Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Appreciations of Teresa Helena Higginson: from Teresa's pupil Tom Strowbridge

This is from the booklet Appreciations of Teresa Helena Higginson, Schoolteacher and Mystic, by Brian Honner.

Before ending this little bouquet of appreciations, I would like to mention one of Teresa's last pupils, whom I had the interesting experience of meeting in 1958.  His name was Tom Strowbridge, and was then aged 64.  Our venue could not have been more ideal, for Tom met me at Biddlecombe,  We entered the school together and reminisced.  He said that he was about 12 years old at the time and had 4 miles to walk.  At first he brought his meal, but Teresa said that she would provide one for him.  Questioned as to her ability in teaching secular subjects he replied that she was good in all ways, but that religion was the special thing with her.  "She never used a cane and didn't bully us, but had her own way of getting what she wanted", he said.  "You couldn't get out of it - you had to do it!  She was a good teacher.  Topping!  All the children liked her.  You couldn't help it.  She was strict but gentle."  He then told me how he had been among the children invited in to pay their last respects to their teacher as she lay within her coffin.  "She looked very peaceful" he said, "more like an angel than anything."

Teresa Higginson with her pupils in Chudleigh 1904

"Like an angel."  Yes - let us leave old Tom Strowbridge with the last word.  He has spoken for all the friends of Teresa Helena Higginson, those privileged ones who revered her in life and yet more after death.

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