MS. CARMEN MARGARITA WARD, J.P.
Carmen Margarita Ward has survived great difficulties, having lost her mother when she was 13 months old, and received, then, no childhood support from her father. She grew up with her maternal grandmother, a post office messenger/attendant, who though willing, had very little time between traveling on the job, to provide adequate care. Consequently, Carmen was shunted from one neighbour to another for care. In time, a friend of her mother laundered her clothes and combed her hair.
As a young child, she learnt very early to be industrious. Each day, she had numerous chores to complete, and on Sunday mornings she would take the "Gleaner" to the home of Dr. Mottrille whose wife always gave her a sixpence or a shilling. She was also often awakened at midnight to accompany her grandmother to take telegrams to the Police Station or to the District Medical Officer. For this, she at times earned one shilling. At the age of 15, Carmen passed the First Jamaica Local Examination, and the following year, the Second Jamaica Local Examination. However, after a number of attempts at the Third Year Local, studying on her own, (her grand mother could not afford the five shillings per month which was being charged for tuition) and with the occasional assistance of a teacher, she was successful in passing the Third Jamaica Local Examination.
Interested in Nursing as a career, she traveled the districts with the District Midwife to gain an insight into the care of babies and pregnant mothers. She also traveled with the Public Health Nurse on visits to communities where vaccinations and inoculations had to be done. However, because of a personal health problem at the time, she was advised against entering into nursing.
Teaching as a career was her next choice and with the Third Jamaica Local qualifications, she gained her first substantive job at Albion Elementary School. Her next job was at Ebenezer Elementary School, and for the next seven years, she had to walk three to four miles each day to school and back. However, during this time, she received assistance and support from her father. In 1966, determined to be fully qualified as a teacher, she gained admission to Church Teachers’ College, but could not take up residence in the college, since her grandmother had by then become ill, and she had the responsibility of taking care of her.
Carmen Ward, driven by the zeal to succeed, spent many late nights studying and completing assignments with a few hours sleep before having to prepare breakfast and lunch for her grandmother, and then leave for College by 7:00 a.m. It is worth noting, that for the two years of study at the college each year, she received the award for the highest academic performance for the Primary Area. Internship at Snowden Elementary School led to a permanent position on the staff. She remained there for 31½ years, during which time she was promoted to senior teacher, and on occasions, acted as principal.
Miss Ward has served her community with distinction, assuming leadership roles as an Executive member of the Manchester Branch of the Red Cross, Treasurer of the Home/School Street Safety Programme of ALPART, and Executive member of the Manchester Chapter of the Jamaica Government Pensioners' Association. Miss Ward states that her motto is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Carmen Margarita Ward, your strong determination and indomitable effort to achieve your goal, and your commitment towards the development of your students and many less fortunate persons in your community have earned you the commendation of your peers. You are, indeed, a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s Achievement Award for the Parish of Manchester in the year 2005.