WILLIAMSON – Approximately 250 Liberty Grade and High School alumni gathered together recently in Williamson to pay homage to their beloved old school.
“We called it Back to the Holla (Hollow) – The Liberty Celebration,” said Co-chair and spokesperson Nadine Warren.
The celebration began on Friday, July 29th and continued throughout the day and evening of Saturday, July 30th.
“We had a Social upstairs at the old Liberty Grade School and a Block Party on lower Vinson Street Friday night,” said Warren. “On Saturday morning, we had a parade in downtown Williamson, where longtime educator June Glover was the Grand Marshall. We also had a Fish Fry Cookout Saturday afternoon at the Hardy Park and later that evening a formal dinner and ball at the Mountaineer Hotel.”
Afterwards, they enjoyed another block party on Vinson Street. All of the events were free except the dinner and ball. They also had activities going on at the old Liberty Grade School upstairs for the younger participants called “The New Generation,” since the youth could not attend the dinner and ball.
Warren and Co-chair Jerry Williams sent out forms listing all of the activities and also a list of hotels in the area that set aside blocks of rooms at a lower price for those participating in the Liberty celebration.
It has been fifty years since the closing of Liberty High School (1966 – 2016) and Warren and Williams wanted to acknowledge and pay tribute to the momentous occasion.
“Many, many years ago, even as early as 1923, if not before, many school men gave serious thought to quality education for all the people,” Warren said. “It was out of this concept in 1923 that Dubois High School, Williamson, W.Va. was born.”
In 1927, J.C. Sawyer became the principal. It was during the school year of 1927-28 that the name of the school was changed from DuBois to Liberty High School. The name of the school was changed because of conflicts with Dubois High School of Mt. Hope, W.Va.
“Throughout the life of the school the basic concepts were the worth of the individual, each individual is unique; learning takes place where there is a reconstruction of experiences that can be used in future experiences; each individual develops and reacts as a whole, and should develop to his/her highest possible potential that he/she can make his/her greatest contributions to our democratic social order,” stated Warren. “These guiding ideas created ‘The Old Liberty Spirit’ that has lasted from year to year in the hearts of those who love ‘Liberty’ dearly.”
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)