- 63 years old
- Date of birth: Apr 21, 1953
- Date of passing: Jun 10, 2016
- Place of passing:
London, Middlesex Hospital, United Kingdom
|Let the memory of Valerie be with us forever|
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Valerie James, 63, born on April 21, 1953 and passed away on June 10, 2016. We will remember her forever.
Valerie Eudora Rosemary affectionately known to many as Val, Teacher Valerie, Teach, Teacher Val, Sister James and Sister Valerie was born to Victor and Olvina Brand of Barzey’s on the 21 of April 1953. She was the fourth child of that union.
Valerie attended the Cavalla Hill and St. Johns Primary Schools and later the Montserrat Secondary School.
In 1971 Valerie began working as a teacher at the St. Johns Primary School. Val graduated from the Antigua State College at the top of her class. Throughout her teaching career she attended other training programmes in Canada, the United Kingdom and Dominica. Valerie had a love affair with Math’s and her face would actually glow whenever she was working a problem. She simply could not understand how people did not like Maths when it was just so logical and enjoyable. She was a committed and trained teacher. Valerie believed in punctuality and you knew she was really, really ill if she called in sick for work.
Valerie later became the head teacher of the Salem Primary School and then served as Early Childhood Education Coordinator in the Ministry of Education up until 1998 when her position became redundant after mass migration as a result of ongoing volcanic activitiy.
In 2000 she commenced working as manager of the Montserrat Philatelic Bureau a post she held until her passing. She became very fascinated with stamps and enjoyed producing new stamps for the Government.
Forty four years ago Valerie married Victor James of Gerald’s. This union produced three children. Arlene, Magdalene and Victor Jr. Considering that all of their children were born in November maybe one can conclude that Valerie could only conceive in February. We often joked with her about her fertile month. The children’s birthdays fell on the 22nd, 24th and 28th of November. We always felt that the series should be complete with a child in the family born on the 26th. Victor Jr almost made it possible however his son had a mind of his own and came on November 23rd . The series is still not complete.
Valerie and her husband were baptized together at the New Carmel Church in Salem in 1974 and she had been involved in various forms of ministry over the years. She served as church treasurer, Sabbath School Superintendent for numerous years, choir leader and auditor. She also assisted in youth ministry. She served as the head secretary for island wide crusades for many years. Valerie attended church regularly and was always punctual.
Valerie took pleasure in working with the inmates at HMS Prison where she taught them to read, write and do Maths. Her goal was to ensure that every prisoner would be functionally literate and that those who had the ability should go on to do their O’levels in these areas. We would hear her say on Sunday afternoons, “I am going to prison”. Very few programmes or activities could come between Valerie and her voluntary prison commitments. She was always delighted of her students’ achievements.
Valerie was a good cook and liked to experiment. She learnt to bake tart from Mr. Morgan who was one of Montserrat best chefs. Her children’s friends would remark at Valerie’s skill. One of their friends who claimed not to consume soup was coaxed to take a little bit of Teacher Valerie’s soup. She asked for seconds and instructed the children to save her portion whenever Valerie cooked soup. Anyone who visited on Christmas Day enjoyed the food she prepared. She also organized many church luncheons.
She was an active member of the Montserrat Amateur Radio Society (MARS). Her call was VP2MER. Members of that fraternity will refer to her as a silent key.
Val was hospitalized in April of this year and travelled to the UK shortly thereafter. She was admitted at the North Middlesex Hospital but succumbed to her illness on June 10, 2016. She leaves to mourn her husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, relatives, friends, in laws, teachers she worked, students she taught, co-workers of the bureau, and inmates and staff at Her Majesty The Prison.
"Hello my name is Marlene Brand & I believe Valerie was my relative; possible my sister. I have her birth certificate that I found in my father's personal effects. I just started to look up names & I found this web page. The certificate has the exact date of birth. If anyone sees this please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would appreciate it. P.S. I am very sorry for your loss & I do not wish to cause you any more pain or grief. I would just like to know if I have family out there. Thank you so much for reading & I hope to hear from you when you are ready. God bless."
"The Sabbath School is an important branch of the missionary work, not only because it gives to young and old a knowledge of God’s Word, but because it awakens in them a love for its sacred truths, and a desire to study them for themselves; above all, it teaches them to regulate their lives by its holy teachings. Testimonies on Sabbath School Work Pg 109,110.
