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B.U.T. Status of Women Honours 5 Grand Bahama Teachers
May 28, 2015 - 8:53:56 AM

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Photo: Derek Carroll

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - As introduced and read by the speaker:

These are phenomenal women. Their smile, their grace, their commitment and dedication to education and unionism have brought us here today in their honor to recognize and pay tribute to them.

In our lineup today we have some gentle, mild mannered women who despite their demeanor have put up a good fight in education. The first woman that we want to pay homage to today is Mrs. Cheryl Marshall Campbell
(not in photos). Mrs. Campbell was born in Nassau to the late Harriet Clarke and Alphonso Marshall. She received her early education at the Forest All Age School in Exuma. She then moved to Nassau where she attended Western Junior and Western Senior High Schools. Mrs. Campbell-Marshall holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bethane Cookman and a Masters Degree from Nova along with other certificates. This veteran educator has served almost forty years in education. Today she is presently working in the scholarship division of the ministry of education. Mrs. Campbell Marshall is a proud member of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. Audience put your hands together and help me welcome this distinguished, elegant, rare gem, Mrs. Cheryl Marshall-Campbell.

Photo: Derek Carroll

Our next honouree is a feisty, straight forward lady with a good heart.
Mrs. Frances Friend is a veteran educator who has given forty four years her passion first as a teacher then as a unionist. Mrs. Friend holds a masters degree in human resources and business administration from McHari International University. A strong unionist, Mrs. Frances Friend served as a shop steward for 11 years in Eleuthera and here in Grand Bahama. In 1990 she was elected as an executive member of the Bahamas Union of Teachers. A position she served vigilantly between 1990 and 1998. This special individual was impressive and later became the first full time AVP of the BUT and Grand Bahama. This committed unionist has attended many professional and trade union workshops, seminars and conferences both nationally and internationally. She presently serves as office manager and human resources officer out of the district education office in Eleuthera. Without further adieu let’s put our hands together and welcome this delightful, charismatic lady,our honouree, Mrs. Frances Friend.

Our next honouree is Mrs. Betty Laing-Humes. Mrs. Humes is a retired educator of over forty years. She hails from the beautiful settlement of Pelican Point right here in Grand Bahama. As a young girl she excelled academically and was made a monitor as the early age of 16. In pursuit of her dream to become a teacher she left home to attend the teachers college in New Providence. Upon completion she returned to Grand Bahama where she was posted in Pelican Point. Throughout her years of service Mrs. Humes has been stationed in the eastern end of the island. She has worked at the McCleans Town Primary School and the East End Primary School. In 2014 Mrs. Humes, a dedicated and hard working teacher who had always put her students first retired from public service. Let’s put our hand together as we welcome this soft spoken, humble lady, our honoree, Mrs. Betty Humes.

Our next honouree was born in Miller’s Long Island. Mrs. Garnell Powell attended the McKanns All Age School up to grade six when she was recommended for and passed the common entrance examination at age 12. Her parents however did not allow her to go to high school in Nassau so she had to remain Long Island. Shortly afterwards her head teacher Mr. Adderley encouraged her to become a monitor and student teacher at the same school. As time went on little Ms. Miller sat and passed the BJC and GCE examinations and met the requirements to enter the Bahamas Teachers College in New Providence. After receiving her degree she taught for one year in Nassau and then returned home to Long Island to teach for a few years. An avid scholar, Mrs. Powell went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree and eventually also obtained her master’s degree. Mrs. Powell is a veteran educator who has served as head of department, principal, senior mistress, vice principal and social studies officer for the entire Grand Bahama District including Bimini and the Cays. She is a qualified first aid and CPR instructor and trainer. She presently lectures at the Bahamas Institute of Business and Technology and the College of The Bahamas. Join with me as we welcome this remarkable, one of a kind, impressive lady, Mrs. Garnell Powell.

Our last honouree this afternoon is no stranger to education or the union. Though short in stature she is towering in her passion and commitment to the students and teacher of the great nation of The Bahamas. Mrs. Ida Poitier Turnquest was born in Orange Creek, Cat Island. She is a graduate of Freeport High School and the University of Northern Colorado. She began her career in education immediately after high school when she served as an untrained teacher at the Center for Deaf Children in Nassau. After college she was posted to the Center for Deaf Children in Grand Bahama where she served as both teacher and principal. Following six years of service in Grand Bahama Mrs. Poitier was transferred to New Providence where she worked at the ?Red Cross Center for the Deaf, C.W.Sawyer, William Sayle, Gambier and Albury Sayle Primary Schools. It was during her time in Nassau that Mrs. Poitier became very active in the trade union movement and served fearlessly in all activities of the Bahamas Union Of Teachers. She has served as a shop steward, executive member, and trustee and was the first elected female president of the Bahamas Union of Teachers. During her tenure she negotiated the union’s first industrial agreement. Presently, Mrs. Poitier serves as the 2nd vice president of the Bahamas Down Syndrome Association and is a long standing member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Without further adieu let’s put our hands together and welcome an admired, sensational negotiator, Mrs. Ida Poitier Turnquest.

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