REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR AUGUSTUS JASPERT
ON THE OCCASION OF THE INVESTITURE OF
MRS H. LYNDEN SMITH, AS A MEMBER OF THE
MOST EXCELLENT MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
1st JUNE, 2018
We are here today to honour Mrs. Lynden Smith, known to all of us as Teacher Lynden and invest her as a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
The Order of the British Empire recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds. It was created nearly 100 years ago by His Majesty King George V who wanted a formal recognition for the large numbers of people in the British Isles and other parts of the Empire who were serving, either as combatants, or as civilians during the First World War.
Across the Realms of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second to this day the Order of the British Empire remains the principal order of chivalry of our modern democracy.
The honours system recognises those individuals who have made achievements in public life; committed themselves to serving and helping their community, or been outstanding at what they do and as such stand out as an example to other people.
Over the past 47 years Mrs Lynden Smith has touched the lives of innumerable young people in the Virgin Islands. The full citation is contained in the pamphlet with the Order of Service. It makes clear the extent of Teacher Lynden’s wide ranging contribution, from teaching early education, Principal, and then to Education Officer for Reading.
Working from the Department of Education and Culture she now had the opportunity to serve the entire school population of the British Virgin Islands. Teacher Lynden wanted to see students eager to read instead of having to be forced to read. So the request was made to have a special period set aside for Reading. Her request was granted and during March 1992 the first Reading is Fun Week was celebrated and instantly become a hit and an annual event. Here was an ideal opportunity to promote reading and its importance not only for children but the entire territory.
Teacher Lynden’s work is a fitting tribute to her personal family as her mother taught her the ABC’s and her father encouraged her love for reading when he would treat the family to stories from many different books. Her parents, her love of books and reading, along with the opportunity granted by the late Dr Willard Wheatley and Dr Charles Wheatley, OBE inspired Mrs Smith to become a teacher.
Teacher Lynden’s unfailing determination and enthusiasm coupled with her infectious personality is well known to many of you. Many people have been on the receiving end and have learned so much from her. Some of her former students are here also to witness this special day. I am sure that you all can attest to her being well deserving of this award and to the contributions she has made in the Territory and your lives.
Teacher Lynden’s compassion for others, her instinctive sense of what needs to be done and her willingness to give of herself to achieve a better world, serve to mark her out as someone who represents the very best of this community. Her contribution over 62 plus years has been enormous and she is a real credit to the British Virgin Islands.
In today’s gathering of her friends and family and in the presence of other distinguished members of the Order from across the Virgin Islands, it is my great pleasure and privilege to bestow on H. Lynden Smith membership of the Order of the British Empire.
May we thank Teacher Lynden, now Teacher Lynden MBE, for all of her service throughout her life and congratulations for this award.