…still advocates for corporal punishment “Corporal punishment will not kill children; at times it is the only thing that can help to straighten some of them,Wholesale Jerseys
,” said Teacher Cleo as she prepared for the celebration of her life yesterday. It was in fact her 104th birth anniversary and she had modest plans to spend the day with a few dear friends and relatives who have remained close to her over the years.104 year-old ‘Teacher Cleo’ is joined for a photo opportunity by Nurse Gloria BrandisWith faculties all intact, the former Stewartville Congregational Church School student, and subsequent teacher, could not resist the urge to address the education system. She bitterly lamented the fact that some officials do not see it fit to utilise corporal punishment anymore.“…I mean you are not going to kill them; you get the wild cane and you give them a little touch up and that is enough, but instead they want to completely cut it out.”Born and raised in the village of Stewartville, West Coast Demerara, she is fondly called ‘Teacher Cleo’ by all those whose lives she has touched in some way during her time as a tutor.Her teaching career started when she was 20 years old, and though she could not remember the exact span in that profession, she is sure that it was “a number of years”.The centenarian recalled during a very lucid conversation yesterday, that her teaching career was very satisfying.“The children loved me so much, and I could’ve gotten them to do anything I wanted. As soon as I gave an order they complied. If they were not to do something and I appeared, suddenly everyone came to attention. I just had to give them that look, a mere gaze, and they knew what they had to do,” she recounted, as a wide smile engulfed her face.Although she never married and bore no children, Teacher Cleo fondly claims to have several “borrowed children”. She currently resides with two of them – at 29 Stewartville Public Road, West Coast Demerara – in whose upbringing she played an integral role.The highly respected senior citizen expressed her conviction that while youths must indulge in social activities, the best of those activities are those engaged in a religious setting. Though unable to attend church as much as she’d like, Teacher Cleo is convinced that religion is a very important facet of life and should extend to the school system.“This is very important. At the school that I attended there were religious prayers every morning, midday and afternoon. If you are going to train children, give them the perfect training; it must be based on religion. Don’t prevent them from going to church… this is important. So teach them what religion is.”She warned too that it is crucial that adults ensure that their lives are examples for the young, insisting that “what you want to pass on, you have to show them.”“Some people get out on the streets and do anything, and they don’t care in whose presence. They use all kinds of language in front of adults. You couldn’t use any indecent language in the presence of adults back in the day,” she reflected.As such her advice to young people today is to “try to be respectable, work hard and if you have to do a task, do it in a timely manner and do it well.”Professing to have been a hard worker during her youthful days, Teacher Cleo said that there was no household chore that was off-limits. This trait, she claims, was adopted from her mother, Priscilla Louisa Braithwaite, who was a laundress by profession. Her father was Samuel Braithwaite, and Teacher Cleo remembers him as very talkative and proud of his biblical name.Her parents’ union produced three daughters, Teacher Cleo being the eldest, and is the lone survivor. She arrived, a sprightly first-born, on August 29, 1908.Though she migrated to the United States for a brief period, she opted to return to her homeland, and said even though she is not able to walk now, she is satisfied with her life.At the age of 100, Teacher Cleo suffered a fall which left her with a broken hip. She was required to undergo a hip replacement surgery and is now confined to a wheelchair.According to Nurse Gloria Brandis, aside from her hip injury, Teacher Cleo remains in good health. Nurse Brandis has been caring for the elderly woman for a few years and claimed that “she has no high blood pressure, no sugar…the only thing is that she has a little arthritis in the joints.”She remarked too that while she has in the past attended to nonagenarian (a person in their nineties) never before had she been privileged to attend to such a vibrant centenarian – with a hearty appetite and who seems contented with her life.“She doesn’t complain about anything. She just has a relaxed disposition about everything,” Nurse Brandis asserted.Teacher Cleo’s favourite dishes are pepper-pot and cook-up-rice and she is an avid reader of religious texts and publications on good hygiene. She takes time-out to watch television and to read the daily newspapers – without the use of spectacles. Spectacles, she contends, cause the words to become blurred, suggesting that her eyes are way better.“She can read the finest print without glasses,” Nurse Brandis added in agreement.