Tributes poured in today for Queen’s College teacher Eucalene McConney who died on Friday.
Her death was met with shock and expressions of grief on social media from colleagues and students, and the school held a special assembly this morning during which old scholars, students, staff and friends remembered the life of the late English teacher.
Among those fighting to come to terms with the loss was Jillian Orford, who began working at Queen’s College at the same time as McConney in 1994.
Although they taught different subjects, Orford said it was impossible not to like her colleague and the two quickly struck a lasting friendship.
“Eucalene was a personality – lively, happy, and meticulous. She just had a way of making you like her, you couldn’t help it; McConney was irrepressible. She was a giver, she loved sharing things, she would cook new recipes and make things and bring them for you; she was a seamstress, she made clothes for me to wear to work when we had just started and she was just a wonderful person,” the Geography teacher told Barbaos TODAY.
She said in addition to being a good friend, McConney was a wonderful teacher who loved her students and made learning fun.
“She made English real for many of them, she made it come alive, she was very interactive in her teaching. Many of them in their testimonies didn’t even like English until they met Mrs McConney, especially English Literature. She will be greatly missed.”
Another teacher with whom she developed a close friendship, A’ja Maxwell, spoke fondly of McConney, describing the deceased as “more than a friend”.
“I worked under her as first form year head and she really impressed me with her work ethic. Eucalene was a great example, very industrious, very organized, and very efficient. She was always on top of her work as a first form year head; she would call parents the moment something happened, she was very in touch with what is going on and hands on. Eucalene was more than a colleague,” a grieving Maxwell said.
“The thing that has been keeping me is knowing she has gone to be with Jesus. I know that. I am not wondering about what has happened to her or if she is lost for eternity, I know she is with Jesus.”
Similar sentiments were shared by Tanya Inniss, another teacher who knew McConney for six years but who described her as “one of my greatest mentors”.
“I have known Mrs McConney for six years and she has always been a very loving and caring woman. And one thing that stood out for me was her Christian principles. Even today I am reading from one of the devotions she gave me. Eucalene has been a tower of strength to me,” Inniss said.