Winyah High School 1952 graduate Danny Brabham still runs and plays as he did in his quarterback days, only now he’s saving records, not making them.
Brabham gathered a number of graduates together to complete a collection of Winyah High School annuals for the Georgetown County Library. Nell Cribb, Wayne Taylor and Phil Wilkinson, who graduated respectively from WHS in 1947, 1957 and 1952, collaborated with others in calling up oldsters and youngsters to locate missing yearbooks.
“We were able to come up with seven out of 12 missing annuals,” Brabham said. “Our ultimate goal is to complete a digital library from 1939, which we think may be the first annual. If history isn’t recorded, it’s lost.”
The 1939 annual was provided by Bobby Isaac, class of 1954, who had his aunt Minera Theresa Kozma’s annual. After reading Isaac’s posting on Facebook regarding this endeavor, Glenna Thompson, class of 1968, donated a missing 1973 annual.
The annuals missing now are 1940, 1942, 1943 and 1945. Older graduates say no annual was published in 1945 due to the war. Others may not have been published during those years as well, though the library has a copy of the 1941 annual in the rare book section.
The yearbooks will be added to the online digital archive, a resource that is accessible worldwide. Anyone with a computer can go online and search through over 50,000 digital records relating to Georgetown County.
“The Georgetown County Library and its patrons are so grateful to this group for all their efforts in completing our collection of Winyah High School yearbooks,” said Julie Warren, GCL digital librarian. ”These are wonderful resources for everyone to enjoy and by placing them in our local history room, our patrons will have access to almost 50 years of Georgetown history. We’ll begin with our earliest yearbooks from the 1930s and work our way up through the decades.“
After the 1940s, all years are represented up to 1985, the last year the name “Winyah High School” existed. Later, Howard High School and Winyah merged to become Georgetown High School.
One of the star players in this endeavor was Louise “Weezie” Ford, class of 1944, who knew that her sister had a photograph of the class of 1943. Weezie shared the 1944 annual prototype put together by hand, carefully typed and with photos. Nell Cribb provided a finished copy of that annual.
In 1964, according to Molly Hamilton Mercer, class of 1965, the annual was nationally recognized. Mercer’s mother, Mabel Hamilton, a beloved English teacher for many years, was a sponsor of that yearbook.
Individuals who gave annuals to the library are Joe Isaac, six; Mary Brabham Morgan, five; Jimmy Causey, five; Amarylis Doar, five; Stephanie Farris, five: Mary Lucas, four; and Nell Cribb, four.
Dwight McInvaill, GCL director, also praised the WHS yearbook committee. “The Georgetown County Library’s assemblage of annuals is now more complete," he said. "The historical value of this collection is invaluable and will undoubtedly be beneficial for future genealogists, researchers and historians to peruse and enjoy. The library is grateful for the energy of the dedicated group that made this project a success. Gratitude is especially extended to Danny Brabham for initiating and coordinating this important undertaking. His commitment to this venture is much appreciated.”
Contact Julie Warren at 843-545-3316 with information for the digital library regarding Winyah yearbooks.