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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127

Rev Cubana Salud Pública v.30 n.3 Ciudad de La Habana jul.-sep. 2004


MARJORIE MOORE (1920-2003)                                      

In these opening moments of our annual convention, we would like to take a few minutes to pay homage to an exceptional teacher and founding member of our association who was known by most people in this room. I am speaking of Marjorie Moore, who passed away here in Havana on August 14th.

Marjorie was born in 1920 in the United States. She completed high school in Illinois and then moved to New York to study at Columbia University. In 1946, she married a Cuban, Luis Rios, who became her lifelong companion of 57 years. In 1950 Marjorie and Luis returned to Cuba with their elder daughter, Pamela, and here she remained until her death a few months ago.

In the late 1950‘s, Marjorie taught at the Lafayette School and Candler College, but with the triumph of the Revolution, she immediately gave up teaching in private schools and immersed herself in the revolutionary process in areas where she could contribute the most: first translating in the foreign press section of MINREX, then heading a brigade of teachers in the Literacy Campaign, and in 1962 joining the newly created English Department in the Victoria de Girón faculty of what is today called the Medical University of Havana. She soon became head of that department in both the undergraduate and postgraduate sections, achieved the academic rank of ‘profesora titular’, and in recognition of her invaluable contribution to the institution, was awarded, in 1992, the honorary title of ‘profesora distinguida’.

Her participation in the Literacy Campaign left an indelible mark on Marjorie. She often spoke of it as one of the highlights of her life. But it was in her work in English for Medicine where she herself left an indelible mark as teacher, course designer, textbook writer and teacher trainer. There is probably no doctor or health professional in Havana over the age of 45 who does not remember her classes in English and her gentle, caring manner. Likewise, there are few teachers in the field of English for Medical Purposes who will not recall her postgraduate courses in the communicative approach, and her innovative design of the ASTE diploma programme with its distance learning component and six-month residential courses in Havana, the first of its kind in the country.

Marjorie was innovative, far-sighted, quick to understand, implement and disseminate new ideas. Above all, she was generous: generous with her time, generous with her knowledge. She was always there to help in whatever way was necessary. She devoted long days, months, and years to the development of others and of herself as a professional. She kept herself up-to-date, reading, studying, writing, and researching. She never stopped, and in 1990, at the age of 70, she was granted a Ph.D. in Pedagogical Sciences for her thesis on ‘Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching’.

Marjorie was among the first active founders of the Association of Linguists and strongly promoted the formation of our group within the ALC. She thoroughly understood the importance of an association which could offer English teachers throughout the island – from all levels of the educational system and all areas of specialization– the opportunity of learning and enrichment.

Marjorie’s life should be seen as a celebration of the professional who gives of herself for the advancement of others. She was an example to us all.

We miss Marjorie, but she will not be forgotten. Her legacy lives on. We are proud to have known and worked with her. And her family must feel proud to know that she gave us so much.

Prof. Adrienne Hunter

Words spoken during the opening ceremonies of the 12th Annual ALC-GELI Convention
Havana, Cuba
Dec. 12, 2003.

MINREX: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
ASTE: Advance Studies for Teacher of Englih
ALC: Asociación de Lingüístas de Cuba
GELI: Grupo de Especialistas en Lengua Inglesa

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