's statewide "If I were Mayor" essay contest, Bryan County Middle School sixth graders Emma Lane, Arielle Moody and Jacob Bell were recognized as the top three writers in the contest.
Moody took home second place while Bell finished third. Lane placed first, although she couldn't attend the council meeting.
Warnell said she was impressed by the essays, and took seriously the young writers' suggestions for more park and recreation areas in the city, adding more jobs for city residents and more.
Also, residents and sisters Vergie Barnard and Essie Deloach were recognized for their poem entitled "Pride in Pembroke," which is now the city's official poem.
Barnard, who has had several poems published in the past, said this was the first time she had written poetry since her daughter passed away. She said she wanted to do something special for the city.
"It was something I wanted to do for my city because I love Pembroke and I have a special feeling for Pembroke," Barnard said. "I have left and have lived in other areas, but I have always come back because I love it."
Read full story in Wednesday's Bryan County News.