Alagi Yorro Jallow
I am saddened by the passing of Principal Rev. Willie Carr. Though we had not been in touch for some time, I knew him during my student day as well my sojourn at the Independent days and found him admirably courageous and principled, as well as a marvelously likable human being. May his convictions and principles live on. He is now gone. His smile: Unforgettable; indelible. Beloved to our emeritus teacher Rev.Carr, dance with the Angels – saltare cum angelis:
I still do not know what agent of death killed good teachers. However, I know that excellent teachers are returned to the Almighty for eternal rest. I have been around for some time to mourn quite a number. There was Father Joseph Gough, my high school teacher, and also there was one of my university
Professor Dr. Calestous Juma! And recently Rev.Willie Carr, a teacher, and a close confidant. On each occasion of the rites of the final passage, I knew that what died was not the man in shrouds, what was buried were the seeds the system killed in the womb of the nation’s future, good teachers live forever in the minds of their students.
Death of an older man, we are told, is like a whole library in flames. When a teacher dies, what image does it evoke in the mind of the pupil? It is like a whole world of knowledge consumed in a volcanic eruption. It becomes even more devastating when the departed is not just a teacher but a friend, a mentor, and a staunch believer in the promise latent in the future of the pupil. You meet them at every bus-stop of life. There are no terrible teachers- they all teach something positive (even if unconsciously) that ultimately shapes us the world sees, However, some standout- and we remember them at every pause, every reboot, and restart of the journey of life. They always leave a mark, indelible (even omnipresent) in the sands of the impressionable mind. They are “waters rushed on golden sands.” They are changes in our lives. Alternatively, more appropriately put, they are helpers of destinies. What marks them out is not the number of their degrees, but significantly, the depth and breadth of their humanity and the deep emotional feelings their potters have for the images coming out of their matrix. Rousseau noted that a man is valuable or useful not because of his position, station in life, or because of his education, instead “value is to be sought inside- in the man’s emotional core.”
Rev. Carr was not the run-off-the-mill teacher that taught as a matter of duty. He brought passion and compassion into his work, and these were precisely what upped his worth and estimation in the eyes of his students. In the unforgettable decades of service the anvil breathed life into its work subjects, Rev. Carr made no pretense about it that he was not relating with students—he was engaged in a life-long journey of friendship with partners. He was hired to teach like an ordinary class teacher, but he added career counseling to his almost interminable tutoring of the willing student in his care: “You must get the best out of this department and go out to get the best from the world,” I once heard him tell his students. Poor teaching in schools to him was capable of altering destinies, and he spoke loudly to his colleagues to work against the system that made the school’s poor performance inevitable improved to a quality standard.
Moreover, he remained so close to all of his students and mentees until he left. However, if you thought his mentoring ended with the graduation of his students, you would be wrong. The ones he could locate physically, he sought out and continued the bonding until he had to get out of the suffocating air of the Gambia’s economic (and intellectual) space over the years. From then on, Rev. Carr’s pace in scholarship increased. In the short years, his rose blossomed and took the final exit.
There are many ways of experts to leave us, but on the way is not one of the most suitable ways for someone of his status teacher.
Except for that, I will apologize.
Since his status does not depend on his excellent and elegant name
Neither depends on his success nor clemency
But it depends on his heart of humanity and courage,
For his efforts to defend and represent the Gambia
Moreover, with his intent to increase the dignity of Gambian Youths.
If indeed, life is a journey, he went ahead where many failed to arrive.
We will be liars when we say our hearts are not grieved.
However, we will still be liars if we do not say you have done much satisfying Treacher Rev. Carr,
His writing is our inheritance.
His skill is our challenge.
His fluency is our voice.
Voice of The Gambian Youth
He has left us with a lot to celebrate with a few mourn.
And another time he has gone ahead of us,
We have accepted his rest.
Alagi Yorro Jallow