On Saturday 16th June it was announced that Edith Timm has been honoured with an MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours. Edith popped into the Sentinel office on Tuesday to talk about her award.
"No, I haven't received it yet," said Edith, "I am told by His Excellency the Governor that it may not be presented to me until November/December. It came as a surprise and I am overwhelmed but I did not expect it. Things I've done during my life, I did it because I love people, I like to be busy and if I can help anyone I do so".
Edith was also chairwoman of the Guinea Grass Community Centre and often involved in organising many different events.
What would she select as the highlight of her career? "I stammered from a child," said Edith, "and all through my early life and when St Helena was sending students away on teacher training they wouldn't send me because of my stammer. So my highlight was I gave up teaching here and I went in through Mr Jack Thorpe who used to send people away on domestic work. I'm not a bit domesticated but I thought I'll get myself to UK and then do my GCSE, O levels, A levels and I did that, stammering or no stammering. When I was qualified I went to Middlesbrough College and then I was taken on for school teaching. I went to Durham for my teacher training, Vineyard Hall, and I think when I came out of college and was taken into a school, stammering or no stammering, that has been the highlight of my life because I wanted to teach, I didn't want to sit behind a desk. If I sat on my bottom I would have gone under and I would have been shy to face the public so I made my mind up to get up and go".
Edith started teaching on St Helena at the age of 15 and worked up until the age of 60.
She was the second head teacher of Prince Andrew School, for four years, and then moved to Chief Education Officer in place of Basil George. "I then retired from that, I've been retired for 15 years now" said Edith "I have been busy but I've enjoyed it, I would have been bored otherwise."