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Education pioneer Dr. Keva Bethel memorialized

Education pioneer and the first Bahamian President of the College of The Bahamas(COB), Dr Keva Marie Bethel, was memorialized yesterday, just over one week after the nation mourned the death and witnessed the funeral of her brother, Bishop Michael Eldon.

She died the morning of his funeral at the age of 75.

COB closed its doors yesterday in honor and remembrance of its President Emerita. Its faculty, staff and students–both past and present–joined the family and friends of Dr. Bethel in an overflowing Christ Church Cathedral to pay their last respects.

The college held its own memorial service for its first president last Friday. Yesterday, the country paid tribute to her in a state-recognized memorial service.

Her celebrated 50-year career in education ended in a 16-year tenure as president of COB. Bethel became the Principal of COB in 1982 and became the institution’s President in 1995 at the age of 60.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham paid tribute to the late COB President, who he said played an invaluable role in the development of the country and in shaping the lives of many successful

individuals across the country.

“Over the years she helped to shape the intellect and character of many who in their time have given to civic, public and community service, including at the highest levels of Bahamian society,”Ingraham said.

“It is the measure of her service and devotion that she gave more service in her retirement than some are fortunate to give over a lifetime.”

Dr. Bethel in her lifetime was a member of the board of many organizations, including the Lyford Cay Foundation, Doctors Hospital and Queen’s College Board of Governors, to name a few.

She was also a member of the board at Cable Bahamas, which paid tribute to her through the words of its Director of Public Affairs, Dr Keith Wisdom.

He shared with the congregation what Dr. Bethel shared with him during their last interview–what she wanted for her country and her people.

Wisdom quoted Dr. Bethel who told him:”I want it to be a gentler, more tolerant, more loving kind of country. It disturbs me greatly that so much hate seems to abound in our country.

“It scares me. I want us to be a gentler people who take consideration of other persons as having the right to space on earth, and that we have people who can recognize that a part of living in a civilized society is that you have to take into consideration the needs and importance of other individuals, and that’s it.”

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