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Woman of the Week – Monica Amelia Scott

by Mrs. Veronica Jones (her niece)

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 30, 2023

Monica Amelia Scott was the youngest daughter born to Joseph and Jane Scott on May 4th, 1937, in Gracie Rock Village in the Belize District.

Her father had bought the farm he named Prospecto Bank and, because he was a “true-true” Catholic, he gave a portion of his land to build a church and school so his children could be indoctrinated in the Catholic faith.

After the death of her mother, Monica was trained to be a helper in the church. She learned to dress the altar, and grew up to be what people today would call “Holy Holy,” and knew how to wash the linen of the church — no Clorox and no rough soap.

Amelia learned from her two elder sisters, Matilda Usher (RIP) and Donecia Cadle (the dancing queen, who is still alive) competing with each other to see who was the best; but Amelia always knew that Cadle was always the champion at the Ex-Service dances or the Christmas Party, even in her wheelchair.

Amelia was a hard worker, and no job was too difficult. After working at several domestic jobs, she landed her big job as a domestic at Princess Royal Youth Hostel under Mr. Ronald Clark (RIP) in 1963 until she retired in the 1980’s. Everyone living in the area, before Racoon Street was named, knew her as “Ms. Scotty” or “Ms. Melly”. She was a friend to boys and girls, and adults; even babies and young children called her “granny”.

She was a very strong sports enthusiast, as her brother and her nephew— Patrick “Grouse” Scott and Michael Usher—were the best in basketball in the 1940’s, ‘50’s and ‘60’s,

Amelia was the sacristan who accompanied Fr. Cull S.J. on his monthly visit to Gracie Rock Village. She embroidered the table cloth and napkins for Father Cull to use, and cooked for him. She used to wash and bleach the flour bags until they were white. She had to rip and cut the sacks, cut and sew napkins, which she would bleach, wash and embroider. In those days she had to bleach, first lather, second lather, boil, rinse and blue. Then she would make the cassava starch, mix and grate candle, starch and hang out. After they had dried, she sprinkled with cold water, wrinkled and rolled up. Then she would get the gasoline iron, put the gasoline in it, pump it with air, light it and iron the clothes. Father Cull used to love when she ironed his priestly garments and the altar linens.

Later, there was a vacancy at the Hostel and she applied and got the job. They shared one week as a washer—ironed and got the boys clothes tidy, and one week as a cook. They did this on shift. Working as a domestic, she got very close to the boys and mentored and treated them as their mother, and they referred to her as Matron. She was mother to many boys, and if they had sisters, those female siblings, or young girls who were there, always looked to her as a mentor. She had two girls who used to come around her, and some people said she taught Zoila Clarke and Yvonne Simpson to sing. Many boys learned from and were disciplined by her.

Some adults she worked with included, Mr. Skeen, Mr. Panton, Mr. Fairweather, Ms. Conorquie, Ms. Rudon, Ms. Thomas and Ms. Wagner.

Some of the clients (at Hostel) included Glenford Quallo (RIP), a lawyer; Daniel Bennett, a musician who helped to form the band; Cherrington. Many of them were given names – Tarry, Duck, Super P, Ramsey and August. They used to go on Easter trips, and many were joined by their friends.

Amelia entered the contest for the St. Ignatius Queen. She campaigned using her first name, Monica, and she won as the first Queen of St. Ignatius.

She taught them to be proud and to never be ashamed of who they were, as they could always move from off “Poverty Street”.

Everyone loved Monica Amelia Scott. Her saddest experience was when a girl, Dorothy, ran away, as it was a relative of hers. She was never found.

Her cousin, Joseph Wagner, built her a set of mahogany chairs, a sofa, a plain chair and a rocking chair; and every Christmas he would go sand-paper, clean and varnish her chairs. She loved that cousin, “Papacito”; he was named after her father. He made a guitar for himself and one for her brother.

Monica Amelia was a true woman of the soil, a hard worker who believed in helping others. She said she read in Jeremiah that that section was based originally for her:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I blessed you, I anointed you and named you as mine. I created that job at Hostel for you.”

Today, Monica cannot be interviewed, and I know she would want to big-up the Church and say Hurrah for the Catholic Church; and Hurrah for Evan X!