Tributes Paid to 'Iconic' Education Legend Betty; Wales' First Black Headteacher Was an Inspiration, THE BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN WALES ORGANISERS SAID

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), October 16, 2017 | Go to article overview

Tributes Paid to 'Iconic' Education Legend Betty; Wales' First Black Headteacher Was an Inspiration, THE BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN WALES ORGANISERS SAID


Byline: abbie wightwick Education Editor abbie.wightwick@walesonline.co.uk

TRIBUTES have been paid to "iconic legend" Betty Campbell, who in the 1970s became Wales' first black headteacher.

Mrs Campbell, who died on Friday night, has been described as someone who "was held in great affection by so many young people".

Born in 1934, she became the country's first black headteacher with her post at Mount Stuart Primary in Butetown, Cardiff.

She got the job despite being left in tears after being told it was an insurmountable dream to become a black headteacher in post-war Britain.

Margaret Thomas, who knew Betty through Unison's Black Members Group, said: "She was a great pioneer for black women in Wales, showing the way forward. She was a positive role model for all black people and was loved in the community."

Mrs Campbell was a patron of Black History Month in Wales. Uzo Iwobi, her friend who is on the Black History Month committee, said a tribute would be paid at the event's finale later this month.

Betty Campbell husband Rupert Only last month Betty was honoured at Black History Month's launch at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay when she was made a Patron of the Black History Movement in Wales.

Mrs Iwobi, who is also chief executive of Race Council Cymru, said Mrs Campbell had been ill for some months. She said: "We are absolutely devastated to hear of the death of our much-beloved patron Betty Campbell.

"We salute this iconic legend, a remarkable headmistress, an inspirational leader and a genuine champion of Black History Month in Wales.

"Once known, never forgotten. Betty will be sorely missed by all of us who have served on Black History Month alongside her."

Cardiff South MP Stephen Doughty, who first met Mrs Campbell as a child, said: "This is incredibly sad news. Betty was a stalwart of the Butetown and Bay community for decades.

"She was fiercely independent and fiercely strong in her advocacy for local people, and fiercely passionate about the diversity and history of the amazing docks communities, which she served for so many years.

"She was held in great affection by so many young people who grew up under her teaching at local schools, but she was also known for her work as a councillor and community activist.

with "When I last saw Betty a month ago she was, as ever, wanting to put me on the spot about various community concerns but, as ever, she did it with a genuineness and passion for her community and the people she herself represented.

"She was truly one of the greats of the docks community, and will be missed by everyone who had the privilege to work with her, be taught by her, or worked alongside her. …

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