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Tribute: Mrs Lorna Small

Tribute: Mrs Lorna Small


by Daphne Harold-Warner 09.MAY.08

I was seventeen when I first met Lorna Small, and it was only for a brief moment for her to tell me that I would be joining her at the Library, and that she was looking forward to having me.

If my memory serves me correctly, my first day on the job was 2nd May 1964, and from that day I found a mentor and an adviser tucked away in a lady with a mighty and loving heart.

Knowing her and learning from her was almost equal to the knowledge that was to be found in all the books that surrounded her all of her life as she served as Chief Librarian at the Kingstown Public Library. She did marvelous works in that she opened many branch libraries all around the country, servicing all the little towns and tiny villages. She worked tirelessly over the years to bring about a Book-Mobile Service, and established the Archives & Documentation Centre.

Lorna Small was a hard-working and dedicated person, who quite often looked for the good in a person and pursued brining it out to help a young soul find his or her way in the world. She mentored, gave helpful advice, and it would bring a smile to her face if years later she saw success in the life of someone whose mind she helped mould.{{more}}

She welcomed CLASS, and she loved dignity, and above all she enjoyed loyalty; but what made her stand apart was her ardent faith in God. When faced with a difficult situation you would see her, as it were, talking to herself, but in fact, she was talking to God saying words of a prayer to implore the help of the Holy Spirit.

To me, that was her trademark – always imploring the spirit of love to be with her.

There were so many persons who admired her, for she was a gold-mine of information at her fingertips or in her head. Folks came from overseas asking to see Mrs. Small when they wanted knowledge of something. Many hours were spent at the archives seeking information or leading people to it. Her work was her life and she enjoyed each day spent in that capacity.

It was “Back in the Day” in the late sixties, there was a group of us working at the Library that I know she enjoyed and loved. Overtime we would often talk on the phone of the good times we had while we worked there. We planned get-togethers, attended each other’s church services, and we visited the sick in the hospital. Next day we would tell her all about our activities to which she very keenly listened. There were a bunch of us back then – I remember Yvette, Val, Margaret, Nancy, Jennifer, Evelyn, Cressita, Pam, Betsy and me, just to name a few. Then we all left home. One by one, however, on returning home we had to visit Mrs. Small letting her know how life had been. I saw her last in 2005. She took me out to lunch and was happy to see photographs of my two children – another generation.

She lived to see her daughter Roseanne’s children and was a loving grandmother and mother-in-law. She was a dear relative and friend. What an Honour!

Vincentians will miss Lorna. We will all miss her and retain her in our collective memories. We, who knew her personally, will place her on a pedestal, and if we were to write about her, her life would fill volumes and the Lorna Small library will be filled to overflowing! Feet softly coming and going, with her loving spirit guiding us to Truth.

A good soul is with her Lord now.