Our elders had a saying that opposites attract. I sometimes wonder just how much water that quote holds for many couples . What did it hold for Marion Trott and Edward Dejean.
Marion Ida Seager Trott was born on 18th. April 1923 in Sandy’s parish Somerset Bermuda to Francis Edmund ‘Frank’ Trott and Nellie Beryl Stowe Simons. Marion was clearly a gifted student from a very early age. She received her early learning from her grandmother and then attended West End School. She was awarded a scholarship to Berkeley Institute at 9 years of age. In 1939 she obtained the Bermuda Scholarship for girls this enabled her to attend Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario Canada there she obtained a B.A. in English and French. She also obtained a Diploma in Education from the Ontario Institute for studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Marion was well-connected in the Educational field being tutored by her godfather C Isaac Henry the first principle of West End Primary and her grandmother Ida Iona Trott (Nee Seager) a Primary school principal who was credited with helping to establish the Somerset Primary School. At age sixteen Marion became the youngest Bermuda Scholar upon her graduation from Berkeley Institute. While helping out as a teachers’ assistant the desire to become a full-time time teacher registered to her and she decided to go into the teaching field. In 1940 at age 17 she entered Queen’s University. Marion met a young Canadian Army Solider Edward Hugh ‘Eddie’ Dejean born on 8th September 1920 in Montreal, Quebec his father (Caribbean) his mother Margaret a (white Canadian). At age 11 Eddie met Chief Stanton a veteran of World War 1 and a Methodist Minister who greatly influenced his life. Like Marion Eddie had great potential and an extraordinary intelligence and obvious leadership ability among many more talents. He graduated first in class from Technical School and later obtained the highest score in Eastern Canada for Army recruits. He also won a scholarship to the College Des Beaux Arts. He later attended McGill University and worked for the CBC Broadcasting the West Indian Journal to the Caribbean and Bermuda. In May 1943 while in the Canadian forces he married Marion Trott of that union were two children. Marion and Edward later came back to Bermuda in 1949 and became involved in the Educational and Political issues of the Island. While back in Bermuda Marion was offered a position at Sandys’ Secondary School by Louisa Gardenier Richards. Both Marion and Louisa were excellent teachers the writer of this text can vouch for that as a prior student under their guidance, and overall interest in the welfare of their students. Marion gave her educational service there for several years. Eddie on the other hand was asked to fill a vacancy at Howard Academy left by the sudden death of Mr. Edwin Skinner. His wife encouraged him to accept the position. He along with students and parents worked together to keep the School opened and eventually physically built a school to house the students. In three and a half years the students achieved their first Cambridge School Certificate. Eddie also felt that sports could open up more positive doors for the school and build up morale. He studied soccer tactics and passed the exam to become an F.A. coach and he placed the same emphasis on thinking skills. He demanded hard work and training in Academics and he produced an unbeatable school soccer team and later the Devonshire Colts. Marion and Edward were key participants in the political scene in Bermuda. A discussion of having a people’s’ Party was broached by Eddie while sitting at his dining table in 1962 in conversation with Wilfred ‘Mose” Allen. The idea was eventually accepted by other persons including Mr. Rio Richardson who were interested politically in the affairs of the Island. In 1963 the Progressive Labour Party was launched. Family circumstances caused the Dejeans to return to Canada in 1964. Eddie returned to Queens University and completed his degree in Biology. While Marion was employed in the Kingston Women’s Prison and quickly took on the role of Social worker. Upon the graduation of her husband from Queen’s the couple moved to Toronto where Marion obtained her professional teachers diploma and taught at King City High School. In the early 1980’s the Dejeans moved back to Bermuda and Marion became involved in a variety of Social issues. She served along with Esther Bean in the educational field. She joined the Bermuda Union of teachers. She served as Chairperson of the Union Board of inquiry into Education working along with Michael West College lecturer of Psychology, Edwin C. Wilson MBE Education Officer of Department of Education, and Principal Carol Bassett. In 1981 Marion was appointed to Bermuda’s first Commission on Human Rights and she worked with human rights consultant Mr. Daniel G. Hill. from Toronto. Eddie was awarded the MBE in 1980 for services rendered to education. His final service in Bermuda was to join the Department of Education to work with Dr. David Archibald on the National Drug Commission of enquiry. Eddie had a famous quote “Do not go where the path may lead , go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Eddie left us for the great beyond on September 9,2002. Marion enjoyed life she gave good counsel and was well-respected by colleagues and family.Marion left us to join her beloved Eddie on July 17th 2018. The world lost two great educators and heroes of our time and yes opposites do attract.
Researched and submitted by Joy Bermudian Heritage Museum Exhibits Director