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Marjorie Elayne Riley May 2, 2019

Marjorie Elayne Riley aged 94 of Newton-Le-Willows, Thorpes, St. James; former Principal of the St. Clements Primary and the Grazettes Primary Schools, entered peacefully into rest on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Daughter of the late John P. and Edna E. Riley;

Sister of John Riley, the late Harold, Clyde and Thelma Riley;

Aunt of Sally-Ann, Gail, Elizabeth, Diane, Trevor, Ian and Allyson Riley and Edwin Howell;

Sister-in-law of the late Vashti Riley;

Great-aunt of Kendi and Aman Bispham, Leigh-Ann and Janae Layne, Max and Quinn Riley, Randy Bennett, Mario Howell and Zayne Knight-Howell;

Relative of the Riley and Foster families.

The funeral of the late Marjorie Elayne Riley leaves Downes and Wilson Funeral Home, Eagle Hall, St. Michael on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 2 p.m. for the St. Philip-the-Less Anglican Church, Boscobelle, St. Peter where relatives and friends are asked to meet at 3:30 p.m. for the service and interment.

The organist and members of the Church Choir are kindly asked to attend. Wreaths may be sent to Downes and Wilson Funeral Home no later than 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2019.


  1. REPLY
    Peggy RockClarke says

    A Principal whom I loved and admired. To the bereaved I extend sincere condolences.

  2. REPLY
    Manderville Corbin says

    Miss Riley!

    A name said with the utmost respect and admiration!

    Her tenure at the St Clements School stood out for many in that she saw the surrounding communities as part of that school as indeed those communities saw her as part of them.

    It was easy therefore for a mother of a new-born baby to approach Miss Riley and ask her for a few suggested names.

    Easier still to take an empty ball point pen and ask her to refill it from bulk ink she had.

    Time now tries to erase her once very familiar car number, but it could have been S 416

    My most enduring memory of her was to see her long after school was finished and school children safely at home, when she would take out an obviously much-loved project and meticulously continue her work on it.

    I lived about 200 yards from the school so we would easily be back at the school in the evening and get close to that project and to see the detail of the school, the trees, even a bridge I was familiar with.

    It took me many, many years after that to understand that project had a name…it was a diorama of the school and Rockfield.

    As recent as months ago, I wondered at the odds if it could have survived the passing of all that time.
    Why? A diorama of Rockfield remains on my to do list.

    Another lasting memory from childhood was when she gave a small group of us coloured pictures cut out from some book, magazine or maybe even a poster. Mine was a beautiful boat moored to a pier or something in blue tranquil waters. It was the very first coloured picture I owned up close and personal. This the era when every book or magazine was black and white…. except a label from a shop item. I treasured that thing and who it came from so much that I could never throw it away.

    I have had discussions with friends about the St. Clements School song but never got a clear consensus if there was one or what it was. For me Mis Riley used every opportunity to sing “Gay and Happy” so I always felt that was the school song.

    Academically, the success of St Clements just needs to be better documented. The political and intellectual landscape of Barbados was birthed in the 1950’s and 60’s classrooms of St Clements.

    Socially, I recently heard a magistrate describe how that part of St Lucy seem to have been protected from the criminal intent of other places.

    In recent years, I passed her home in St James and it did not look occupied. I learned that she was in a nursing home but, no one seemed to know where. Now I know I should have pushed harder to find out.

    I opened the leaflet in church just hoping to see her at work in the St Clements School.
    Was disappointed but I’m still hoping there is one, somewhere.

    In the eulogy it was said she did hope to live to be 100 and suggested that she would have been disappointed that she didn’t.

    She lives on in or memories. Go ahead and plan for August 19, 2024.

    Unveil the suggested monument then!

    Condolences to relatives and friends.

    Manderville Corbin
    Past student,
    St Clements School

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