We are very sad at losing our friend, colleague and principal, Bernice Martin. We will miss her gentle strength; her spontaneous kindness. We will miss her warm smile and her wise advice. We will miss her good heartedness and generosity.
Bernice had time for everybody and yet was everywhere; full of energy, yet an oasis of calm. She never lost her composure and refused to be rushed into any decision, but preferring, in her own words to ‘mull over it’ until she was ready to decide. She had time for everybody and spent it freely on us and on the school. She worked hard and put in long hours and everything she did, she did well. She was a tower of strength for us, giving us confidence with a quite word and a big smile. Her innate sense of justice and wisdom guided her through the regular ups and downs of school life. She could be tough when she had to but she was always ‘sound’. The students loved her; loved her energy, her wit and her obvious interest in each and every one of them. You could see how she connected with them and they with her…the smiles on faces, chuckles and laughter.
Bernice relished being in the thick of it…the busier the better! It didn’t matter whether it was in the classroom, or on the corridor, meeting with Inspectors or making hot chocolate for the students…she was at the heart of everything…encouraging, listening and leading. She saw the best in everybody and brought out the best in us all.
Bernice’s first day at LCC coincided with the 2016 10 km school walk at which she set a blistering pace! She loved getting involved with whatever was going, be it debating or dancing in school shows. Her ‘will do’ attitude brought us along with her to do things we would never have dreamt of…and made our lives richer and better for it.
Bernice had a great sense of humour which was always kind but very honest. It was often expressed with a chuckle which had a wonderful way of putting everything into perspective. She had a lovely smile and found lots to smile about, always looking for the positive and potential in those around her. She understood people, knew how to build us up and encourage us to step out of our comfort zone … helping us to make fresh starts and new beginnings.
Bernice was an overwhelmingly positive person who energised everyone she encountered. A hardworking, diligent and innovative principal who was fair and compassionate, a mother figure to students when they needed it the most! She had the knack of handling difficult situations, never getting fazed, always remaining calm and finding a way forward for all; a guide we could trust at all times.
Our guide has gone and we must find our own way now. We miss you Bernice ….but we will not get lost. We will not get lost because we will remember you and how you were, when you were with us. Your time with us was a gift which has changed all our lives for the better. We will treasure that gift and keep your spirit alive in our hearts and in our school.
We will never forget you Bernice.
Some people come into our lives,
Leave their footprints on our hearts
And we are never the same.