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Her beloved Trinidad and Tobago

On August 31, 2020, Jill Padmore in a Facebook post commented that two songs were running ‘neck and neck’ to be winner in the competition for the nation’s National Anthem in 1962: ‘Forged from the Love of Liberty’ and ‘God Bless Our Nation’.

Patrick Castagne, the composer of the former was chosen and the latter by Marjorie Padmore became the National Song. She also composed the ‘National Pledge’.

This is what Padmore (J) stated in her post: “In both pieces she thought long and hard as to what the words should mean. She was in love with her beloved Trinidad and Tobago a nation now about to start out and she felt pride in its future.”

The Catholic News contacted Padmore about her aunt’s contribution. “My aunt prepared all lyrics and melodies to her works. I cannot say how long any composition took. I will add regarding the writing of ‘God Bless Our Nation,’ was actually first written as the anthem for the Federation. It was not used so was then submitted when the competition for the National Anthem was introduced. As for how she felt, to be considered on a national level was a very proud moment.”

Asked to describe Padmore’s (M) love for her country and how she felt about the nation becoming independent, Padmore (J), simply said, “All I can say as growing up hearing her speak from time to time, she felt that there were great hope and possibilities for Trinidad & Tobago.”

She disclosed Padmore (M) as an educator loved teaching young people and encouraged reading. She died at 53 but according to Jill, “left a lasting impression”.

 

MARJORIE ADELE PADMORE

January 2, 1928 – June 14, 1981

Marjorie Adele Padmore had a distinguished career as a music educator and composer. In choosing a career in education she was following in the footsteps of her father Overand Rawson Padmore (Snr), himself a head teacher in Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial school system.

Marjorie was educated at Tranquility Girls’ Intermediate School, Bishop Anstey High School, the Government Teachers’ Training College, the Guildhall School of Music, University of London in England and the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester United States of America where she completed a Master of Music degree.

Marjorie was an early recruit to the School Broadcasting Division of the Department of Education in Trinidad and Tobago, eventually becoming its first female head.

Miss Padmore became well known throughout the entire school system because of the many radio educational programmes she produced. She also served on the National Cultural Council both as a member and as the Council’s Chairman.

Marjorie Padmore’s strong belief in the efficiency of music was reflected in her paper ‘Proposals For a Curriculum For Music Education’.

It was her view that music taught correctly is one of the powerful disciplines of the mind. It is a contribution of the intellectual and social values of a most intense discipline with aesthetic, emotional and spiritual values of a fine art.

It is an ideal avenue which leads to spiritual enrichment and through which the student can satisfy one of his greatest needs – the need to experience beauty and to express emotions.

Among her many compositions are the National School Pledge, the National Song, ‘God Bless Our Nation’ and the poem ‘Speak To The Earth’.

In 1969, Marjorie was awarded the Public Service Medal of Merit (Silver) and in 1981 she was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold (Posthumously).

—Jill Padmore