HONOURED - Rebecca Cummins, who founded the St Peter's Preschool at Plaisance Park, Pointe a Pierre 50 years ago. - Photo by Dexter Philip
Rebecca's 50 Year Old Dream
REBECCA Cummins, the founder of the St. Peter's Preschool in Plaisance Park, Pointe a Pierre, was last week honoured at the school's graduation ceremony.
Past pupil Karen Phillips-Walters, who lives in London paid
tribute to Cummins, 83, who officially opened the school 50 years ago, on May 6, 1962.
It was also the year that Trinidad and Tobago became independent.
The school, which has an enrolment of 30 pupils, celebrated the
ceremony at the Plaisance Park Regional Complex, with 10 pupils graduating.
Principal Deborah Souzano said, "She (Cummins) has contributed
so much to the school and to the community of Plaisance Park."
She said, "Regardless of the amount of time spent at the school she
(Cummins) focused on her family. Mrs. Cummins was an excellent
principal, a mother, a counselor and a disciplinarian who today is still
loved by all. Her heroic talents and skills go unsung. We are proud to
honour her and thank her for the role played in general and for the
development of the school in particular. Her firm yet gentle style of
management, her passion are just a few of the sentiments which
are echoed by all."
Cummins told the Express that she was too " overcome with emotion" to speak much at the ceremony.
" So many people had nice things to say about me. I appreciate
everything that was done and said."
Cummins started the school at her Plaisance Park home with five pupils whose parents paid a monthly tuition of 75 cents.
She had no teaching experience before starting the school and said the reason she got involved was spiritual.
" I was a housewife. I had a very inquisitive neighbour who would always come by me to talk about other people's business when I wanted to rest. I prayed about it because I did not want to get
involved in something bad and plus, I would be occupied."
She said " Soon after I had a dream where I was in church. I was sitting in the back and there was a commotion going on outside. I went to see what was happening and I saw a man standing in front of a lot of little children, He had a paper in his hand. He looked at me handed me the paper and said teach them. I then woke up."
Cummins said it was because of the dream that she felt she should
have been involved in the lives of children. She still is, because the
school is still located at her home at 121 Long Circular Drive.