Roban leads tributes to teacher
Alfred Augustus, a senior member of the family who own Augustus Funeral Home, has died at the age of 95.
A former teacher and probation officer, Mr Augustus’s charitable roles included heading the Bermuda Special Olympics committee and serving as secretary for the Physical Abuse Centre.
He was a panellist for the Family Court, chairman of the Bermuda Family Council, served on the Injuries Compensation Board, and was a prominent member of the Mount Zion AME Church in Southampton.
Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, said in the House of Assembly yesterday that Mr Augustus was “a wonderful gentleman”.
Mr Augustus started out in the newspaper business.
His father David was one of the founders of the Bermuda Recorder, the island’s only black-owned newspaper, which closed in 1975.
Mr Augustus was recruited at the Bermuda Recorder to sweep floors and fold newspapers. He was skilled in shorthand, later graduated to Linotype, the complex typesetting machines used in the pre-digital age, and was sent overseas to train as a Linotype operator.
He also obtained a bachelor’s degree in physical education at Howard University in Washington, where he won a swimming scholarship.
Mr Augustus is said to have credited his father for his early swimming ability because he threw him into the water at Devonshire Dock.
Mr Augustus graduated with a degree in physical education at Springfield College in Massachusetts and qualified as a teacher at the District of Columbia Teachers College.
He met Juanita Taylor at Howard and the couple married in 1952.
The couple lived in Washington, where Mr Augustus worked at the US Government Printing Office.
Mr Augustus returned to Bermuda in 1973 and taught at Prospect Primary School. He married for the second time to June Masters, a journalist and managing editor at the Recorder, who went on to found her own magazine, Fame. Ms Masters died in 2006.
Mr Augustus worked in the probation service for eight years and retired in 1987. He was also secretary to Devonshire Recreation Club.
Mr Augustus was given a government award in 1993 for his work with the Bermuda Special Olympics.
He told The Royal Gazette at the time: “Sometimes, the person who finishes first goes back and helps the person coming in last.”
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