Our life journeys are seasoned with “legends”. Yes, those special individuals who leave behind unforgettable impressions and meaningfully impact the lives of others.
On Christmas Eve 2020, St. Augustine’s College (SAC) and The Bahamas lost a legend in every sense of the word — retired educator, the late Charles Martin Lashley.
Through the medium of education and the world of English language and literature, he awakened the intellect and pushed the minds of so many young Bahamians.
There are teachers and then there are legends like Charles Lashley – everyone’s favorite teacher; tough and demanding, yet inspiring.
As a former student of his, I am privileged and grateful for the life lessons taught. With his unique sense of humor and calm demeanor, he challenged all his students to maximize their potential. He did not settle for mediocrity and grades were not given lightly.
To this day, I can recall receiving my first essay from Mr. Lashley. I thought it was an excellent piece of work. He, however, thought otherwise and graded me a D+ (which was uncharacteristic of me). That experience was humbling and despite how good of a student I may have thought I was, I had so much more potential to be realized with hard work.
During the remainder of my two years as a student of the late Charles Lashley, I dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort to each assignment — proofreading, restructuring, rewording and revising.
My classmates and I would spend hours on the telephone, reading and critiquing each other’s work to meet the ‘Lashley standard’. I rightfully earned every good grade thereafter. Life lesson learned! Undoubtedly, he brought out the best possible writer in each of his students.
In retrospect, he prepared us to excel at university and/or professionally, setting us apart from others.
There are countless Charles Lashley stories similar to mine. He remained special, even though I had not spoken to or seen him in a while.
SAC is a better school because of dedicated teaching legends like Charles Lashley. The Bahamas is a better place because of his work, passion and love.
In his honor, may we, his former students, never forget that the F word is FOCUS!
May he rest in peace.
– E. Andrew Edwards