BM Shorts: Bermuda Union of Teachers
Teachers Adele Tucker, Matilda and Edith Crawford, and Rufus Stovell were at a funeral of another teacher, Miss Rosa Butterfield who succumbed to impoverished circumstances.
Miss Rosa Butterfield taught at the St. Albans Hall on St. John’s Road. She had 100 pupils in tworooms. She was the third teacher to pass. The loss of one teacher during the early 1900s had a grim effect on the black community. A death of a teacher was like a death of a school. The loss of three was traumatic.
Black education, during those times, was built on the backs of the benevolence and sacrifice of a few individuals. In the graveyard the teachers vowed then to fight for higher salaries for black teachers although their mission would take decades.
The BUT was the first union to register following the passage of the Island’s first trade union law in 1946
Pictured: The first members of the Bermuda Union of Teachers in February 1919
Back row, from left: E. Scott Tucker, Miss Matilda “Mattie” Crawford, Mrs. Hetty Tucker Morrell, Mrs. Mildred Outerbridge Paynter, Miss Lauretta Smith, Miss Ida Hinson and Mr. Ossie Francis.
Front row, from left: Miss Edith Crawford, secretary; Rev. R.H. Tobitt, president; and Miss Adele Tucker, treasurer.