Black History Month wrapped up yesterday (Wed). And a celebration in Pembroke Township recognized a few of its own citizens. The Daily-Journal reported, four of Pembroke’s most-respected senior citizens were honored at a two-hour community celebration Saturday.
Mrs. Lucille Hayes, 96, a retired Pembroke school teacher; 99-year-old Clote Murray,; 87-year-old Louis Barnes, pastor of St. Anne Woods Chapel; and 90-year-old John Ray Bender.
Julia Brewer, a member of the CARES organization, organized the event. CARES is an acronym for Children, Arts, Recreational, Enrichment and Social Services. Brewer has been a community resident since 1955.
"It was a good place to raise our children,'' Brewer said. "The Lord meant for me to be here. I feel this is my assignment to give of my time and talents."
The first ever remembering "Pembroke's Very Own" was held on Saturday at Lorenzo R. Smith School.
The two-hour communitywide celebration included singing performances by The Pembroke Community Choir, Pembroke school dancers, a poetry by Roniya Gibbs, Pembroke History and the Kuumba Soul Band, among others.
Darcel Brady gave the closing remarks. She is a member of the faculty at Olivet Nazarene University, who has earned a PhD from University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a master's degree from Governors State University and a bachelor's degree at Elmhurst College.
She said she was proud to share her humble upbringing and early training in Pembroke.
"Growing up there were three components: God, family and community. My parents were not wealthy yet, we were rich with love and God. All children need love, nurturing and rules," she said. "The Pembroke community in which I grew up encouraged one another from spelling bees to sporting events."