Role model, educator, poet, comedian, mentor. These were among the appellations used to describe former principal of the Holy Innocents’ School and author of the National Pledge, the late Lester Vaughan.
Delivering the inaugural Lester Vaughan Memorial Lecture, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Cynthia Forde, painted a picture of a man of exceptional diligence who was respected by all.
“Sir was a principal who always stood on principle. Whether one learnt well, sang well, excelled in any area or not, one was admonished to always display good manners. There was no excuse for indiscipline. His punishment always fitted the crime.”
Of Mr Vaughan’s accomplishments, Minister Forde pointed to his commitment to ensuring that all his students had an equal opportunity to receive quality education and he was portrayed as one worthy as one worthy of high praise and recognition.
“Sir was instrumental in safe-guarding opportunities for his students to excel at all levels, since his philosophy was, “equal treatment to every child’ He harnessed the abilities and skills of everyone and pointed them in a positive direction.”
The recipient of the Silver Crown of Merit for his sterling contribution to the growth and development of Barbados, Mr Vaughan’s love for music was also highlighted by Ms Forde who spoke of being drafted into the choir by the renowned principal.
“Sir was a top class musician. He mastered skills in playing numerous instruments, including bottles. He shared his knowledge and skills with his students.”
Minister Forde explained that the strong disciplinarian was a ‘stickler for lucid handwriting’. “He practised what he preached. His favourite saying was “your handwriting is a reflection of your character.” No child could present illegible exercises to teachers.”
Ms Forde concluded by calling on Barbadians to “hold onto the legacy of Lester Vaughan and use it to help mold a brighter future for Barbados”.