(CMR) Former students of recently deceased lifetime educator Joanna Clarke are lobbying the government to rename Savannah Primary School in her honour.
Several former students and community members including Don Seymour, Kenrick Webster, Craig Powell and Hank Powell supported by Savannah MLA Anthony Eden have made the move to have the school renamed as a measure of respect and recognition. MLA Eden commented:
“She would be most deserved of this honour. Ms. Clarke was a brilliant person, wonderful teacher and leader. I wish we had more principals of her calibre teaching our children! One of my boys was the recipient of her award on graduating from SPS”
One supporter of this imitative started:
“We asking past and present students and Savannah residents for their support in this endeavor as a fitting tribute to her since she was the headmistress there for a long time.”
The group also intends to setup a Facebook memorial page for people to post comments and past pictures and memories of their school years with her.
Clarke inspired any including local entrepreneur Don Seymour. He created the Excellence in Education Award in her honour in 2007. The award recognizes educators and people positively contributing to education in these islands.
She was 85 years-old when she passed away on Christmas Eve at the Cayman Islands Hospital after a long illness.
Clarke was born July 24, 1933, to John and Eva Clarke. She began her teaching career in Westmoreland, Jamaica before coming to Cayman in 1964. Over the next five decades she decided herself to working in local government schools. She touched the lives of many who would later attribute their success to her. She eventually retired in 1993.
She was remembered on our Facebook page by so many persons. Rev. Dr. Linda McField shared with Cayman Marl Road:
“Ms. Joanna Clarke, while the principal at Savannah Primary school taught my two youngest children. We also worked as colleagues for several years at the Department of Education. Ms. Clarke was a born educator and she brought out the best in every student. These beloved Cayman Islands need some more dedicated, honest and hardworking teachers; like Teacher Clarke. May her soul rest in peace.”
Former student Daniel Ebanks shared fond memories of her:
“I will always treasure my memories of Sister Clarke driving me to and from Savannah Primary. Even though it meant that I got the strap twice for every little thing I did wrong, once from whichever teacher, and once from her just for good measure”
Her funeral service is scheduled for will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Red Bay Church of God on Lord’s Way.
Viewing will take place Friday, Jan. 4, at Bodden’s Funeral Home at 5-7 p.m. Interment to follow at the Prospect Cemetery.