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Iconic former schoolteacher dies at 101

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Iconic West End educator Hope Bascome, whose public school career spanned more than four decades, has passed away at the age of 101.

“She lived long, she lived well, and she touched many lives in school and in church,” nephew Glenn Bascome told

The Royal Gazette.

“She did indicate that if she could help someone as she passed along, then her living would not be in vain.”

A memorial service is set for Saturday at Beulah Tabernacle, Dr Bascome added.

Ms Bascome was well known for teaching at Sandys Secondary Middle School, where she started as a student on the school's October 27, 1927 opening day.

Two years later, Ms Bascome graduated from the Berkeley Institute, opting for teaching as a career.

“During those days, not many professions were open to black people, let alone black women — but she seemed to have found her niche,” Dr Bascome said.

“She had no regrets about the years she spent in teaching, or in the church. Even after she retired, she did a stint at Cedar Grove in Southampton and Springfield Nursery in Somerset. She just enjoyed what she did.”

She worked for 41 years in Bermuda's public schools, particularly for West End Primary School.

Unmarried and childless, Ms Bascome also devoted herself to her faith, to which she credited her longevity.

An ardent evangelist, she helped found the United Gospel Mission Camp and served as an assistant pastor at her Somerset church.

Her 100th birthday prompted fanfare at the school, her nephew said, along with congratulations from the Queen.

Veteran Progressive Labour Party MP Walter Lister remembered Ms Bascome as his teacher as well as one of his constituents.

“She was my first kindergarten teacher when I went to school,” Mr Lister said. “When you go in that first morning, you're all eyes — I remember Ms Bascome had such a warm personality.

“In my adult life I found her to be a woman of very Christian principles. As one of my constituents, she was also one of those persons who would not hold back on expressing her opinion.

“Living to be over 100 speaks to her contribution. She made such a valuable contribution over those years that the community will miss her greatly.”

Ms Bascome lived at home in Bob's Valley, Somerset, accompanied by her 95-year-old sister Miriam Dickenson.

Her health began to fail earlier this month, and she died on Saturday.

A viewing service is planned for Friday evening at Beulah Tabernacle, her nephew said.

Hope Bascome, pictured on her 100th Birthday. Ms Bascome has died aged 101.
Hope Bascome, pictured on her 100th Birthday. Ms Bascome has died aged 102.
Hope Bascome, right, pictured on her 100th Birthday. Ms Bascome has died aged 102.

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Published June 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 18, 2013 at 11:56 pm)

Iconic former schoolteacher dies at 101

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