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Tell me your secret: Our final embrace

Tell me your secret: Our final embrace


by Alison M. Phills 02.MAY.08

Mrs. Lorna Small, fondly called Auntie Lorna, while she was my first boss, my association with her began long before work. Her niece Donna and I were schoolmates, and as children we visited her at the Library after school. Many times I rode home with them because they had to pass my house on their way home. In addition, her husband Claude was our choir director, and she taught us in Sunday school.{{more}}

Mrs. Small was always interested in people’s welfare, and just about the time we were leaving school she wanted to know what I was interested in. I told her social work, since I love working with people. She insisted that I could use such skills at the Library. Hence she encouraged me to consider coming to work there. I went, on condition that if an opportunity turned up in social work I would go for it.

The opportunity did come. I applied and Mrs. Small refused to allow me to go, saying I was an asset at the Library. The rest is history. Today I am in the library profession and enjoying it. I am happy I was able to fulfill her dream of hearing that I am the Chief Librarian at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

Our last encounter was in Holy Week at the Kingstown Methodist Church mid day Lenten Concert. We embraced. She said: “I am hearing about you. You look well.” I remarked how well she looked and asked her to tell me the secret. Little did I know that was the last time I would see her alive.

Speaking also on behalf of Donna and Gail, Mrs. Small was our mentor, boss, and friend. She was truly a remarkable woman.

To her family, friends, and colleagues, I wish to let you know that you are in my prayers. May God continue to guide you through this difficult time.