Meet Elizabeth Harn, longtime Pembroke resident and retired Bryan County teacher.
How long have you lived in Bryan County?
Since 1942. I grew up in Macon, but I moved to Pembroke when I married.
What was life was like in Pembroke back in the forties?
It was a pretty active city about that time. We had two pharmacies, several grocery stores, and two or three dry goods and ready-to-wear stores. Gradually, it has tapered off some.
At that time, most people walked everywhere we went. There was no three cars in the driveway like you see today.
Was it a friendly community?
Very. This has always been a close-knit community, and that holds true even today. The families have changed, but I think there’s still a closeness among the people that live here.
I know you spent quite a while in the Bryan County school system. When did that get started?
I was always a classroom teacher. When I came to Pembroke, I mostly taught the seventh grade. I the earlier days, we had what you call self-contained classrooms. In other words, you had the same children all day long and taught them all subjects. That included music and exercise. Some called it ‘teaching the total child.’ I taught for 37 years.
I bet you see a lot of former students around town.
Oh, I do. It’s really a privilege that not many teachers have – staying in the community and watching your students grow up and become the citizens they are. We have some fine people here in Pembroke.
Recently, the community center was named after your late husband. How do you feel about that?
We surely appreciate it. He loved Bryan County and served as a county commissioner for 16 years. He always felt like if there was anything good going around, he wanted some of it for Bryan County. He was able many times to get things because he was determined to pursue them. I think he was gratified when they named the center for him.
How many children do you have?
I have one son, Jim, who is living and Pembroke. He is retired from the Georgia Department of Labor.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to read, and I like to delve into local history. I’ve been the president of the Bryan-Evans Retired Teachers. I’ve also been the president of the Pembroke United Methodist Women as well as serving on the administrative board for the church. I’ve served as chairman for centennial celebrations for both the City of Pembroke and the Pembroke United Methodist Church.