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Pioneer Educator Honoured

School friends meet again.

Relatives and past students of the late Miss Emily Redley ('Teacher Redley') Powery recently witnessed the West Bay Library and Learning Resource Centre being renamed in her honour.

Premier the Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, a past student of hers, gave the main address. Also attending the function were Speaker of the House the Hon. Mary Lawrence JP, Minister for Education the Hon. Rolston Anglin, and West Bay's other MLAs -- Cline Glidden Jr. and Capt. Eugene Ebanks. Mr. Glidden was Master of Ceremonies for the occasion.

Scores of district residents of all ages listened to a packed programme which included tributes in words, song and prayers.

Born in 1892, Teacher Redley passed away some 30 years ago. Described by Premier Bush as a "selfless Christian educator," she hailed from a well-known West Bay family which even today continues to serve community and country.

As a youngster she developed two abiding passions: service to God, and working to ensure that West Bay's children were educated and prepared for independent life.

An educational pioneer, Teacher Redley always encouraged her students to gain Godly wisdom, and understanding, and to positively apply their learning to prepare for the life experiences that would come their way.

Mr. Bush told the audience, "In spite of the challenges, she envisioned a brighter future for coming generations and did her utmost to ensure that the vision became reality."

(L) Premier Bush and Pastor Winston Rose admire the commemorative plaque.

A young Christian convert herself, Teacher Redley was a founding member of the Church of God Full Gospel Hall where she wore several hats, including delivering sermons and taking on the duties of a church superintendent.

She started her school in a family home on the Boatswain Bay seaside, later relocating to the Rose Garden/Old Bush area. A stern yet loving spirit, Teacher Redley's Bible became a constant companion and primary point of reference. While her labours sometimes earned her a few shillings from parents able to pay, education was a true vocation for Teacher Redley-her work was never about making money.

The teacher implanted in her students the seeds of faith, respect, discipline and knowledge. Former pupils, many of whom went on to excel in high professional occupations, readily acknowledge the profound impact those foundation years had on their lives.

Beyond the schoolroom, her life was devoted to additional acts of service. Her work and influence extended even into the eastern districts, where she became known and revered for spreading God's word and educating others.

Members of the Powery family.

During the renaming ceremony, guests agreed that it was fitting that the West Bay Library and Learning Centre be named for the educational icon. The connection to the history of the facility is clear: Before opening as a library in 2009, the original facility, which opened in 1939, had served as the district's town hall-and as the district primary school.

Following the unveiling of the commemorative plaque, the renaming ceremony's guests signed the register and inspected the new district library's contemporary offerings, as well as a display on the life and work of Teacher Redley.

The event concluded with refreshments and social interaction.


For further information contact: Lennon Christian