KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 26, IWN – Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace on Monday paid tribute to distinguished educator Norma Keizer, who died on Feb. 18 at age 78.
Eustace recognised Keizer’s contribution to education in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“I knew her quite well in school, because she was my teacher also. She taught me history in the Girls High School, because in those days, the Boys Grammar School and the Girls High School shared classes in certain subjects,” said Eustace, a graduate of the Grammar School.
“Mrs. Keizer was the prominent historian of the day, the best known history teacher in St. Vincent and the Grenadines at that time — very knowledgeable,” the former prime minister further said.
“But there was something else about her I distinctly remember. I think she had a very significant impact on encouraging people to move forward to tertiary education, university education, because she is one of those younger graduate who had come back, had done well in university, did not come from any rich family, and people say, ‘If she can make it, I can make it too.’
“And she had that kind of attitude which was encouraging to many people in those days,” he further said on the New Democratic Party’s “New Times” on Nice Radio.
“And, she was in fact a very good teacher. She brought history alive whenever she presented in class and I think she has made a very substantial contribution to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, by her commitment to the education of young people in this country.”
Eustace said 23 students were in the joint history class that Keizer taught.
“Every single soul in that class has either a first or second degree, or more. Every single individual in that class went on to higher education. … It was a very good example of a class that had a lot of discipline, and, the teachers worked very hard and so did the students. And the end result was clear to see. Everybody ended up with a profession,” said Eustace, an economist.
“She, in fact, made a very significant contribution to education in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Eustace, who further said he intends to attend Keizer’s funeral, which take place today — Tuesday — at the St. George’s Cathedral in Kingstown at 3 p.m.
Keizer was appointed Deputy Headmistress of the Girls’ High School in 1972 and then Headmistress in 1975 and taught there until 1990, when she retired at the end of a 36-year career as an educator, the Ministry of Education said in a tribute.
Keizer was a editor emeritus of Searchlight newspaper, of which she was a founder (in 1995) and edited and managed for 12 years.
The newspaper said she died at at 2:50 a.m. on Feb. at her home at New Montrose.
“She had been battling lung cancer since September 2012; the latest in a series of health challenges,” the newspaper said.
She is survived by her daughters Andrea Bowman, Clare Keizer and Dr Simone Keizer-Beache; grandchildren Shaka, Sovann and Vincent; sisters Shirley Ince and Peggy Ince-Hull; sons-in-law Lennox Bowman and Glen Beache; nieces Monique and Nadine Hull, and nephew Dane Hull.