‘The Special Gifts’ of Daisy and Nellie’

She Left no Stone Unturned

Mrs. Daisy Powell was born in 1924 she came from a family in St. Kitts that was not to well off and she also at an early age contracted Polio, but she did not let this hold her back. At age 14 she was still able to pass 13 GCE’s. She won a scholarship to study teaching for a year in Antigua, after which she taught in a local Catholic Parochial School, she gave private tuition to children of St. Kitt’s Community leaders. She taught in her own private school for two years, then went off to Toronto to attend Teacher’s College.

Daisy came to Bermuda in 1949, she was fortunate to get a teaching position at Purvis School in Warwick under Head Mistress Cora Scott- Gayle. She was encouraged to follow her desire to open her own nursery school by Ms. Marjorie Bean later (Dame Marjorie) and Yvonne Blackett and Mrs. Gayle. Daisy did just that and founded a nursery in 1954, initially at home in her kitchen on Friswell’s Hill Pembroke and it started out with five children. She eventually ended up with 150 students between the ages of 3-7 year old.

She also put on Television concerts with the assistance of Nell Bassett better known to the children as (Aunty Nell) and the live concerts were very often standing room only. Her very young students were excellent at reciting long memory verses as well as singing and dancing. Being an excellent teacher and well admired by her students many of them advanced and now hold very influential jobs. Among them: former students Hon. Nelson Bascome Sr. Parliamentarian, Juan Wolffe Crown Council, Dr, Derrick Binns Cabinet Secretary for Government, Cathy Bassett Head Mistress of Elliott School along with her deputy Principle at the time Valerie Williams and presently with over Twenty years service Lorrita J. Tucker Human Resource Director of Bermuda College.

Mrs. Powell married Howard Powell and of that union was one child Marcelle Clemens who became a well known Soprano. Mrs. Powell was an active member of Grace Methodist Church North Shore, she later moved to Christ Church in Devonshire. She eventually retired from the nursery school and moved into Hamilton City to operate the Hope Homes on Brunswick Street a home for persons who are challenged but being groomed to live on their own there are many who will miss her on her passing but could truly say well done for a service rendered from the heart.

NELLIE HAD A THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE

Ms. Nellie Wilson was born on 3rd. August 1926 the 4th. child of Lillian Ainsworth and Grandville Trimingham Wilson at’ Wentworth Cottage’ Hog Bay Somerset Bridge Bermuda. As a young child she suffered from infantile disease and it was uncertain if she would live. By the grace of God and the belief that bathing in the salt ocean could heal, the young Nellie survived. She and her parents and siblings soon after moved to Sinky Bay in a Cottage built by her father on a parcel of land he owned. However Nellie remained a sickly child she lost her mom Lillian at the age of 51. Nellie received her early education but on many occasions missed lots of time. She did win a number of trophies and won the Southampton East School’s girl champion ship.

She received her high school education from Sandy’s Secondary School Bermuda and was a graduate of the Chicago School of Nursing Extension Division, Wilfred Academy of Beauty Culture, and John Fonda of Advanced Cosmetology, both in New York City, During the 1950-60’s she worked as a relief nurse in private duty with the elderly. Between 1957-58 she worked as a resident volunteer at the children’s centre.

In August 1967-68 she was employed by the Bermuda Government as an instructor in special education. She was an ambitious community worker and in 1964, she was listed as one of Bermuda’s ten most outstanding business women. Nellie still had a desire to learn more and she completed several courses through summer study extension programmes with the University of Maryland and Queen’s University Canada.

She entered State University College Buffalo in January 1974 and in 1976 was awarded a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education. Nellie enrolled in Fisk University, Nashville Tennessee, in 1979 and was awarded a Fellowship for graduate students, Nellie was a writer and gerontologist, one of her desires was to research her family lineage. She was groomed in church and worshipped as an Adventist, she loved poetry and music. She was a Bermudian Historian and researcher who had been honoured by the Bermuda Professional and Business women’s club for her literary education and business contributions to the people of Bermuda. She was research Coordinator for the 1984 “Bermuda Tapestry’ exhibition sponsored by the Bermuda Human Rights Commission, and she is the author of ‘Mind the Onion Seed 1979, and The Missing Mr. Reid’1984 among many others published works ” Children of the Enterprise.”

Nellie married Mr. Musson and of that union was 4 children who in their own rights achieved much. Because of her illness Nellie didn’t live to the ripe age of most seniors but her works are her legacy.