She taught at the Bravid W. Harris Elementary and High School; he at his alma mater, Lott Carey, Cuttington, and elsewhere. They were both well-trained, hardworking and dedicated teachers, the likes of which at all levels of Liberian education today—primary, secondary and even tertiary—are hard to find.
Teacher Gillian Moore, widow of the legendary Liberian cultural and poetic icon, Bai T. Moore, and Jeremiah W. Walker, former Principal of Lott Carey Baptist Mission, dedicated their lives to the education of Liberian children.
Gillian, following graduation from the famed Bolahun Mission, run by the Holy Cross Fathers, entered the University of Liberia, where she took the Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education. She could have continued her education in the USA to obtain a Master’s degree. And who knows? She may have been attracted to lucrative employment in the American educational system. But Gillian, so anxious to share her knowledge with Liberian children, remained right here and started teaching at B.W. Harris, a school built to the memory of the Episcopal bishop who made a remarkable contribution to Liberian education. It was during his tenure that Fr. E. Bolling
Robertson became Principal of St. John’s Episcopal High School in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, which trained so many Liberians into some of the nation’s most prominent professionals in Education, Engineering, Health, Medicine, the Sciences, Law and Politics.
Gillian also served in the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS).
In her educational career, Gillian touched many lives that went on to become great academic and professional achievers. When she died in Monrovia recently, many wept bitterly when they recalled the significant role she played in their lives and in the lives of so many that they knew, whom she had touched.
We say “Thank You, Gillian, for the many lives you impacted; and also for being what your children described as ‘their outstanding mother and the virtuous wife of their father, Bai T. Moore.’” There is no woman who can exceed those distinctive accolades.
And now Jeremiah W. Walker who, yes, did get to travel to the United States after completing Lott Carey, receiving degrees from Howard and Shaw Universities. Being a good preacher and teacher, too, he could have remained in the USA to earn the big bucks, married a good Baptist girl and stayed.
But Jeremiah left here with the commitment to return and serve his people and country, which he did as soon as he completed his studies. The result is several decades of service to his church and its schools, including his beloved alma mater, Lott Carey, where for many years he served as Principal and Superintendent.
The Rev. Dr. Walker also held the most senior positions in the Baptist and other faiths, including President of the Liberian Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LIBMEC), President of the Liberian Council of Churches and President of the Inter-faith Council of Liberia.
But Walker was also a dedicated teacher, and did not permit these lofty positions to take him away from the classroom.
At this time when Liberian education has sunk to its lowest ebb, these two outstanding educators will be sorely missed. The Liberian people are yearning for the emergence of more dedicated teachers like Gillian and Jeremiah to help educate a new crop of Liberians to carry our country forward.
We need more qualified and dedicated teachers who will be able to attract our tens of thousands of children and young people from the streets, using their precious time and youth selling and learning nothing except to spend their time under the rain and sun, in diligent toil that will really get them nowhere.
But first, all of us—the government, the churches, the mosques, the schools themselves, civil society and all our people—should join together to help fix Liberian education by pulling ALL our children and youth and young adults from the streets and into the classrooms—academic, vocational and higher professional—that will assure them a brighter future for themselves and our country.