By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Carmichael Primary School was renamed after veteran educator Sybil Louise Strachan yesterday after Prime Minister Perry Christie recognised “the dedication and life work” she put into the institution.
Mrs Strachan served as principal of the school for 17 years and was a teacher for 48 years.
Mr Christie called Mrs Strachan’s service to the Carmichael Road communities “extraordinary,” noting that yesterday’s renaming ceremony, which he deemed a prestigious recognition, is all about preserving the history of The Bahamas.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to women in the field of education such as Mrs Strachan who entered the teaching profession and helped to mould many lives for the betterment of our country.
“It is this kind of leadership given by individuals like Mrs Strachan, which the government of The Bahamas seeks to reward and recognise with the naming of public buildings in their honour,” said Mr Christie.
The school has enrolled children from the general southwestern area of New Providence for 34 years, starting in 1969 at Mount Sinai Baptist Church on Carmichael Road, with an enrolment of about 30 students.
Mr Christie said Mrs Strachan, who became principal in 1973, pioneered the move of the school from its former site to its present home in 1980. She was known as a firm leader with excellent planning and motivational skills. The school is now called the Sybil Strachan Primary School.
“She dedicated her time at Carmichael Primary School to ensuring that the children in the various Carmichael Road communities acquired the best education possible under the former motto, “No Pain, No Gain,’” Mr Christie said.
“I commend all who contributed to the actualisation of this memorable occasion to rename this institution in honour of a legendary educator, who facilitated the education of our nation’s children with much diligence and perseverance. This edifice stands as a tribute to an educator who gave 17 years of committed service as the principal of Carmichael Primary School and 48 years of extraordinary service to education in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“We are, therefore, proud that the legacy of Sybil Louise Strachan is a part of the Bahamian story. She believed that the process of education involved meeting the needs of the whole child,” Mr Christie added.
Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald said the contribution made by the longtime-educator to the country’s education system resulted in the “cultivation of many productive and progressive citizens.”
“Her tireless efforts at a pivotal time in our nation’s development deem her most worthy to be honoured in such a way as is being done. She will be remembered as a legend of her time,” he added.
Mrs Strachan retired from active teaching in September 2007.
She died on May 18, 2010, she was 82 years old.