Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2015 – An Atlantic Garden
Rose Patricia Douglas was raised in a family who believed strongly in helping others. She grew up in a close-knit neighbourhood on Suffering Lane in St. George’s and remembers her parents regularly taking food to neighbouring families. Whenever she asked why, she was told the food would spoil son if they didn’t give it away. It was before the days of a lot of refrigeration so it made sense. She and her brother also spent many hours grating cassava as a chore. It was years before she understood that her parents were actually giving away the food and cassava to help their less fortunate neighbours. “My parents believed in sharing” she said. Her grandparents were also passionate about helping the community and would often take in children in need.
Early on Rose decided to become a teacher. She trained at Ottawa Teachers College where she received a thorough preparation in teaching. She also did a psychology degree at Queen’s University. After university she taught at St. John’s Preschool, the Heard Chapel Preschool, at East End Primary and St. George’s Secondary School. She found teaching to be a wonderful experience. She loved encouraging children to exceed the expectations they had set for themselves. There were times Rose had been criticized for demanding too much from her students; but many of the students themselves were grateful. She still sees many of her former students today. She retired from teaching at age 60.
Today, she continues to carry out her family’s sense of responsibility to the community. She regularly volunteers her time with Project Action, a local charity that provides transportation to senior citizens and the physically handicapped. She handles the pick-up scheduling and also regularly gives presentations about the organization to help raise money and awareness. The presentations are something she has learned to like over the years as she had a fear of public speaking. She also helps with organizing of fundraising events. For a recent grand tea, she and other volunteers worked through the night and into the morning to get everything ready. She also volunteers with a feeding programme at Ebenezer Methodist Church. They serve meals to people in need on the second Thursday of every month. Rose coordinated the programme for a year to get it off the ground.