by Donella Hosten
Sister Maureen Alexander, Provincial of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, has been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), for her services to education, in the 2018 New Year Honours.
The NOW Grenada team interviewed Sister Maureen on Thursday, 11 January regarding her award and her years of service. Since childhood, Sister Maureen has incorporated service to others into her way of life. “I learned that you do your little good wherever you can,” she said.
She is from Crochu in St Andrew and reminisced on her primary school days at the Crochu Government School, where the motto was ‘Enter to learn. Go forth to serve.’ This she said, stuck with her throughout, thus her “whole life has been about service.”
During her 42-year tenure in the education system, Sister Maureen continued to serve selflessly without any expectations in return. She believes that education drives the economy, and therefore, if the economy ever collapses, “we have to ask ourselves who and what are we educating for.”
She served as Principal of St Joseph’s Convent, St George’s from 2002-2009. There, with the assistance of her capable staff, she helped mould her students into respectable and ambitious young women. According to Sister Maureen, the award is a plus for education and motivation for young persons, teachers and principals to continue to give selfless service.
Sister Maureen said she is elated that her contribution over the years has been valued by so many. Her philosophy has always been not to give up on any child, because, “within every child is the potential for excellence.”
She spoke of her desire for inclusive education and encouraged her students at the convent to get into non-traditional jobs, and introduced Technical Studies at the school, an initiative she has seen blossom. “I always encourage the students to be broad-based,” she said.
Her receiving the award has brought together past students and others from all over the world who have stated how much they value her input. She is very happy to have been part of the students’ journey. “It has brought me great joy, and the years I’ve been here have been wonderful.” She said she would do it all over again, teach and be religious, because her gift is service to others.
A date for the official investiture has not as yet been announced