Meshach Hamilton Linton – Career Teacher
October 8, 1926 – March 4, 2013
Career teacher, family man and disciplinarian, Meshach Hamilton Linton of Marigot, 86 years, received an official funeral last Saturday March 16, 2013 at Marigot under Methodist Church rites.
On retiring from the public service in the 1980's, Linton would end up in the Dominica House of Assembly as senator during the administration of late Prime Minister Dame Eugenia Charles (1890-1985). His affair with politics blossomed from his relationship with former Premier Edward Oliver Leblanc. He would never contest an election, but he had his time in parliament.
Linton was a foundation member and first president of the Marigot Cooperative Credit Union. He served on the Banana Growers Association as chairman of the board of directors. He served on the Public Service Commission, Electoral & Boundaries Commission and Education Board. He was an Education Officer as well. Linton also played a leading role in acquiring Lio Park for sporting, social and cultural activities in the Marigot community.
The country recognized his public service by awarding him the Commonwealth of Dominica's second highest award, The Sisserou Award of Honour in 1999.
Meshach Linton's wife of more than 60 years, the former Rachie Burton told The SUN that her husband died on Monday March 4, 2013 after falling ill this past January.
Linton was born in Marigot on October 8, 1926. He attended the Marigot Government School, and as was the norm in those days and for decades succeeding the brighter students easily moved into the teaching profession. He began at Marigot when a teacher was absent. His talent early realised, Linton was sent to Vieille Case. By the time he was posted to Dos d'Ane, his next school, he was head teacher. He would go on to teach at Wesley, Castle Bruce, Roseau Boys' School, Salisbury, Grand Bay and Goodwill where his discipline and methodology became legendary.
He married Rachie Linton in 1949 when he was 23 years old. She had the opportunity to work in few schools alongside her husband. In recent years he would say he could never be a school principal now, said Mrs Linton, because people would not be able to complete their school work and he would not like that. He would have resigned because the rules coming from the Education authorities make it difficult to manage.
He was a tough teacher. He expelled one of his sons because he fought at school. He had to bring his mother to the school after he was suspended. He was subsequently expelled and had to attend school in Roseau, one of Linton's granddaughters added.
He was one of those who would pass a pencil through the hair of a boy to see if the hair was combed and if it was not, the boy would get a beating. If one's shirt was out of his pants the student would be beaten. Touch your toes.
Father Celsus Auguiste was once officiating at a funeral I Wesley when he spotted Meshach Linton in the congregation. Auguiste told his congregation that Mr Linton was his teacher, and he and the other students had to be on their best behaviour and if not he would give you a beating, and so he had to be at his best because he was afraid of Mr Linton.
The union of Mr & Mrs Meshach Linton produced 10 children: Merlin, Marion (deceased), and Ophelia (daughters), and Coolridge, Lennox, Reid, Bentley, Ken, Conrad and Brian. He had another son, Kervin, and the family had an adopted son, Irvine.
Meshach Linton is survived by 17 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
He was a family man. A no-nonsense family man, said his wife. You had to be on your p's and q's as though he was still teaching in the family. You do what is right, do what he says and everybody would be alright.
If he was out of the home and the children did something, if she threatened: wait until your father comes; he would tell her to discipline them herself, because they might love her and not him for that reason. So she would give the children their beating herself.
He enjoyed gardening and fishing in his leisure time.
Otherwise, his counsel was much sought after by people who knew him. He talked with everybody, and there were those who would seek his advice. He was a good historian and would share his knowledge with those of the community who wanted to know a bit more about their own familial background.
Meshach Linton had two sisters who preceded him to the great beyond. He is also thus survived by four nephews and one niece among other relatives and friends and many past students who experienced him close up.
May his soul rest in peace.