Scholar, Educator Norma Keizer passes
February 22, 2013
Scholar, Educator Norma Keizer passes

Fri Feb 22, 2013

We cannot say that she bestrode St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) like a colossus, but we can say that there went a woman whose presence and work made a difference to many girls and boys who benefitted from her tutelage {{more}} and those who saw her as a role model and an inspiration. SVG, in fact, is better for having had Norma Keizer and today we pay a special tribute to her.

Norma, the daughter of Agatha Seaton and George Ince of Georgetown was born in Kingstown on May 10, 1934.

After her early schooling at the Hope Methodist School and the Kingstown Methodist School she moved to the Girls’ High School via a Kingstown Town Board Scholarship. She was an outstanding student, obtaining in 1951 one of two 1st Division School Certificates and later a Higher School Certificate that would have allowed her entry as an external student to the University of London without having to do a qualifying examination. Mrs Keizer would, after this, have spent most of her working life, 36 years, at the Girls’ High School.

She would mostly be recognised for her contribution to the Girls’ High School and to Education generally. In the latter part of her life, after retiring in 1990, she became associated with the Searchlight newspaper and did so until the time of her death.

Norma obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree (General) at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of London and a Diploma in Education Administration and Management at the International Training Institute in Sydney, Australia. In her early years after a short stint teaching at the Georgetown Government School and Teachers’ Centre, she was transferred to the Girls High School. She taught a number of subjects, including History which she also taught to 6th form students of the Boys Grammar School. Later, as Headmistress of the Girls’ High School, she taught virtually every subject on the timetable and to students at all levels, since she wanted to understand and be familiar with all her students and the circumstances that impacted on them.

Norma built a foundation at the Girls’ High School that others have continued and built on and today, despite the societal ills and problems affecting Education she had set the GHS on a path that allowed it to weather some of the storms and to stand out today as perhaps the foremost educational institution in our land. She built PTA’s and rallied the alumnae of the school, inspiring them to contribute to the School. Under her the school built Science Laboratories and a Learning Resource Centre, these being done largely with the help of parents and alumnae. She instilled discipline and a love for education and the school among the 3,000 young ladies that passed through her hands and with a number of boys, many of whom hold outstanding positions in this society. When the Alumnae of the Girls’ High school celebrated, along with present students, the hundredth anniversary of the School, the figure of Norma Keizer loomed large and she was fittingly honoured by them for her contribution to the GHS and to Education generally.

We have singled out here only a small part of her contribution to the school and to Education generally. Many persons would know about this and could probably add a lot more to what we have said, but as Board Members of the Interactive Media Ltd, the producers of Searchlight, we want to put on record the tremendous contribution she has made to the development of Searchlight and the company generally.