Recently, a group of friends, well-wishers, family members, past colleagues and students, representatives of the Education Ministry, The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), Parent/teacher Association (PTA), School Board and the member of parliament for that community gathered at the Devon Missionary Church in Manchester to say, “Thank You!” to a stalwart educator.
Mrs. Mavis Bruce, a retiree of the Devon All-age School gave 43 years of dedicated, selfless service to the teaching profession, molding the lives of children in the primary group and watching them grow.
“When they come to me, they do not know their names, they cannot hold their pencils, make a numeral or a letter; but at the end of the school year when I see their work, I feel good,” said Mrs Bruce.
The function commenced with the rendition of the song, “The King of Love, My Shepherd Is”, followed by prayer by Pastor Courtney Daley, host Minister of the church. Mrs. Marvette McGlashen, a staff member at the school then welcomed and introduced the chairperson, Ms Jenifer Hall, a Guidance Counsellor at the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School. Ms Hall ably steered the activities to the end of the programme
Tributes and greetings were extended by many, all of whom lauded the Honouree as a ‘good, Christian woman’. They all stated that her determination was driven by prayer, a weapon she was relentless in using.
Guest Speaker, Mrs. Ruth Brown, principal of the Spalding Primary School where the awardee also taught, spoke of her in glowing terms. She used as her topic, “The purpose-driven life” and said that the awardee’s life was hall-marked by ‘purpose’ and also reflected ‘purpose’ in her work and that made her a high achiever.
The school choir sang lustily, “Do You Ever Know That You’re My Hero?” before the citation was read and presented. There were numerous other renditions and presentations by organisations and individuals.
A community member/parent, Mr. Delroy Hayden serenaded the awardee, while Pastor Desroy Smith of the Renewed Pentecostal Church evoked a special prayer on her behalf.
The Honouree responded with grace and a thankful heart for the love and respect shown to her by all.
The National Anthem was rendered, drawing the curtains on a splendid, well-enjoyed occasion.