From left: Principal of the West Terrace Primary School Beverley Burrowes shares a light moment with retirees Marva Proverbs, Maxine Aswat, Antoinette Harewood and (sitting) Colbert Belgrave. The teachers were honoured for a combined 115 years of service to the teaching profession during a reception in their honour on Sunday afternoon.

West Terrace Primary thanks unsung heroes

THE students and staff of the West Terrace Primary school expressed their gratitude to four retiring members of staff – three of whom have collectively given 115 years to the teaching profession in Barbados.

Teachers Maxine Aswat – 48 years, Antoinette Harewood – 42 years, Colbert Belgrave 25 years and School Meals server Marva Proverbs 30 years, were the guests of honour at a luncheon held on Sunday, where they were thanked for their contribution with tokens of appreciation and entertained by students.

Principal Beverly Burrowes told the specially invited guests that the honourees are well deserving of the accolades bestowed, adding that the tokens of appreciation were meagre
in comparison to the service rendered over the years.

“The teacher gets his or her satisfaction from the positive growth and development of the students. In the case of Mrs Aswat and Miss Harewood, they would’ve been Infants teachers. They would’ve taught the students to read and write and lay the basics in education,” she said. She also revealed that they would have also mentored and assisted in the development of the younger teachers.

“We are dealing with young minds; at times each worker has to fulfil each other’s role. When teacher are late or absent, other workers in the school must assist, especially with the early birds. So we give no less accolades to Mrs Proverbs who has served in the School Meals area for approximately 30 years.” Principal Burrowes encouraged the retirees to enjoy their new life by doing all the things they always wanted to do.

Member of Parliament for St. James South Donville Inniss, at whose residence the luncheon was held, said that he was honoured to assist in any way in the celebration of the retirees, whom he described as the unsung heroes of Barbadian society.

He noted that they would have left an indelible mark on the hundreds of students that passed through their hands over the years.

Noting that West Terrace Primary School is the only primary school in the constituency which he represents, he said that the teachers and staff are very dedicated at the well-managed institution.

“We don’t say thank you enough for all that you have done. We don’t appreciate the fact that you are shaping these young minds and making them the men and women that they eventually become, and I don’t think people oftentimes appreciate what happens at the primary school level and the foundation you have set.

“Whether general worker, School Meals worker, teacher … Barbados is much richer for your contribution to your profession over the years,” he said.

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