Foundation's 'spirit' laid to rest
She never sat in any of the classrooms at the Christ Church Foundation School but she was embraced by past and present students as a member of that illustrious fraternity.
For 25 years, Evelyn “Granny” Walcott ran the canteen at the school, provided support to teachers and students, and acted as a guardian angel to the thousands who passed through the learning institution.
And today, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, a Christ Church Foundation old scholar, headed a list of outstanding former students who gathered in their numbers at the Christ Church Parish Church to bid farewell to Walcott, described as one who exuded the “Foundation Spirit”.
Walcott was described by past students as a caring person who not only ensured that no poor student attended classes without adequate lunch while she held the contract for the school’s canteen, but always sought to give moral guidance to students attending the school.
In his eulogy, Independent Senator Professor Sir Henry Fraser said “Granny” did not only demand respect, she merited it.
“Granny had the respect and the authority of a senior teacher at Foundation School. She exercised the same values and the same discipline at school as she did with her own sons. And if she made a complaint to [Lee Harford] Skeete, a former principal, he knew the student deserved it, and the consequences would be the same as a complaint from a senior teacher,” he said.
Sir Henry told the congregation which included Barbados High Commissioner to the Eastern Caribbean His Excellency Robert “Bobby” Morris, a Foundation old scholar; cricketing legend and president of the Barbados Cricket Association Joel Garner and Member of Parliament for Christ Church South John Boyce that Granny’s authority even extended to conflict resolution.
He quoted from several prominent old scholars who paid tribute to Walcott, among them political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham, political scientist Reudon Eversley and Michelle Sugrim.
“She did not feed you without a piece of advice or scolding. You, Granny, will forever be etched in the hearts of all of us that walked those hallowed halls and ate from your hands,” Sir Henry read from Sugrim’s tribute.
In a demonstration of the high esteem in which she was held by the old scholars, Stuart was one of the pall-bearers when the body was brought into the church, and read the second lesson.
Members of the Foundation Old Scholars Association also paid tribute to the late Walcott in song.