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In praise of two Grenadian teachers.

In praise of two Grenadian teachers.

There are individuals who because of the exceptionally good service they render coupled with their unselfishness and dedication, linger in the human mind. They are permanently lodged in our consciousness because of the inspiring seeds they sowed and the knowledge they were able to impart. When time elapses and impressive seeds blossom, it is appropriate to publicly shower thankfulness and praise on such individuals. Today I choose to highlight the positive influence two teachers had on my life and the lives of other students. I refer to Dr. Kenny Lewis and Dr. Dunstan Campbell. They taught me at the St. John’s Christian Secondary School located at Brothers, St. John’s Grenada.

The two young intellectuals came from the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School to teach at SJCSS which I hope will one day be rechristened Schaper School after the founder. I sat in their classes and from the moment I did so, I knew how fortunate I was. I knew that I was staring into the eyes of brilliance. I was paying attention to their eloquence when they lectured but I was also observing the distinguishing attributes they were blessed with. I refer to their dedication and patience.

It is not difficult to separate the teachers who teach for a paycheck from the ones who care about the welfare of students and nudge them on to excellence. I noted the way Dr. Lewis exerted time and energy when he established a chemistry lab at the school. Young chemistry enthusiasts like Michael Hunte and Joe McBain were happy when the lab was completed. I was impressed when I noted the attention that was given to students whose heads did not readily grasp mathematical and scientific concepts. Dr. Lewis was there to give them added attention. He was there to go the extra mile.

I took mental notes when the athletic icon Dr. Campbell spared no effort to establish an agricultural Science Department at the school. It was a new academic discipline and a first in Grenada. The rewards were almost immediate as students including Error Alexis sat and passed the subject at the General Certificate of Education O’Level.

I looked forward to his geography class and the extraordinary handle he had on the subject. When Dr. Campbell taught geography, the knowledge nestled in my head. It found a home there. The terms like “a feeble solemn twilight” that he used to describe areas of the Amazon rain forest, I still remember. I recall those words just the way I remember those that emanated from the pen of the poet William Longfellow. I was impressed with the way Dr. Campbell articulately explained the intricacies of geography to students who were catching their nen nen to unravel the terminologies on their own. They needed help and he joyfully provided it. I admired the motivational drive of the two young gifted teachers who were bestowing knowledge to students close to their age.

Time moved on and there is a gulf between the period I sat on the benches at the school and where I am presently. In the interim, I met teachers at the college I attended in the U.S.A. and many of them were scholarly. However, my mind is a wheel that steers me back to St. John’s Christian Secondary School and the yeoman service Dr. Kenny Lewis and Dr. Dunstan Campbell did for education in Grenada.

I pause also to recognize the dedicated service rendered by Brother George Wilson, Brother William Samuel, Brother Fedon Salfarlie, Sister Joan Fereira, Sister Sheila Smith, Brother Hudson Mcphail, Sister Elizabeth Griffith, Brother Liam Paryog, past Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean and all the wonderful teachers who did so much to guide us along the journey called life. As I travel further on my writing track, they too will have their stories told.
Anthony Wendell DeRiggs, remembering our people.