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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Masonic Grand Lodge Temple to be proposed; Pocalla teacher wins S.C. award

Posted 8/1/20

75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Feb. 22 - 28

- Tickets are on sale in front of Lawson's Drug Store for the Teen Canteen George Washington birthday dance to be held at the recreation building. Cash prizes will be given to the boy and girl wearing the most …

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Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Masonic Grand Lodge Temple to be proposed; Pocalla teacher wins S.C. award


75 YEARS AGO - 1945

Feb. 22 - 28

- Tickets are on sale in front of Lawson's Drug Store for the Teen Canteen George Washington birthday dance to be held at the recreation building. Cash prizes will be given to the boy and girl wearing the most original costumes. J. W. Phillips' band will play for the occasion.

- Nu-Idea Furniture Co. of Sumter is perhaps the first furniture plant in this section to install an RCA industrial sound system. The sound system has a two-fold purpose. First, it is used for the benefit of the plant's employees, in that recordings are played throughout the day. This idea worked well in war plants, and officials found that it paid dividends by increasing productivity. Secondly, the system can be used for paging individual employees and sending out messages.

- About 200 pupils of the first grades of city schools marched down Main Street, each carrying a small American flag, led by some of the teachers, a drumerette and bearer of a large flag of the United States. The George Washington 214th birthday parade ended with a gathering of all the students on the county courthouse steps, where they were led in singing some patriotic songs by Miss Laura Martin.

- The Sumter High School Gamecocks snowed under the Orangeburg High School team by the score of 37 to 11. Jack Chandler led the Gamecocks with 10 points for high scoring, and Bill Baldwin and Bob McLeod got six points each.

- The nation's victory gardeners were called on to duplicate their yeoman wartime service and help relieve the postwar global food shortages. The appeal came from President Truman, who said urgent needs abroad "for food from this country emphasize the importance of continued effort to add to our total food supply."

- A group of 30 enthusiastic members of the industrial committee of the Red Cross Fund campaign will begin organizational activity in preparation for an intensive drive. J. Clark Hughes will head the industrial committee, and the work of the group will be largely completed by the time the campaign opens in Sumter County.

- The Sumter High School Gamecocks, after annexing two games this week from Dreher and Orangeburg, will play the Darlington High School team at Edmunds High gymnasium. During the season, Sumter has defeated all of the following high school teams twice: Dreher, Columbia, Camden, Florence and Orangeburg. The locals also downed Manning in the only game played against that team.

- Ten teams have entered the fourth-annual South Carolina Class AA and Class A high school basketball tournament to be held here this week. In the drawings held today, Greenville, defending champions, will start the ball rolling by going up against North Charleston's five. Bishop England of Charleston and Dreher of Columbia will meet in what should prove to be an evenly matched affair. Sumter will play Spartanburg's Red Birds, a team which at the moment is red hot, having bowled over Greenville, Parker High of Greenville and Anderson.

- An invitation to locate a proposed Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in Sumter will be extended at the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons of South Carolina which will meet in Columbia. The present building which has housed the Grand Lodge Temple for the past 200 years in Charleston has recently been sold, and it is now proposed to erect another Grand Lodge Temple somewhere in the state.

- In Men's Volleyball League games, Lady Luck was absent from the scene. Werber Bryan's team forfeited to Gibson's team in the first games, and in the second round, between teams of Capt. Jess James and Capt. Billy Graham, after each team had won one game, Graham had the misfortune to turn his ankle, and the third game had to be called off.

- Sen. J. Frank Eatmon of Williamsburg, 37-year-old Kingstree attorney, was elected judge of the Third Judicial Circuit by the General Assembly. He was elected on the second ballot over three opponents, receiving 88 votes to 26 each for Rep. Charles L. Cuttino of Sumter and Henry C. Jennings of Bishopville and 18 for Sen. John G. Dinkins of Clarendon.

- Maxwell Bros. and Blackwell, furniture dealers who have been located on West Liberty Street, have moved into their spacious new home at 106 N. Main St. and are extending invitations to the public to look over their new building.

