Tributes to super teacher Ruth Meredith, champion of Gravesend’s Asian community
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 August 2019
Tributes have been paid to a retired teacher who was one of the first to take on the challenge of integrating Gravesend’s growing Asian community in the 1960s.
Ruth Meredith died aged 85, following a short but brave battle with motor neurone disease..
Her best friend Bernadette Vincent said Gravesend has lost a much loved and larger than life character.
Ruth died on July 26.
Bernadette was a neighbour of Ruth's sister and grew to know the teacher better than most.
She said: "Her long career started at Shorne County Primary School. And during the 1960s she moved to Wrotham Road Primary School.
"Whilst there, Ruth was asked to take on the responsibility of teaching English to the large number of immigrant Asian children that had arrived in Gravesend.
"Ruth took on this challenge willingly and this was the start of her lifelong and passionate affection for Gravesend's Asian community and their love and respect for her.
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"Ruth's Asian extended family spans generations now and the respect and love she has earned continues with even the newest arrivals."
Her last placement was at Raynehurst Primary School.
Bernadette said: "She was fortunate to visit so many beautiful parts of the world and would pass her experiences and enthusiasm to all. Sport remained her complete passion, particularly cricket. She was a strong follower of Kent and met many of the players over the years.
"Football, too, was a joy to her and she was a fan of Manchester United all her life.
"Along with her beautiful garden, she enjoyed to paint and became a well known figure amongst Gravesend artists.
"Gravesend will be a less colourful place without her."
Bernadette said: "Ruth will be so sadly missed by her sister Stella, her many friends and family. The Asian community, who were always so important to her, have lost one of their champion supporters and she will be so missed by them."
Ruth's funeral will be held at Thames View Crematorium, Gravesend Road, Shorne, at 11am on Monday, August 19.
Donations should be sent to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.