Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2016 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt NOVEMBER 2 - 8, 2016
Some heroes are born, opportunities
create others, while some follow a path
for years, selflessly helping humanity to
traverse their life of physical and emo-
tional pain. The people who fall into the
latter group go publicly unnoticed,
working behind the scenes with the poor
and emotionally unstable.
Nurse Margaret Wright, of Runnemede,
falls into this latter category and after 54 years
in the medical fraternity as a district health
practitioner, she has earned a national medal
(Public Service of Merit -- Gold) to prove it.
Her work in the nursing profession is as old
as the independence of Trinidad and Tobago.
She took up her duties in August 1962 -the
year this country became independent.
"I remember it well, as it is the same month
we became independent. I became a student
nurse," she told Tobago Today with pride and
a bubbly smile.
It s a rare moment, as anyone familiar with
her wry and outspoken demeanour will tell
you that she seldom talks about herself and
She smiled again as she talked about nurs-
ing being her second career choice and math-
ematician her first.
"I always wanted to be a mathematician
and taught mathematics for a year and re-
alised it was not for me!"
Interestingly, on the spectrum of careers,
mathematicians and nurses are polar oppo-
sites: the former cold, unfeeling and devoid of
human touch while the latter is warm, full of
emotional connection and channels all of the
spectrums of human sentiments.
At 73 years, Wright remembers what drove
her to choose nursing.
"My grandfather was ill with a stroke and I
had to take care of him so I missed secondary
school for months. The interesting thing is
that I still placed first in class although I was-
n t there all the time, because I was bright es-
pecially in maths," Wright recalled.
"I went to Edmond High School -- Port-of-
Spain and the teachers realised that I had to
help my grandfather so they helped me and I
was never disciplined for not being in school
often as they knew my ability."
Of her time growing up in Tobago she tells
of a hard life.
"I had to walk from Runnemede to Old
Market Square by Tambrin Radio -- Scarbor-
ough - to sell in the market and I used to
mind sheep and goat."
More than anything, it was the times she
spent taking care of her grandfather after he
had the stroke which drove her into nursing.
She said she knew she could no longer be a
mathematician, as the nursing profession was
calling her and she loved it.
"The days spent with my grandfather were
good for me and I knew then it was my call-
Fifty-four years later she still feels the need
to help others. As a district health visitor she
has assisted in the delivery of over 200 babies
-- at home. She still visits more than a handful
of people daily and dresses their sores. In ad-
dition, she does direct observation therapy
for several HIV/AIDS patients she also visits
daily. Add these duties to the many others she
performs as a member of various community
organisations, including a credit union, PTA
and the village council.
Today, her primary duty as the visiting dis-
trict nurse of the Tobago Health Promotion
Clinic keeps her active. At the clinic she is
greeted with warmth and enthusiasm by pa-
tients and colleagues.
Of her national award, which she is yet to
receive from the President because she did
not go to the Independence Day ceremony to
collect it, she said she feels proud.
She talked about allowing the patient who
submitted her name for the award, because
she saved his life, being part of the ceremony.
She looks forward to the day the President
visits Tobago for the next ceremony and pres-
ents her with the award.
In the meantime, at 73, she says she has no
intentions to slow down or retire. She wants
to continue serving humanity for as long as
she lives. And when she dies she expects to be
burnt and buried at sea. She has already cho-
sen her coffin and the songs to be sung at her
funeral. Remarkably, it s all already paid for!
When that day come Tobago would have lost
an unsung hero.
Nurse Margaret Wright
Outgoing Chief Secretary and former teacher and principal
Orville London was among eleven people who were honoured at
the recent 2017 Teacher s Retirement and Appreciation function.
The highlight of this year s event at ther Signal Hill Secondary, themed
Honouring the Past, Treasuring the Present and Shaping the Future, was
the recognition of London for his many years of service as a teacher and
principal. He was also lauded for the remarkable contribution he has made
to the development of Tobago.
In honouring the teachers, officials from the Division of Education,
Youth Affairs and Sport reminded the audience that the function was ho-
nouring Tobago s valuable educators.
The official noted: "Teachers are some of the most influential individu-
als in the lives of young people, educating the emerging youth to mirror
the lives of their diligent working predecessors in becoming Tobago s fu-
The other retirees honoured were Juliana Alfred-Sandy, John Burris, Be-
linda Dillon, Catherine Douglas-Stewart, Stephanie Quashie-Jack, Gan-
gadaye Roopsingh, Nevlyn Renwick, Glenana Thomas-Bernard, Marva
Williams and Marilyn Cowie-Clarke.
Retiree Mrs. Glenora Thomas Bernard is all
smiles as she is presented with her gift
from Secretary of Education, Youth Affairs
and Sport Assemblyman Huey N. Cadette
The 2016 Retirees and Guest of Honour take a group photo as they celebrate the momentous occasion.
Seated from left to right: Ms. Nevlin Renwick, Mr. Orville London, Mr. Huey N Cadette, Ms. Juliana Sandy Alfred
Standing Mr. John Burris, Ms. Glenora Thomas - Bernard, Mrs. Catherine Douglas Stewart and Mr. Handel Dillon (represent-
ing Belinda Dillon). Missing Stephanie Quashie Jack, Mrs Marva Williams and Ms. Gangadaye Roopsingh.
Assemblyman Huey N. Cadette presents the
Honourable Chief Secretary, Mr Orville Lon-
don with a portrait of himself from the Divi-
sion of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport.
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