55 Years A Teacher, ‘Ma Toulon’
Seventy-eight year old Bertha Toulon, also known as ‘Ma Toulon’ from Roseau, has contributed significantly to the development of Education, dedicating a life long career of 55 years as a teacher.
Born into a family of eleven, Mrs. Toulon was taught the importance of hard work and maintaining a successful career from the tender age of thirteen, when her father passed away. As a result, she became a teacher in 1950, all as a means of support to the rest of the family.
She says there were many moments when she could have left teaching on the basis of marriage, taking care of her nine children, furthering her education as well as becoming tired of the monotony of teaching for so many years; nonetheless she remained committed to her students.
In 1980, Mrs. Toulon took five weeks off from school due to medical reasons, just when she thought she was tired of being a teacher.
However, the grand welcome back she received from her students made her change her mind.
Presently a widower, Mrs. Toulon got married to Francis Toulon at the age of 21 who supported her through her profession regardless the norm of the day when women were generally housewives.
She is proud to say she has proved the theory of ‘give and it will come back to you’ by serving the society.
She says she is satisfied with the gratuity she received from The Convent High School, even if it is not as much as a Government teacher would receive.
She has received numerous awards for longstanding contribution to The Convent High School, The Girl Guides Association, and The Social League, to name a few. Among other recognition, she is also the proud recipient of a Meritorious Service Award from the Government of Dominica in 2003.