Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
KNOCKPATRICK, Manchester: NINETY-SIX-YEAR-OLD Anna Rose Miller, at her age, remains a strong advocate for education and continues to impart her wide knowledge to anyone who has time to listen.
Miller is the founder of the Anna Miller Basic School in Knockpatrick, Manchester, which she started in the 1980s through her passion for wanting to teach others. "Imparting information is the key; I figure that every child should be educated," she told The Gleaner. "I think every child can learn and every child should learn. Even adults, no matter how old you are, you still can learn."
Miller is from Meadsfield community in Manchester and attended the Ebenezer Elementary School where she was cited by her teachers as a student who had a gift for learning.
"I used to help my classmates who weren't that quick. I used to teach them, so I had a love for teaching from that early age," Miller disclosed.
She was also very athletic and represented her school in various sporting disciplines, disclosing that she was influenced by her teacher at elementary school, Ms Hollingsworth.
Said Miller: "Although she was very strict, I admired her. I was one of her favourite students because I was bright. I wanted to be like her. Teachers those days were very dedicated and cared for their students."
With the desire to fulfil her dream of being a teacher, Miller enrolled in the then Bethlehem Training Institution where she specialised in art and craft and physical education. After leaving Bethlehem, she relocated to St Mary and taught at the Chesterfield Elementary School. She later returned to Manchester and taught at the Plowden Elementary School.
Miller was invited to teach at her alma mater, Bethlehem, where she taught art and craft and physical education.
With an appetite for new experiences, after spending some years Bethlehem, she migrated to the United States of America in 1952 where she did various jobs outside of teaching.
She also found love and married Gladston Miller with whom she shared a wonderful life which included many memorable trips around the world. Her husband, however, passed away after being diagnosed with cancer and Miller returned to Jamaica in 1982.
She picked up where she left off in Jamaica and established the Anna Miller Basic School where she taught children from the Knockpatrick and surrounding communities. The school is still in operation and is noted as one of the best of its kind in the region.
Approaching her 97th birthday on October 22, Miller enjoys good health and can hold a conversation of the highest order on local and international issues. She is still adamant about teaching people around her.
As Miller's cousin and caregiver Thyra Hudson disclosed, "She is a no-nonsense person who is still firm in her belief in education. She still instructs children in the correct way to talk. She is also very kind and helps everybody, no matter who the person is."
Hudson added: "She also believes that no matter how old the person is they should still use their brain. She was living at a senior citizen home in Mandeville before living with me and she built a recreation centre there with table tennis boards, and a craft area because she wants the senior citizens to use their brain and not just sit down."
Miller occupies her mind these days tracking the United States presidential race. With a serious look on her face she remarked, "Obama has to win, there is no question about it."