The Joshua Obadiah Williams Award established in 1995 by the Williams’ family, is given annually to the graduating teacher of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC), who has completed the University of the West Indies (UWI) Associate Degree in Teacher Education with the highest GPA, in both the written examinations and the teaching practicum.
On Tuesday, 9 February 2021, at a small ceremony at the Poinciana Conference Room at the CFBC, Mr. Wricherley Gumbs, received the 25th presentation of the Joshua Obadiah Williams Award (EC $3,000). Mr. Wricherley Gumbs also received the Ministry of Education Scholarship Award for the Most Outstanding Student in Teacher Education, the St. Kitts-Nevis Bar Association Award Secondary Teachers Award, the Returning National Association Teacher Award for Best Male Performance and the William Ferdinand and Cynthia M. Dore Award for the Best Student in the Division of Teacher Education. In 2020, he was the recipient of the President’s Excellence for Secondary Teacher Award, along with the Award of Merit.
Joshua Obadiah Williams, after whom the award is named, was born 11 October 1926 in Barnes Ghuat, Nevis, to Albert Victor Williams and Adosha Elisabeth Williams. After attaining the Seventh Standard Certificate, he became a pupil teacher in 1942 at the age of 16 and taught at St.Thomas School, Lowland, Nevis. In 1948, he came to St. Kitts and continued teaching and studying. He went to Erdiston Teachers’ College in Barbados (1955-1957) and on his return, taught at the Cayon School and then the St. Paul’s School. In 1965, he went on to UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica, where he completed the Professional Certificate in Education. On his return to St. Kitts, he was made Headmaster and was assigned to the Molineux All Age School, which was re-named in his honour.
Joshua Obadiah Williams retired from the Basseterre Boys School in the early 1980’s. He will always be remembered as a pioneer in the field of education, an advocate of high morals and strong family values. During his journey along the path of life, he touched hundreds of students, including his favourite Music and Singing Student, Mr. Gairy Knight, and outstanding Mathematics and Quiz student Mr Randolph Taylor, who were Wricherley’s lecturers, mentors, and advisors in the Associate Degree Teacher Education Program at the CFBC.
Joshua Obadiah Williams through the generosity of the Williams’ family, is still touching teachers like past winners of the Joshua Obadiah Williams Award: Ms. Rosemary Govia (2001), Mr. Olston Strawn (2002), Mrs. Colette Lewis (2003), Ms. Natasha Daniel, Mr. Dwayne Weekes (2004), Mr. Lester Morris (2005), Mr. James Morris (2006), Ms. Shenelle Pemberton (2007), Mrs. Sheronne Lowe (2008), Ms. Faith Lewis (2009), Ms. Ella Wangechi Ngunjirl, Ms. Sherilyn Phillip, Mrs. Tresa Willett Herbert, (2010), Mr. Kyle Edwards (2011), Mr. Donato Wharton (2012), Ms. Tamara Morton (2013), Ms Phylicia Warner, (2014), Mr Miguel Thomas (2015), Ms. Shirmel Drew, (2016), Ms. Karina Hanley (2017), Mr. Eustace Davoren (2018) and Mr. Geron Elliott (2019). Mr. Wricherley Gumbs (2020) continues the proud tradition of being a beneficiary of an award, named in honour of a man of noble character Joshua Obadiah Williams.