MANDEVILLE — Residents of Patrick Town in Manchester came out in their numbers last Wednesday (June 22) to pay tribute to former principal of the community’s all-age school Rhoda Daley, who turned 100 years old on the day.
At a ceremony held on the school grounds, past and current teachers and students of Patrick Town All-Age and the nearby Campbell’s Castle All-Age where she taught; and representatives of church and community groups, paid glowing accolades to the centenarian for her contribution to education, and for promoting agriculture at the school and in the wider community. She was also presented with plaques, gift packages, and citations.
Past student, Coleen Pascoe, in her tribute, said that the former principal “molded and prepared us so that we could make something worthwhile of our lives. We appreciate you and are all grateful that you touched our lives the way you did."
Rev. Paulette Wright, who also attended the school, where Ms. Daley served as principal for 15 years from 1964-1975, said the community is truly blessed to have benefitted from her hard work and dedication. “She paved the way for many of us and today, we enjoy the legacy of the examples that she set so that the church and the community can experience growth,” she said.
Principal of Patrick Town All-Age, Margaret Griffiths, told JIS News that the school and the larger community came together to celebrate with Ms. Daley in recognition of her enormous contribution to education and community development.
“There was a time when she would come over (to the school) on her birthdays and serve the children ice-cream and visit with the teachers and give them goodies, so we thought that it was fitting that we would celebrate with her today. The students pushed us to have the birthday party for her and I believe it was best to do it now,” she said.
Still mentally alert, the past principal, beautifully clad in a black floral print dress with matching wide-brim hat, basked in the attention.
Seated at the platform in the wheelchair she uses for support when she has to sit or stand for long periods, she listened to the tributes paid in appreciation for her years of service to the community.
Ms. Davis later partook in a scrumptious meal, before cutting the beautifully decorated birthday cake and having a few sips of non-alcoholic wine.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter