‘There is no place like home’
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Tagore Memorial Secondary School (Carl Croker photos)
Tagore Memorial Secondary School (Carl Croker photos)

– says retired headteacher

By Michel Outridge

HAVING spent more than 33 years in the teaching profession, retired headteacher of Tagore Memorial Secondary School, Amelia Stephen-Newland, is contented passing time doing community and church work.

She is better known as ‘Aunty Millie’ in #64 Village Babylon, Corentyne, Berbice, a place that is her home.

Even though she is originally from Leguan Island, Essequibo River, she left her hometown and relocated in #64 Village Babylon in 1986; she was visiting a brother and became a teacher.

Stephens-Newland was attached to the Corriverton Primary School and was later transferred to Tagore Memorial Secondary School and worked her way up to headteacher and retired in 2005.

She has been at home for the past 15 years, but is well respected in the community and the villagers still speak highly of her.

These days, Stephens-Newland does some baking, sewing, cooking and would attend regular services at the New Testament Church at #63 Village Benab.

“I still find the time to do chores and keep a house and I am very comfortable here in this village; it is a nice place to live because the people are good and everybody knows each other and it is a very safe place to raise a family,” she said.

The village church

Unlike other years gone by, the village elder would not be hosting a Christmas party for children due to the pandemic, but has bought some clothes to gift some children along the Corentyne.

Stephens-Newland reported that whatever she can afford she would give to the needy and the goodies will come later this year and she will collaborate with some friends to deliver home-cooked meals to the homes of the children, this year.

She, along with some church members would have hampers for the people of the community and it has been happening for years, it is a tradition and she will have the same this year too.

“From then to now the village has changed a bit in terms of bigger buildings going up and the place has developed nicely, but the people are the same as before, very nice and neighbourly,” she said.

She, however, admitted that a lot of residents migrated from the village and are overseas, but the people who remain are noted for being hard workers and not lazy, idle folk.

“The people are good, down to earth and you would get up early and see them doing things such as farming till night and that’s how they are, always working and we here look out for each other,” she said.

Stephens-Newland told the Pepperpot Magazine that from to time she would return to her home village, Leguan, since she has a sibling there with nieces and other relatives.

She stated that one does not forget where one came from but #64 Village Babylon is her home and it is the only place she wants to be to bask in her golden years.

The retired headteacher added that the community has a lot of good people and they believe in hard work and that is commendable about them.

Having been in the village for so long, she too is treated like a local and she doesn’t have to leave her house to get fruits and vegetables.

She gets regular supplies of fresh, farm-picked greens from neighbours and that is how the people live around there.

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