With this as a foundation, Sis Valerie James dedicated her life to the work of the Sabbath School. She was a Superintendent for almost forty years. Over these years she trained and nurtured many assistants and Sabbath School Secretaries. I was one of these assistants who was fortunate to serve under her guidance and gentle leadership for a few years. She was a stickler for punctuality and started Sabbath School on time. If someone else was scheduled and did not arrive she would still begin on time and the person responsible was allowed to continue upon arrival. She advised me, ‘While in the office of Head Superintendent one must always have a programme readily available in case of a late arrival or no show by an Assistant so the service can flow.”
Sis James also taught every Sabbath School Class at different times over that period. As a teacher by profession she brought her skills into the Sabbath School and on various occasions I observed the positive reactions of the students of that class. She had the ability to draw out responses from even the shy ones. Additionally, she was gifted in planning and organizing Sabbath School Social events which were executed as planned.
It was a particularly sad time for me when Sis James was called to further duty in the New Life congregation as her presence at New Ebenezer was felt. Despite this relocation, she ws just a phone call away. No matter what the topic was she always had sound advice. I remember when I told her I was was nominated as Sabbath School Superintendent, her calm reassurance of my ability to carry out the mandate assisted in cementing my decision to accept. For this I will be forever grateful.
As mentioned before she was gifted in organizing so earlier this year she sent me an email asking for the number of Mothers in our congregation. It was just a day before Mother’s Day that it came to light the reason for the request when we received a number of gifts from a faithful patron. Sadly she was unable to participate in that celebration as she had taken ill and was already off island. Sis James will be sorely missed but God sees where we cannot.
Bro Victor and family on behalf of the New Ebenezer Sabbath School I encourage you to allow the hope of the coming of the Lord to continue to burn in your hearts with the expectation of seeing your loved one Sis James again. May the God of Peace comfort you in this your time of sorrow."
"She was more than just a fellow church member, neighbour, friend and teacher to me. From my recollection, some forty plus years ago, she started out being my teacher in Primary School and to this day I give her the credit whenever my handwriting is praised - she taught me how to write well. She encouraged me during the times when I lived a 'contrary' life. As a friend, I have never heard anything 'on the streets' about the things with which I confided in her. I recall when my mother would object to allowing me to go places even with the church, once Teacher Valerie showed up and said, "Sis Lindsey, Glenda could go with me to ..........."? I got the permission. Lastly, but certainly of significance, she was another mother, who in my time of need when my biological mother was overseas, took on that role and cared for my newborn baby and I. She was one of the first persons to call Glendon Hospital to inquire about me and my baby. So many things to remember but I can't say them all here.
To the James' family, be comforted in the Lord and keep that hope alive that one day you will see that infectious smile again. She will never be forgotten because she lived a good and exemplary life."
"Brother Victor & Family,
Please accept my condolences at this time. I can truly identify with your loss. Take courage, be faithful, and when death itself dies, you will see your beloved Valarie again. May God comfort you as you live with this blessed hope."
"Dear Bro Victor & family,
We are deeply saddened at the passing of Sis Valerie. I worked with her during her stint at the Salem Primary School and admired her pleasant but firm leadership. She had always the best intentions for her peers as well as the pupils. I can't believe she is gone. We just saw her in December during the 100 years celebration, and never thought it would be the last time I would see her in what we thought would be full health and buoyancy, especially that Saturday night when there was the social up at Mongo Hill. She lived a full life and we have to trust that God has done what's best. Stay strong; we will remember how much she has contributed to the church as well as to the education of children across Montserrat. May she rest in peace, until that glorious day when Jesus shall return to claim His own. I believe she be in that first resurrection. I pray that your family will be there to greet her once more. I want to be there! Let's be faithful! God bless you and family. You are in our thoughts and prayers."
"On behalf of my family, children grand children and friends we express our deepest condolences to your family. you will be forever missed. Mourning hurts, such pain, unspeakable pain. Comfort comes knowing that there is hope that we will meet again. That happy day. I, myself is saddened that i am unable to attend your funeral. God be with you."
The same God that carried you through, promises never to leave you or forsake you. This is the time to claim all of His promises for He is good and His mercies endures forever."
"On behalf of the Stay and Manning Famiy in Antigua we want to extend our deepest condolences to the Family, for we do not mourn as if there is no hope. To Victor be comforted and know we have you in our prayers.
Greetings from Pastor and Members of the New Winthorpes SDA Church"
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