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Gonsalves, Enid

Source:
Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro–Latin American Biography
Author(s):
Irica GrantIrica Grant

Gonsalves, Enid (1931–2011), educator and community activist, 

was born Enid Veronica Watson in Lucea, capital of the parish of Hanover, Jamaica, to Cyril Watson, a carpenter, and Ludiana Clarke, a teacher. In January 1956, Enid Watson married Aubrey Gonsalves, with whom she had two children, Reynold and Ann Marie. Enid’s parents gave her the opportunities that she needed to excel in school, and she developed an early interest in education as a career path. Her high scores at the Common Entrance Examinations at the end of her primary school career earned her one of only four scholarships to attend the prestigious Rusea’s High School in Hanover’s capital, which she attended from 1942 to 1949. She excelled at both the Junior and Senior Cambridge examinations, and this excellence continued in 1953 at Shortwood Teachers’ College in the parish of St. Andrew, where Gonsalves obtained distinctions in the subjects of mathematics and music education.

Affectionately known as “Miss Enid,” Gonsalves had a reputation as a disciplinarian during her long and outstanding career in the teaching profession, spanning more than forty years. Her first appointment in teaching started the young age of 18, when she was trusted with the education of young children at the Lucea Infant School, in Hanover. Through this appointment, she was able to fund her studies at Shortwood, from which she emerged as a trained teacher.

In the late 1950s, Gonsalves was appointed as a teacher at the Shortwood Infant School in St. Andrew, but she decided instead to return to her hometown of Lucea to contribute to the teaching profession from there. Gonzales resumed her appointment at the Lucea Infant School in 1964 and was then asked to serve as principal of Lucea Primary School in 1975, a post that she held for twenty-two years. The school’s savings program, which she managed as principal, won a notable prize for the level of children’s savings in Hanover in 1975. After leaving Lucea Primary School, Gonsalves served as the principal of Lucea Preparatory School, and then as the main music teacher at Rusea’s High School.

From the 1960s until her retirement, she also played an important role in establishing and participating in community development projects. She served as director of the Hanover Benefit Building Society, as founding director of the Hanover Cooperative Credit Union, and as secretary of the Lay Magistrates Association and the Hanover Chamber of Commerce. She was also appointed a justice of the peace and was coordinator of the music program for the Hanover branch of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, an organization that encouraged cultural development under the auspices of the government’s Ministry of Education. In addition, Gonsalves served as a commandant of the Hanover Girls’ Brigade and as an organist and choir director for the United Church in Lucea.

Gonsalves lived and work nearly all of her life in the town of Lucea, but her work touched the lives of many all over the parish of Hanover and in other parts of Jamaica. In acknowledgment of her contribution, she was awarded the Centenary Medal of the Institute of Jamaica in 1980, the Governor General’s Achievement Award in 1993, the 1994 Jamaica Teachers’ Award for forty years of service to teaching, and the Government of Jamaica’s Order of Distinction on 6 August 2006.

Bibliography

Dickson, Roy. Jamaica Directory of Personalities. Kingston, Jamaica: Selecto, 1995.Find this resource:

    “Enid Gonsalves: A Life Committed to Teaching.” Daily Gleaner, 30 March 1993, p. 2.Find this resource:

      McNish, Dale. “Kiwanis Honors Two Community Members.” Daily Gleaner, 3 June 1999, p. 13.Find this resource:

        “National Honours and Awards.” Daily Gleaner, 6 August 2006, p. 16.Find this resource:

          Irica Grant