Library renamed after pioneer educator

West Bay
Library and Learning Centre was renamed after the late Emily “Teacher Redley”
Powery on Saturday.

The library on
Reverend Blackman Road was renamed in honour of the pioneer educator for the
role she played through her Biblical beliefs in shaping the lives of many in
the West Bay community.

One of eight
children born to the late Andrew and Judy Powery of West Bay, Teacher Redley lived
from 1892-1970. She never married and remained with a vocation and a mission to
provide a Christian education to the community.

Nearly 200 people,
including past pupils such as Premier McKeeva Bush, Pastor Winston Rose and JP
Laten Bush paid tribute to the woman who dedicated her life to planting seeds
of respect, love and knowledge at a ceremony to rename the library.

Mr. Bush recalled
simpler times when Teacher Redley gave lessons in the homes of relatives on the
seaside along King Road in Boatswain Bay; in a small building near the Boatswain
Bay Lighthouse and in later years starting a private school in Rose Gardens or
Old Bush area.

He spoke of
how she incorporated religious lessons into the curriculum and the importance
she placed on manners and personal hygiene.

She did not
tolerate misbehavior, he said, and did not shy away from dishing out punishment.
“She was a small figure but would always say she was afraid of no man.”

But beyond
that toughness, he said was a warm and compassionate person, who supplemented her
students with sparse lunches of porridge and jonny-cakes and kept a smoke pan
going all day to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

For her
dedication and profound impact on so many lives, Mr. Bush said she was owed
much.

The library
carries memorabilia in her memory, such as a copy of her birth certificate, a
slate and computer screen savers featuring her. A book signed by attendees,
were also added to that collection.

LOCALlibrarySTORY

Premier Bush and MLA Rolston Anglin unveils the plaque honouring the late Emily “Teacher Redley” Powery in the company of MLA Cline Glidden, Pastor Winston Rose, left, and Araunah Powery, right, at the renaming of the West Bay Public Library and Learning Centre.
Jewel Levy
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