- No red tape will be encountered by bidders on surplus Army property which will be for sale at Shaw Field during the week of March 4, according to an announcement by the public relations office at Shaw Field. A simple written bid will be accepted by the officers in charge of the sale, and this will be all the paperwork necessary. Veterans who have their discharge papers will be given preference when the difference in bids is relatively small.

50 YEARS AGO - 1970

Oct. 26 - 31

- Public schools of Sumter will be open to visitors during American Education Week, according to Dr. L. C. McArthur Jr., superintendent. "We would like especially to invite parents in to see the schools and to learn of the many ways our dedicated teachers are helping the youngsters in their care," Dr. McArthur said.

- Members of Wedgefield Baptist Church have honored Mrs. E. Whilden Nettles Sr. on her retirement as superintendent of the Sunday School for the past 25 years with a dinner at the Community House. The Rev. Paul Kok, pastor of the church, presided at the event and introduced many of Mrs. Nettles' friends, who paid tribute to her long and faithful service to the church.

- The Citizens' Advisory Committee heard reports from the Boards of Visitors of the Sumter schools last night and were told that most things are going smoothly. "What we are trying to do is to educate ourselves," the Rev. George Maxwell, committee chairman, told the visitors. "We want to know what you have been doing and what the problems are."

- Mrs. Yelton, chairman of the program committee for the YWCA, today announced the new fall schedule of classes and interest programs. One of the newest interest programs this fall is Woman's World. The meetings will be filled with interesting and informative programs such as Christmas crafts, candle making, rug hooking, flower arranging, fashions and other programs.

- The entire student body and faculty of the Edmunds Campus of Sumter High School met in an attempt to iron out differences stemming from disorders that erupted at the school. Black and white students were originally scheduled to meet separately, but at the suggestion of students, school officials agreed to a joint meeting of both races. "We're real pleased with the way things are going," according to Edmunds principal Bob Matthews. "We got good help from the Black student leaders yesterday. The students just won't understand one another until they get to know each other."

- Henry Allen of Manning has received three honorable mentions this season, but for his performance in the Monarchs' 60-0 victory over Scott's Branch, he becomes this week's Item Player of the Week. Although Manning's opposition was weak, Allen maintained the pace he's set this season, scoring touchdowns on runs of 3, 28 and 42 yards.

- Lt. Col. John S. W. Parham, a native of Sumter, was recently awarded the Master Army Aviator Badge at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The badge was presented to Col. Parham by Lt. Gen. John J. Tolson, commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and of Fort Bragg. Col. Parham is deputy commanding officer of Simmons Army Aviation Command.

- The 100-piece marching band of Sumter High School, under the direction of Robert Simmons and Robert Sanders, will compete in the South Carolina Marching Band Contest at Lower Richland High School. Preparations for this event began with the week of Band Camp at Wofford College in August.

- An 11-day Tactical Air Command operation exercising the Air Force's "bare base" concept has been scheduled for North Field, an idle airstrip located about 50 miles southwest of Sumter. The exercise, nicknamed "Heavy Bare," will be conducted by Ninth Air Force units and supervised by the numbered air force headquarters at Shaw Air Force Base.

- Shaw's "Top Three" program is still coming on with men in the top three enlisted grades in the driver's seat. The program is one of retention, and the spearheads are those who literally are "the top three." Master sergeants, seniors and chief master sergeants, the men who know the ins and outs of the enlisted Air Force best, are talking to younger members and, judging from the returns, they are listening.

25 YEARS AGO - 1995

July 26 - Aug. 1

- Sumter County Council announced plans to build community centers in Ebenezer and Hillcrest and to open a public park in Rimini. Land for both community centers will be leased from Sumter School District 2, and construction will be paid for by grants from the state Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, according to council Chairman Chuck Fienning.

- Stacey Reaves, a Pocalla Springs Primary School first-grade teacher, has won the state Sallie Mae competition, which recognizes outstanding first-year teachers. One first-year teacher was chosen from each state by an American Association of School Administrators panel at the request of Sallie Mae, a higher-education lender based in Washington, D.C.

