a centenary
of Learning

  • 80
  • by Reverend Julia Elizabeth Williams
  • graduated 1982
  • studied Other Studies
  • from Turks and Caicos Islands

I was ordained the first female Turks and Caicos Islander Methodist Presbyter.

I studied Language and Psychology at Bristol because I was a language teacher and a student counsellor at the time; I looked at the content of the MEd programme and felt that it would help me with my job.

At the University, I was involved in the overseas students association and attended special lectures organized by the Graduate School of Education. I also got involved with any social and spiritual activities that involved students. I enjoyed both courses in Language and Psychology. I found the Language courses more interesting and dynamic and perhaps enjoyed them more because my background was in the teaching of English Language and Literature. Dr Sarah Meadows was very caring and helpful and, all in all, a people’s person. She really took me under her wing, so to speak.

After leaving Bristol, I was appointed acting Vice Principal of a High School and Head of the Language Department there. I then became Deputy Director of Education, Director of Education and the first female Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Sometime later, I was appointed the first indigenous President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College – a Government Tertiary Education Institution. I held this post until I retired in August 2012. I was also involved in various educational, social and civic committees at home and at a regional level. Additionally, I have had six years of theological training and was ordained the first female Turks and Caicos Islander Methodist Presbyter. I now serve as a Circuit Presbyter in the South TCI Methodist Circuit of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Island Conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas.

Studying at the Graduate School of Education showed me that I can achieve anything I set out to do. I became more mature and focused as to what I wanted to do in Education – become involved in the management and administration at the highest level of Education in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In the future, I want to complete a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry and write a book on Education in the Turks and Caicos Islands.