Rum Cay church salutes veteran educator and lay reader


Tribune Features Reporter


Members of the St Christopher’s Anglican Church in Rum Cay let be known that their congregation will never be the same again after the retirement of veteran educator and lay reader Constance Martin.

Mrs Martin, considered a giant of a lady in spite of her small stature, over the years gave service to her church and assisted the Rum Cay All Age School’s principal, Ann Strachan.

During a recent service at St Christopher’s, Mrs Martin was showered with accolades and tributes.

Father Chester Burton, rector of St Peter’s Parish in Long Island, travelled to Rum Cay to celebrate and preside over the grand Eucharistic celebration.

Accompanying Father Burton was Vice President of the Bahamas Union of Teachers Annafaye Ferguson Knowles, Catechist Mavis Knowles, Police Officer in-Charge of the Long Island District Harcourt Strachan and newcomer to the teaching profession Shonell Scavella.

“At 3pm everyone was seated in the palatial edifice to pay tribute to Constance Martin, who in her latter years returned to her birth place to challenge the new generation of Rum Cayans, and in the process exposed not only the students under her direct supervision but also the parents to the joys of learning,” said Father Burton.

In his sermon, Father Burton said he met Mrs Martin while on his first tour of duty to Rock Sound, Eleuthera, ten years ago. During that time he worked with Mrs Martin as a lay reader and

Father Andrew Toppin, then rector, at St Mary Magdalene in Wemyss Bight.

He used the letters in her name to best describe Mrs Martin’s character:

“ C – Constance is constant; the same way all the time. What you see is what you get. O – Obedient; she was obedient to the call of God on her life, serving in the teaching profession for 46 years. N – No nonsense; she does not mince her words, she is strong in her faith and her resolve. S – Sharing; Constance shared with the community at large her innumerable gifts and talents. T – Teacher; she taught for most of her earthly life; it meant God had richly blessed her. A – Ambitious; Constance worked hard providing for her family and those in need either in Eleuthera or Rum Cay. N – No; she never says no and she goes above the call of duty. C – Creative; she created all the bulletin board displays for her classroom from when she began teaching. E - Encourage; she encouraged the students she taught, teaching them to reach the stars and let anything deter them from their life-long dreams.”

At the end of the service, Mrs Martin told the congregation that if she had to do it all again, she would not change a thing about her life. Her husband, Captain Ben Martin, smiled proudly as the accolades were heaped upon his wife.


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