- Here she comes ... Mrs. South Carolina. Yes, they have married ones, too. Melissa Till Elms, formerly of Sumter, was named Mrs. South Carolina 1996 in Wilmington. Elms, 25, will represent the state in the nationally broadcast Mrs. America scheduled for September in Palm Springs, California. The new Mrs. America will compete in the Mrs. World Pageant later this year.

- Manning-Santee learned in the opening game of the American Legion baseball state playoffs semifinal series against Florence what it is to groom a baseball team to a particular field. Florence smashed five home runs in the friendly - and small - confines of the South Florence High School baseball field to beat Post 68 11-1 in a game called after eight innings because of the 10-run rule.

- Kids - don't despair. The playground at Swan Lake-Iris Gardens is closed, but only temporarily. The wooden and plastic wonderland will be closed for about a week. Gardens Director Mark Towery said crews are removing the playground's sand and replacing it with a wood-based, mat-like covering. The covering is designed to make the play area more accessible to wheelchairs, which tended to get stuck in the sand, he said, and the new material will also provide a softer surface for children to play on.

- The commanding officer at Shaw Air Force Base has been kicked up north. Brig. Gen. James Latham, commander of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw, will be reassigned to Washington, D.C., in early September. After serving a little less than a year as Shaw's base commander, Latham will accept a post at the Pentagon.

- Florence's American Legion baseball team advanced to the state finals, and they have Paxton Warren to thank for it. Warren, who was hitless in his first three at-bats, drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead Florence to a 3-2 victory over Manning-Santee. Florence, which swept Post 68 3-0 and improved to 27-3, will play the winner of the Irmo-Mauldin series.

- Sumter's Yuasa-Exide plant has filed another appeal with national labor officials - the company's final administrative route in the fight to overturn the plant's successful union vote. But if a five-member National Relations Board upholds the plant's pro-union vote, plant Manager Don Henry says his company won't fold until it's forced to concede to the union. Yuasa, he said, will appeal in federal court.

- Dalzell has changed a lot since the 1940s, but rhythm and blues legend Bill Pinkney still calls the town home. In an effort to show the rest of the world that Pinkney is one of Sumter County's own, a newly formed committee is finalizing plans to erect a monument on the spot where his boyhood home once stood.

- What used to be a reminder of Mayesville's past is now a symbol of its promising future. Rhodes Service Station, known to the locals as "The Station," is now housed in a brand-new building. The store is located on U.S. 76 at the corner of Mayes Open Road, about 12 miles northeast of the Sumter city limits. The store moved from a small building with creaking wooden floors and an old pot-bellied stove. Now the store is more cutting edge than rural - synonymous with the northeastern Sumter County town's recent efforts to develop commercially.

- Some might say it's the hottest time of the day. The temperature is 95 degrees with a heat index approaching 120. Mary Winstead, a 35-year-old Sumter resident, sits on a brick bench at the Sumter Family YMCA awaiting the start of a long, three-mile race. Winstead, with about 24 other runners, competes in the YMCA's 5K Summer Series.

- The Sumter Youth Corps, an employment and guidance program for at-risk teenagers, netted the city of Sumter an award from the South Carolina Municipal Association. The city received an achievement award for public service for the year-old program, which put 14- to 18-year-olds to work on neighborhood beautification programs. The teens also got career advice, heard guest speakers and went on field trips during the sessions.

- The Sumter Police Department today reached a goal it had been working toward for the past six years. The department became one of the few law enforcement agencies in South Carolina to be accredited by the national Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The news that the department had voluntarily and successfully completed the steps necessary to be accredited came during a CALEA meeting held in Buffalo, New York. Sumter officials announced the news in Sumter during a press conference held in front of the Sumter City-County Law Enforcement Center.

- Members of the 20th Support Group took a break from their regular duties to get physical. Col. Steven Savage, 20th Support Group commander, hosted the sports day for the five squadrons. There were more than 250 participants, both military and civilian, in eight different events.