On the first Saturday of each year, a large group of Midway High School (MHS) alumni meet at Midway Elementary School (MES) as members of Midway Reunion. Just a few days after its 2014 meeting a year ago, Midway Reunion Co-Chair Barbara Stevens and MES Principal Dell Brabham found more than 15 MHS athletic trophies, with at least one dating back to 1947. (Full disclosure: Stevens is the production director for the Chronicle-Independent and other Camden Media Co. publications.)
Reunion members decided to “do something about showing them off,” as Reunion Co-Chair Gene Gordon put it during the group’s annual meeting Nov. 7. Members decided to purchase a trophy case, raising more than $3,200 during 2015.
“Your contributions tell me how much this means to you,” Gordon told those gathered in MES’ cafeteria.
He then invited everyone down the hall back near MES’ main office for the unveiling of the trophy case. Most of the group spent a few minutes looking at it and the trophies inside before returning to the cafeteria for the rest of the program and a pork chop dinner catered by The Hard Times Café of Cassatt.
Gordon said former MHS teacher, coach and Principal Bobby Jones and his wife, Mary, a former Kershaw County School District superintendent, arranged to have the trophies repaired or refurbished.
“A lot of them were broken and dirty,” Gordon said.
The Joneses, Gordon and Brabham, along with Stevens and her uncle, Kershaw County Historical Society founding member Harvey S. Teal formed the trophy case committee. Mary Jones said there are more trophies to be found and displayed.
“We can talk about things or just get them done,” she said, and introduced Aubrey Horton and Buck Hall as co-chairs of a new trophy committee, and handed out a form for Reunion members to fill out about other trophies. “We’re trying to make this as easy as we can. And if you have old pictures or other things at home which can help, we’d like to know about those, too.”
Mary Jones then mentioned it cost more to replace a trophy than to refurbish one and had two other members assist her in passing out plates to begin raising money for the trophies.
“It’s like a good Baptist convention here,” she joked.
In addition to unveiling the trophy case, Gordon recognized Hall and Horton for their participation on MHS’ 1957 boys basketball team. Hall brought his original MHS jersey which he said now fits his wife better than it fits him.
Gordon said another project involves Brabham providing space for a wall mount featuring the history of the school. The school district demolished the original 1923 school building following the Class of 1965’s graduation to make way for what is now MES. The original gymnasium stood for 40 years before, it, too was demolished.
Teal pointed out the MHS experience was more than just sports.
“Many graduates went out into life and competed with others from bigger schools,” Teal said, pointing out he was second in his class -- out of three graduates. “We got a good education here; we just want to show it off.”
Teal said there will be 22 feet of wall space following Midway’s history from 1923 to 1965.
“It will be a good thing for students to look at, for them to get an appreciation for the community and what happened here through the years,” he said.
Gordon also pointed out Reunion member Betty Holland brought copies of annuals for alumni to look over; recognized former Midway teachers, elementary and high; and recognized those members who had passed since the 2014 meeting.
The 2015 meeting closed with members singing their Alma Mater: Here’s to dear Old Midway High School/Here’s to your memory;/All the friends we’ve made here/We’ll cherish tenderly./Many happy hours we’ve spent here,/Full of work and play;/Even in the future/We’ll love and honor dear Midway.