By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
A SECOND elderly woman has died after being injured in a car accident in Grand Bahama last month.
Thelma Kensino, 87, of Wellington Pinder’s Estates, died in the Rand Memorial Hospital on Sunday evening of injuries received in the crash involving a GMC truck and a Nissan Sentra at the junction of Poinciana Drive and West Mall Drive on June 26.
Her death came after Lynette Kelly, 89, was buried on Saturday following a funeral service at the Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King.
She was also injured in the accident and died the same day.
Both women were passengers in the Sentra.
The Tribune learned that the women were out with caregivers who were running errands and going shopping when tragedy struck.
Ms Kelly was an educator for more than 30 years in Grand Bahama, where she taught and touched the lives of thousands of Bahamian students – many of whom are now successful individuals in the society.
Among them, businessman Peter Adderley paid tribute to Ms Kelly for her influence on his life.
“Ms Kelly taught tough boys like me that it was okay to be smart, have manners, and make the most of your God-given gifts and talents. Thanks to her influence, masterful teachings, noble examples, and loving floggings, I became convinced that reading books, writing poetry, speaking properly, participating in spelling bees, signing in national arts festivals, and joining debate clubs were all fitting activities, even for tough boys,” he said.
The pallbearers at her funeral were students she had taught many years ago at the Martin Town Primary School, including Mr Adderley, former FNM MP David Wallace, Bishop Kermit Saunders, and Pastor Simeon Outten.
Ms Kelly came to the Bahamas with her husband, an engineer, and their children in 1964, from Jamaica where she had already earned an excellent reputation in primary education.
Cecil Thompson, former director at the Ministry of Education in Grand Bahama, said Ms Kelly was an excellent educator.
“She was truly one of those great educators who came from the West Indies in the 60s and made a tremendous contribution to education. When she came in 1964, she was not recruited by the Ministry of Education. Her husband was an engineer who was recruited by the cement company, and she came as his wife with the children.
“But prior to coming here, she had a big reputation in Jamaica as an excellent primary school teacher who had risen through the ranks becoming a school principal,” he recalled.
Mr Thompson said Ms Kelly first started teaching at the Methodist School in Sea Grape, Eight Mile Rock.
“Shortly afterwards, her reputation spread and the Ministry of Education sent Garvin Tynes to Grand Bahama and he recruited her. She was sent to teach at the Eight Mile Rock All Age School,” he said.
“She also taught at Pinedale Primary, but where her reputation really exploded was at Martin Town Primary in 1968 and she stayed there until ‘83,” said Mr Thompson.
In 1983, she went to teach at the newly opened Walter Parker Primary (WWP) and many of her students were recruited by the private schools on the island and attended the Freeport High, Catholic High and St Paul’s Methodist College.
“She was a heavyweight in education and had such a great impact in West Grand Bahama. And in Freeport, every parent who sent their children to WWP wanted their kids to go in Ms Kelly’s class – she was an excellent 5th grade teacher – clearly, she was among the greatest educators in the Bahamas,” said Mr Thompson.
Barbara Thompson, a principal of Walter Parker Primary, said she was an extraordinary teacher.
“She was a beautiful human being, she had a wonderful relationship with colleagues and she loved people,” she said.
After retiring at WWP, Ms Kelly went to teach at Discovery Primary, now Bishop Michael Eldon Primary School, and also at First Baptist.
Father Harry Bain said Ms Kelly was “a great teacher” who built up her students, even the troubled ones, and inspired them to achieve excellence. She did not put them down.
“We have confidence that Lynette is in the nearer presence of the Lord… We thank Him for her life and witness, and for the great example of Christian living she had been to all of us,” he said in his sermon.