9 October 2020
Rose Court care home organises party for Black History Month
A care home in Rotherhithe will be organising a party to mark the contribution the black community has made to British society.
Staff from Anchor’s Rose Court in Lower Road have organised the event as part of Black History Month. One of the attendees is former teacher Mona Edwards who was born in Grenada but moved to Trinidad with her parents when she was a baby.
Caring for others has always been part of Mona’s make-up, becoming a primary school teacher after finishing high school, before setting up her own kindergarten school.
Having separated from her husband, John, and at the age of 26, she boarded the ship, The Greater Antilles, to sail to Britain where she pursued her dream of becoming a nurse. She started nurse training at Leavesden Hospital in Hertfordshire and it was while in London she met her second husband with whom she had five children.
Jacinta Edwards-Marshall, Mona’s daughter from her first marriage, said:
Mum spent a lot of time juggling her career as a nurse and raising her five children. She worked in various hospitals, including St Giles Hospital in Camberwell, St Francis Hospital in Dulwich and Guys and St Thomas’s hospitals.
But after sustaining back injuries while nursing, she switched careers, working at Kings College Hospital as a secretary to gastroenterology surgeon Andrew Leather who years later would operate on Jacinta when she was in hospital. She said:
Mum was at my bedside the morning after my surgery and Mr Leather who was doing his morning rounds called out to mum by name, I can’t forget that, and reassured her that I was in safe hands. I felt so relieved.
Mona continued to work, becoming a telegraphist with the Post Office where she worked until she retired at the age of 60.
Mum spent an enormous amount of time with her grandchildren and was a registered childminder in Southwark in the 1990s. She was an active person at her local church on Rodney Road, Walworth. Everyone knew her there. She also volunteered at English Martyrs Primary School near to her church, mentoring the after-school club.
Sue Aryan, Manager of Rose Court, said:
I feel proud that we are now looking after Mona after all she has done for the local community, whether it was patients at the local hospitals, the schoolchildren or members of her church.
It’s so important that organisations celebrate Black History Month and use this opportunity to raise awareness of Black history and culture – for many people, it can be a first step to embrace and celebrate diversity and difference all year round.
We have many residents living in Anchor’s care homes and staff members who came for a new life in Britain and they have made such a great contribution to society that we wanted to celebrate their achievements.
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