The Bahamas has lost a pioneer in education – Queen’s College former Headmistress passes

Mrs Yvonne Noronha

By Dr. John Edwards

Bahamas Press is reporting the passing of Mrs Yvonne Noronha.

She was a pioneer in education back in my home country and was the first Bahamian Administrator of the College and its first Vice Principal.

She was appointed as its first Headmistress in 1978. She was also a devout Christian and a proud member of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA.) and displayed true grit and character when fighting for the church’s autonomy to be granted properly and through the correct channels during the time of my fathers chairmanship of the MCCA.

She was also a member of my fathers church at Trinity Methodist Church in downtown Nassau and I was very good friends with her sons Roshan and Ravi who also attended QC. and her only daughter Indira Noronha who was slightly older than the rest of us.

I spent many of my childhood days playing video games eg. ATari (Just dated myself) in their home after school would come out in the afternoons and my parents and my sister would often join their family for dinners at their home on occasion along with her then husband Mr. Peter Francis Noronha who later passed away in 2017 and was a prominent Bank Manager and a model citizen of the Bahamas.

May their souls be reunited in heaven at this time.

She was a true example of professionalism and decency. Her example of female leadership was ahead of her time for the Bahamas in education circles as a pioneer by being the first to head up our Primary School while leading as a true woman of integrity and decency for other young Bahamian women to model after.

She epitomized scholarship and intellect and truly led Queens College Primary School Into the modern era to become what it is today during the tenure of the Rev. Charles Sweeting who was then Principal of Queens College High School since 1979 while Mr. Alexander Roberts served as the High School’s Vice Principal, both men serving up until Mr. Philip Cash took it over from Charles Sweeting in 1993 right up until the time of his death in 1997.

She will forever remain in our hearts and I can truly state that she left her indelible mark on me and many others who graduated from QC. and I’m sure that I can truly speak for them all in saying that she will be sadly missed. She helped to form my foundation of self while I attended QC. and as I watched her style of leadership in my own fathers church meetings growing up. In many of those meetings which she chaired and often spoke on she exemplified courage. That included church meetings on the floor of the Methodist Synod where she would often share her unabated and unfiltered opinions on all matters before its body and her opinions were always direct and bluntly honest!

Basically what I’m saying is that I admired her immensely!

She had guts, integrity and character! A born educational leader!

Many Bahamians are forever impacted to this day and have been inspired by her example of leadership and her influence over their educational years at QC which led on to them excelling later on as Bahamian Doctors like myself, nurses, lawyers, politicians, administrators, CPA’s, educators, government officials, accountants, teachers, Olympic athletes like my sister Jackie Edwards, Bankers, Pilots etc. etc. and even Rhodes Scholars that QC later produced.

May god bless her family and may her soul forever Rest In Peace.