The third educator in the series is T. E. Ryan, one of the federal educators in the Leeward Islands. He came from the Presidency of Montserrat in the latter years of 1930's. He served as a teacher, headmaster, Teacher Trainer, and Supervisor of Education during the 1940's and early 1950's. While he was in the Virgin Islands he took his first bride from Jost Van Dyke and fathered two children in the Virgin Islands.
As a member of the Board of Education, he was influential in helping to shape education at the policy and implementation levels. His passion was to improve the level of reading within the community. The following is an excerpt from one of his articles on the need for a better reading community:
" We want to make our community life more attractive, more ambitious, more inkeeping with the realities of life. Modern inventions have made this world s small place. Conditions in one part of the world have their effects upon conditions in other parts. Social contacts are becoming more frequent and more varied, and the individual must learn to mix with a greater variety of types of individuals and to understand the point of view of people in other lands besides his own. Believing as we do in a system of democracy, we realize that the average citizen must not only become more adaptable as a worker but also be in a position to select for himself some worthy and useful way of occupying his free time. ...
Let us try to improve our conditions through the improvement of the mind. Life is too real to be treated lightly. Our community life should be made a source of inspiration for moral endeavours and beautiful engagements. There is no reason why a man engaged in manual work should not be able to hold discourse with some of the great master minds and so obtain both knowledge and understanding and find pleasure in reading.
There is urgent need for a library in our midst. This is a long felt want and plans were being made for the establishment of a library, but owing to this cruel war, the materialization of such plans had to be postponed. However, let us hope that the time will soon come when there will be not only a central library but also village libraries. Since the school is the place wheŕe the seed is sown, let us give the children our first consideration, and our own needs will be fulfilled soner or later. It is not sufficient to make decisions or plans. If we settle down in something and strive earnestly and persistently, success will prevail."
(First published in the Government Official Bulletin, May 1942.)
- Dr. Charles H. Wheatley