Statement
30 January 2019 - 9:50am

Statement by Honourable Myron V. Walwyn
On the passing of long term educators
Mr. Gordon Junior Dennis Callender and Mrs. Lucia Walters

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

I join with all educators and by extension the people of The Virgin Islands as we celebrate the life of two stalwart educators, Mr. Gordon Junior Dennis Callender and Mrs. Lucia Walters, both of whom were instrumental in shaping the lives of many young persons in this Territory and also building of the Education System.

As Minister for Education and Culture, educators have a special place in my heart, both past and present.  I consider all members of the education system to be one family, my family, and I have learnt to appreciate the efforts and sacrifices they often have to make while carrying out their duties. It is also great sorrow when we hear of their passing from this life and we will always remember their impact in molding the lives of the people of this Territory.  

Mr. Callender had the experience of teaching in the Virgin Islands since the 1980’s at multiple schools including the Joyce Samuel Primary School and the Althea Scatliffe Primary School. He later became the principal of the Althea Scatliffe Primary School from the year 2000 to 2010 when he retired.

It is so gratifying to hear the good testimonies from so many past students whose lives were touched by this educator who was a giant in his own right. Mr. Callender is described as a father figure, an outstanding teacher, a caring person, an inspiring and admirable human being.

His legacy will always remain alive in the memories of the people of the Virgin Islands.

In May of 1946, Mrs. Walters or Teacher Lu, as she was affectionately called, was appointed pupil teacher under headmaster, the late Hon. Dr. Willard Wheatley.

Teacher Lu was granted a scholarship to attend the Teacher’s College in Antigua where she attended from 1950 to 1951.

In 1952, she returned to Tortola where she was appointed as an Assistant teacher at the East End Methodist Church School. She was then appointed Head Teacher at the Carrot Bay Primary School for 5 years.  Between 1957 and 1980 she taught in Jost van Dyke, became Head Teacher at Long Look Infant School, Assistant Head Teacher at St Mary’s School (Virgin Gorda) and Assistant Head Teacher at the Major Bay Primary School, now Willard Wheatley Primary School.

In 1980, Teacher Lu was transferred to the Department of Education as an Education Officer responsible for the implementation of a USAID Curriculum Project in English and Mathematics. She was also honoured for her service with the naming of a Sports House as ‘Walters House’ when the house system was introduced at the Willard Wheatley Primary School.

Teacher Lu retired in 1986 from the Department of Education. Her outstanding contribution is remembered by many of her past colleagues, parents and students.

Let us remember these two stalwarts Mr. Gordon Junior Dennis Callender and Mrs. Lucia Walters, and emulate the good legacy they have left behind for generations to come.

On behalf of the entire education family I extend deepest condolences to the families and friends of Gordon Junior Dennis Callender and Mrs. Lucia Walters.

May God grant us comfort during this difficult time.

 

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