By Mrs Mary Langley
Aunty Marion was a lady who played many roles in life ranging from wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and teacher, to name a few.
She is remembered as the loving, loyal and supportive wife of her beloved husband the late Mr. Harry Lloyd-Evans, her soul mate, life partner and best friend. It is said that behind every great man there is a great woman. Aunty Marion was that great woman who stood behind her beloved husband throughout his career, especially when he assumed the heavy national responsibilities as the first Gambian Inspector General of Police, and later as Chairman of the Public Service Commission. She created the serene home environment where he could de-stress at day’s end.
She was the devoted mother, always there to listen, guide, encourage and provide a nurturing environment for her children, nieces and nephews. To her grandchildren, she was the fond grandmother whose home was their happy haven. Delicious lunch at grandma Marion’s home after Mass was the highlight of their week. The family could always count on grandma to adeptly organise wonderful feasts to celebrate landmark moments.
She was a teacher par excellence who regarded teaching as an important life vocation. The task of educating, guiding and helping to shape the lives of young people was a serious responsibility to her. She believed that a disciplined environment was a prerequisite to effective learning, and she is remembered as a kind and patient disciplinarian. She was as a role model to younger school teachers, and she never tired of exhorting them to maintain exemplary conduct in school, for the edification of the pupils. She developed rapport with the parents of students and they became her allies in their children’s education. The mothers, who had no opportunity to be educated, appreciated her greatly. Aunty Marion set high standards for the children under her care, indeed she expected no less of them, than she did of her own children.
After several decades of teaching myriads of young Gambians, Aunty Marion retired honourably from the teaching profession. Thereafter she continued to derive great satisfaction in knowing that her former pupils had built on their early education and were now serving throughout the length and breath of The Gambia.
Aunty Marion was highly respected within the Banjul Community, also in Fajara and Bakau where the family relocated. When she was able to get out and about in the community, she was often gratified to be approached by former pupils with their young ones. I expect that since her passing, the alumni of past pupils will be sharing reminisces about Aunty Marion, the teacher who made a difference in their lives.
In the annals of the nation’s history, Aunty Marion will be listed among the illustrious Gambian teachers.