Former Combermere principal laid to rest

There was standing room only today as family members, friends and Combermerians past and present turned up at St George Parish Church to bid farewell to the late Dorien Pile, Combermere’s lone female principal in its over 300 years of existence.

Pile, who was educated at Queen’s College, was eulogized by her husband Colvin Pile as a principal who sought at all times to protect the interests of the school. He recalled that his late wife first taught Geography in 1963 before she left to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Geography in Canada, later returning to that country to pursue a master’s degree.

Colvin Pile, husband of the late Dorien Pile, assists other pall-bearers in taking his wife to her final resting place.
Colvin Pile, husband of the late Dorien Pile, assists other pall-bearers in taking his wife to her final resting place.

He further recalled that she returned to the school where she spent four decades as a Geography teacher, deputy principal and finally principal of the school. Colvin, who also attended Combermere and later became a teacher at the institution, said that during her long service at the school his late wife embraced the “spirit of the school” and enjoyed the camaraderie displayed by both past and present students.

Speaking on his relationship with her, Pile recalled he first met his future bride while teaching at the school, and described her as a caring wife who was not only a committed homemaker, but found time to reach out to less fortunate persons in the community.

Pile told his audience that during her life Dorien found time to mentor several young people and also served as a member of the Barbados Council for the Disabled.

A packed church showed the high esteem in which the late Dorian Pile was held by a wide cross section of the Barbadian society.
A packed church showed the high esteem in which the late Dorian Pile was held by a wide cross section of the Barbadian society.

“I do not know where she found the time and the energy to participate in so many projects. During our forty-five year marriage she embraced my family and once nursed my mother back to good health after her doctor had suggested that she should be allowed to recuperate at home. I will always remember that on her dying bed she whispered to me, “I love you”. This will always remain with me for the rest of my life,” he said. Meanwhile, in his sermon, rector of the StGeorge Parish Church Reverend John Rogers described Dorien Pile as a person who “lifted up people rather than one who pulled them down”.

Further lauding the fine qualities she exhibited during her life Rogers said Pile had changed the “mind-scape” of Barbados and the wider Caribbean.

“She would have been appalled at the behaviour of our youth and the bravado shown after taking the life of another person. She recognized that there is a better life.”

A number of parliamentarians including former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer, President of the Senate, Kerry-ann Ifill, and Leader of Government Business in the Senate Senator Maxine Mc Clean, as well as former Cabinet Ministers Sir Louis Tull and Joseph “Johnny” Tudor and attorney-at-law Elliott Mottley QC attended today’s funeral service and burial.

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