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Mrs. Augusts McLean

Mrs. Augusts “Gussy” McLean
My mother, “Gussy”, as everybody knew her, was a 2nd Standard Teacher at M.E.H.S. from 1951 until 1965. She refused to have me or my sister in her class for fear that we might take advantage of her. As a result, Joanie and I had many moments of envy when our mom hugged the very many students she taught.

My mother was a “teacher’s teacher”. Her work was truly her vocation and she never stopped. In the afternoons, upon her return from teaching 2nd Standard students all day, she would provide private tutoring from 3:00 to 8:00 pm every night. It was an endless journey of work and she did it tirelessly and with passion.

I remember my mom always neatly dressed, in high heels, red lipstick, earrings, a french twist and her favorite perfume FLEUR DE LYS lingering on her handkerchiefs.

In 1965, my mother, father and youngest sibling, Joanie, sadly left Burma/Myanmar to settle in England. Shortly thereafter my sister joined me in Louisville, Kentucky. My mother and father remained in England and lived in the County of Surrey near the city of Croydon. It didn’t take Gussy long to get her feet on the ground and restart the profession she so loved.

She was teaching again, this time 1st graders with a special emphasis on foreign children whose second language was English. She remained teaching from 1965 to 1985 when she was forced to retire. Gussy did not last long being idle. She began a free tutorial program for foreign children in the Croydon borough office and soon had an after school program and Saturday classes for elementary school children.

My dad died in 1974 but this did not slow my mother down. Between the free tutorial program she ran and her continuation with private pupils, she remained a busy lady until 1990. At this point, she had sold her home and moved into a senior apartment building. She was no longer allowed to teach and most of her pupils had grown up. So Gussy then began a reading program for seniors at the Ronald House. She read to the seniors, did their secretarial work and ran their errands because many of them were non ambulatory and many of them had problems with their sight.

Gussy was involved with the British/Burma Expatriates Association in London and was very active with all her old friends from Burma, many of whom were teachers from good old MEHS (Mrs. Baxter, Mrs. Munro, Mrs. Evans, and Mrs. Edwards) to name a few. Her life in England was full and lively, but her heart always remained in the land of pagodas, lotus, thanaka, aunties, mohinga and most of all her memories as a 2nd Standard Teacher at MEHS.

Gussy died peacefully at age 83 on August 11, 1997 at St. Heliers Hospital in Surrey. She had incurable lymphoma and had become extremely weakened by her illness. To our great fortune, Joanie and I were present to honor the passing of our mother’s soul and to pay respect to a life of dedicated service.

We thank you all for reading this tribute and certainly add a special embrace to all the students who gave our mother Gussy Mclean the opportunity to express her life’s purpose.

Mary Ann McLean Constantinides
Baltimore, Maryland
           &
Joan Mclean Stanton
Sarasota, Florida
June 27, 2006

Comments

  1. Myo

    December 26, 2016

    Mrs. McLean was my teacher in Burma and became good friend’s with my mother Mrs. Doris Chamarette who was Mrs. Logie’s secretary. She was then Auntie Gussie.

    We all met up again in England and she went on to teach all four of my children.

    When my eldest daughter got married, sadly my Mum and Dad had passed away so I had my three adopted Aunts there instead, Aunt Gussie, Aunt Mavis Edwards and Aunt Phyllis McKenzie.

    Yes my memories of her are as a lovely elegant lady who I will always remember, especially fanning her at school which my children also did.

    Patricia Waitson / Chamarette
    June 29, 2006

  2. Myo

    December 26, 2016

    THANKS for The Article on our STD II School and Class Teacher, Mrs. Augusts McLean. The Photo of Mrs. McLean is exactly as I have remembered her.

    I was approximately 9 years of age when I was in her STD II Class at MEHS. I enjoy studying for my courses in her Class. Two of my schoolmates are Yvonne Hengshoon and Lilian Teoh. I want to THANK them for their continuous support to MEHS.

    I observed that Mrs. McLean paid attention and knew EACH of her students very well. She would even let 1 or 2 students sit at her Teacher’s desk during Class EACH day.

    Mrs. McLean is another EXCELLENT Teacher at Dagon1 / MEHS. Under her expert guidance as my Class Teacher, I graduated First and Head of The Class. I enjoy studying and playing with my schoolmates. THANKS to everyone.

    Sincerely,
    Lois Jane Lee@
    Myint Myint Yee
    July 25, 2006

  3. Myo

    December 26, 2016

    Thanks for all the information about Mrs. Mclean. I have a vivid memory of her as I was a good friend of her daughter Joan Mclean. Joan and I were in the same class from sixth standard to GCE. I had visited your house with some other classmates for lunch one time and Mrs. Mclean was very nice and warm to us. It was so good to see Mrs. Mclean’s picture – she is just the way I remember her.

    Malika Shah Jaitha
    January 26, 2007

  4. Myo

    December 26, 2016

    Thank you to Mary Ann & Joan McLean for letting your Mum’s students know more about her. Although I’ve forgotten many details, I remember being very happy in Mrs. McLean’s second standard class!

    Susan Minus (Doyle)
    November 1, 2011

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