PACE pays tribute to treasurer emeritus
By Azaleta Ishmael-Newry
Nov 18, 2021 - 12:54:31 PM
The PACE Foundation remembers the late Alelia Adderley who positively impacted the lives of teen mothers. Mrs Adderley passed away on October 24, 2021. In the photo - a fundraiser dinner for the establishment of a school for PACE (Providing Access to Continued Education) was held in 2010 at the home of Dr Mildred Hall-Watson who at the time was a vice-president and one of the founders of the PACE Foundation. The Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. (RBPF), Ellison Greenslade, graciously supplied the entertainment of the world famous RPBF Pop Band. From left to right are: PACE Foundation board members Felix N. Stubbs, Alelia Adderley, treasurer emeritus, Mrs Greenslade, H.E. Ellison Greenslade, Sonia Brown, president, PACE, Dr Mildred-Hall Watson, former vice-president, PACE, Jackie Knowles, former Principal, PACE, and Sargent Makelle Pinder, RBPF. Photo supplied by PACE.
Nassau, Bahamas - Fifty years ago, the PACE program evolved when support was offered to an 11-year-old who against her own choice, had moved from childhood to motherhood. “No longer able to continue her education in regular school, the PACE program was there to help support her,” said Andrea Archer, one of the founders. She is also a former social worker and former deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health.
The PACE program offers teen mothers an important second chance. PACE – Providing Access to Continued Education - worked with social services, community clinics, volunteers and others, to provide life skills and instruction to these teen mothers with the aim for them to finish their high school education. They became valedictorians, doctors, lawyers, teachers and other influencing figures.
A significant contributor to the program and the PACE Foundation was the late Alelia Adderley, fondly called “Leila,” who for the past two decades was instrumental in strengthening the PACE program. Adderley also helped to establish the PACE Foundation in 2017 with charter president Sonia Brown, an engineer by profession and member of Zonta.
According to Archer, “Alelia was a nurse in the office of Dr David Sands and had joined the school welfare program as a social worker. She was a coordinator with the PACE program and she took pride in what she did. She loved children and there was nothing she wouldn’t teach the girls. She also worked with the adolescent clinic with
Dr Regis-Dahl and Dr Timothy McCartney at the psychology clinic.”
On October 24, 2021, Alelia Adderley passed away after a two-year illness. She is being remembered as an ardent advocate, champion for humanity and social justice, and was respected for her ability to obtain resources – people and finances – with integrity.
Dr Mildred Hall-Watson, also a founding member of the PACE Foundation had served as vice-president for many years. Also, a Zonta member, she assisted with fundraising, and she knew Alelia Adderley well. From the time of high school and then meeting her again through the Zonta Club of Nassau and their affiliation with the PACE program. “Alelia was the nurse and social service coordinator for the program. As the nurse director, she was a force to reckon with but her care and concern for her young pregnant females were palpable. It was evident that she wanted the best for them,” said Dr Hall-Watson. “She got respect but always showed respect; something many of her young charges didn’t get in many other places.”
Rotarian, businessman and board member, Felix N. Stubbs had great admiration for Alelia Adderley. “Alelia was one of the most gentle and caring persons I've met. I was inspired by her devotion to the PACE Foundation and her willingness to do all she possibly could to enhance the lives of the young girls who passed through the program,” said Stubbs. “More importantly, she continued to follow their progress long after they moved on, even as her failing health made it more difficult to do so.”
“What made her most impactful was the fact that she was multi-dimensional,” added Brown. “The most endearing of her qualities was her sharp wit and sharp tongue, doling out many of her ‘Alelia-isms,’ with an infectious smile.”
A memorable ‘ism’ included, “You all (meaning you Zontians) need to get out of these people place and build a school for these girls,” referring to use of the Sunday school room in the Central Gospel Chapel on Dowdeswell Street for more than 20 years. Brown went back to the Zonta Club and shared the idea of an individual building. Therefore, the PACE Foundation was formed in 2004 and fundraising was held to build a school.
A second ‘ism’ was, “You don’t need to be in the papers or be on TV to be a celebrity.” Alelia Adderley had fans. Young women greeted her and gave her the biggest hugs and updated her on their lives and children. When they found out the reason for fundraising, giveaways and discounts were offered from her former students who wanted to express their gratitude for the impact Alelia had made in their lives.
Brown’s favourite Alelia-ism was ‘Never take no for an answer!’ “We continued our impossible dream until the Sandals Foundation came along and rescued us. They held a concert featuring Shaggy that had Alelia singing and dancing to his song, ‘It wasn’t me.’ In 2017, thanks to her untiring support, along with other board members, we opened our current building.”
“When Alelia was no longer a director but a founding member and treasurer/ treasurer emeritus of the board, her energy and commitment did not change and her contributions are lasting,” said Dr Hall-Watson. “Her dedication and spirit will always be with us and I feel privileged to have worked with her.”
“In some ways,” states Brown, “Your success in life is revealed by the number of people that line up to thank you when you die. It is revealed by the overflowing of gratitude and love, expressed by the people whose lives you have touched, in ways that even you may not understand.”
For more information on the PACE Foundation, please visit www.pacebahamas.com. To view their 50th Anniversary video clip, visit, https://bit.ly/3pxlqIh.
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