Ms. Carol Hill–The Teacher -The Activist

Ms. Carol Dowling Hill was a woman of great stature she was the daughter of an elite family who made a vast contribution to the Island of Bermuda. Ms. Hill was elegant and soft spoken, but when one was in her presence she commanded their attention and respect. It was almost as if she was destine to work in the field of education a career which spanned close to forty years.  It’s entirely possible she was inspired by her grandfather Samuel David Robinson who was one of the founders of the Berkeley Institute. She was the first drama and speech teacher in the government high school system and she was on the Ministry of Education’s Theatre Arts Curriculum Advisory Committee at the Prospect Secondary School for Girls. In 1951 she taught at the Arts and Crafts school where she initiated formal high school graduation exercises in Government. Ms. Hill became involved in the community and authored a historical book “Ray of Hope”on the Sunshine League a charity founded by her aunt Agnes Mae Robinson. On the Arts Council she had responsibility for the National Youth Theatre. She was a founding member of the Festival for the advancement of the performing Arts.  A founding member of the New Theatre Guild and was involved with the Bermuda Music and Dramatic Society, The Companion Theatre, The Studio Theatre and Church Productions. I’m honoured to state here I was one of the persons along with my five year old son at the time that performed in one of her plays the”Church is Moving On” performed at St. Paul A.M.E. church in 1979. I also had the privilege as a student at Sandy Secondary School of being coached by her to appear in one of their  high school productions of “Shakespeare” Julius Caesar  at the Manchester Unity Lodge Hall in Somerset  where I performed the part of Cassius. It was one of the most intriguing and exciting moments of my high school days under the principle ship of Winton T. Williams. Needless to say at that time I won the high school class trophy for that performance.  Another noted production company at that time was Hastings Saltus group who involved such persons as Shirley Christopher and Mr. Edwin Wilson who took over the production company upon the death of Mr. Saltus. Ms. Hill was one of four who organized the Boycott of the Bermudiana Theatre Club in 1951, she along with her sister-in- law Georgina Hill were members of A New Theatre Guild. Ms. Hill who represented persons in this minor group set in motion a chain of events that would eventually see racial segregation banished in Bermuda. However the protest triggered a decade long debate on the future of the Country. She earned the Queen’s Certificate and badge of Honour in 2000 and the most Excellent Order of the British Empire(MBE) for services to Education and the Arts in Bermuda. She received numerous honours and awards including the Anti-Apartheid Coalition award for helping to spearhead the drive for Universal Suffrage. She won the Bermuda Arts Councils Life time achievement award for dramatic Arts. Bermuda lost an Activist -Educator- and quiet soldier who gave her all for the betterment of her people and Country.