Sr Maria Garland SJC was born December 28, 1925 in Ireland and arrived in Trinidad in the late 1940s after making her profession as a Sister of St Joseph of Cluny on March 11, 1948. Her first posting was at St Joseph’s Primary School where she spent 12 years and then was transferred to Sacred Heart Girls’ as principal of the school for five years.
The St Gabriel’s Years: Sr Maria became the Principal of St Gabriel’s Girls’ RC, San Fernando, in September 1965 where she remained until her retirement in December 1985. It was a 20-year stint that left a profound impact on the thousands of green-uniformed girls who passed through the school, and a lasting legacy on the culture of the school.
Under her tenure as principal, Sr Maria demanded the highest standards of discipline, decorum and education, and her girls could probably remember her clapping across the courtyard during a lunch or mid-morning break when she saw something untoward, and the immediate cessation of all activity and sudden silence that would descend.