Leslie Adderley

Leslie Adderley

1/18/2017 9:57:44 AM

On Monday, July 15, 1957, in picturesque Nassau, Roscoe Burrows, and Thelma Smith welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their lives.  They named her Leslie Marguerite.  Leslie was the first grandchild born into this Smith family, and she immediately won over her the hearts of her grandparents, Gladstone and Ellen Smith.  She was energetic and ebullient, commanding attention with her poise and spirit.

During her formative years, Leslie attended the seminal school that Doris Johnson held before moving on to what became Jordan Prince Williams School.  While her father nudged her toward medicine, Leslie was always a lover of education and firmly decided that she wanted to become a teacher.  She went on to study Spanish and French at Xavier University in New Orleans.  During her college studies, she found what would later become her mantra, that: “learning never ends.”  This was developed after a conversation with a 90 year-old lady who attended classes with her.

A leader and an inspiration, Leslie spent lots of time with her cousins who were inseparable, as they were growing up in Lewis Street like brothers and sisters.  Asserting her role as the eldest, she came home from college excited to teach the latest dance steps and to display her advanced culinary skills acquired while experimenting for her roommates.  A lover of music, she would sing and dance at a moment’s notice.  She had a beautifully melodic voice.

After graduating from college, Leslie interviewed with Rev. Charles W. Saunders at Jordan Prince Williams and was hired in 1978.  He would go on to become her mentor.  She aspired to follow in his footsteps in the field of educational excellence.

In 1980 Leslie and Michael met at a party, this happenstance meeting led Michael to invite Leslie out to many more parties. He surprised her in 1983 with a marriage proposal in Mona Loa Restaurant and the two married in 1984.

Leslie loved her family with an indescribable passion. She treated her nieces and nephews as her own and was always delighted to bring presents home.  She was a strong voice in her family, a barometer for the principles her grandmother instilled in them.

A proud mother, Leslie delighted in her children’s activities no matter how small.  Astrid and Ashley were her pride and joy.  Leslie loved the adventure of travel and would savor every opportunity to do so with her family always in tow.  At every available opportunity she and her travel partner and aunt, Shelia, would capitalize on weekends and holidays.

Teaching ran through Leslie’s veins, her compassion for her students never stopped. Every child that she encountered became like one of her own. She took the time to understand the needs of her students and made special efforts to meet parents no matter the day or time. The very same fervor she expected from her students, she exhibited in her own education; continuing her studies in additional languages at the then College of The Bahamas.  Leslie was an intensely patriotic and proud Bahamian; she took pride in giving back by volunteering her time at The Bahamas Red Cross and The Cancer Society.

In the summer of 2014, Leslie was diagnosed with cancer.  She quietly fought her diagnosis and was an encouraging voice for those she encountered that were also fighting. Leslie returned to school ready to resume her Vice Principal duties. On January 9, 2017, Leslie, a fighter to the end, said she felt no pain despite having complications. She slipped away at Princess Margaret Hospital to a more beautiful place with no burdens or cares. She sleeps with The Lord now.

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