The community of Mahaicony recently suffered the loss of one of its distinguished daughters, Ethleen Downer née Wilson, who died after a period of illness.
She was an indigenous Mahaiconian, having been born and schooled in Mahaicony, as well as residing and teaching there. Indeed, her entire life was spent at Mahaicony.
Her accomplishments are impressive. Doctors, lawyers, social scientists, educators and other senior public servants and business people were “produced” by her. A disciplinarian who embraced corporal punishment, Mrs Downer has been praised by many of her former pupils for the diet of discipline which she fed them.
Mrs Downer was a woman of substance, who was highly respected and who spent her entire working life constructing the academic and social infastructure of her community. Her life in the field of education ended a few years ago when she retired as the head of Mahaicony Secondary School.
The community of Mahaicony is indebted to the late Ethleen Downer and I therefore feel constrained to call on residents, teachers, students and parent/teacher association of Mahaicony Secondary School, former students of the school, the business community, the Village Day Committee and even the Regional Education Department to conceptualize some fitting initiative in her honour. An annual Ethleen Downer Memorial Award for top performers at the CXC or SSEE could be options to explore.
Her memory should live on; she should be posthumously recognized. May her soul rest in peace.