Mary Georgenea Quinn, born in the historic village of New Winthorpes, Antigua on December 5, 1931 is the second of fourteen children for the late George and Eugenie Hampson. In December 1946 she was picked out of her class to be trained to become a teacher. She is a teacher, poet, author and playwright.
Mary Quinn has served as a Principal and educator in many schools including Golden Grove, Villa, New Winthorpes, Five Islands, Pilgrim High and Holy Trinity in Barbuda. As a strong support to her husband, the late Rev. Joseph Quinn’s Ministry at the St. John’s Wesleyan Holiness Church, she was the longest serving Sunday school Superintendent and the longest serving Women’s President.
Recognised by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in 2002 for her short story, “Joe”; Mary Geo Quinn is referred to as the “Grand Dame of Poetry and Prose”. Her first story “By Hook or By Crook won a 1961 competition organized by the Venezuelan Embassy in Barbados.
Her collection of works includes many short stories and her recently published book “Hol’ de Line and Other Stories.” Her poems have been accepted for publication by the American Poetry Association, Watermark Press, National Library of Poetry and Iliad Press. Two poems, “This Love of Mine” and Priceless Treasure” were set to music and recorded by Hollywood Artists Record Company, USA.
For decades she revelled in performing her poetry and prose and in creating beautiful and poignant plays utilizing puppetry to the delight of many across Antigua and Barbuda.
She has published nine (9) books, individual stories and poems. The list includes “All of the Women of the Bible” released in 1976; “Sugar Mill Gems” released in 1993 and “Lest We Forget- Patriotic Poems” also in 1993; “A School Girl’s Tale”; 1999 and “Mangoes For So”; 2010; “Hol de Line and other Stories”; 2017.
Her latest book “Hol de Line” was released on June 7, 2017 and was published in Trinidad by Caribbean Educational Publishers. It is in bookstores across Antigua and Barbuda.
Mary Quinn is the mother of eight (8) and grandmother of fourteen (14).
She is a household name in Antigua and Barbuda and apart from touching and shaping the lives of many children in schools and Sunday school, she has also been an inspiration to many writers and budding poets.
She served with professionalism, dignity, distinction and was able to leave indelible mark on the lives of many.
Mrs. Quinn has received many awards and accolades and is widely known across Antigua and Barbuda as the “Grand Dame of Poetry and Prose.” Some of her Awards include:
Embassy Outstanding Poet Award, 1961
- Eastern Caribbean Authors of Excellence Award, 1986
- Manchester District of the Villa and Point Community for Outstanding Service to the Community, 1990
- New Winthorpes Community Club, Outstanding Contribution in “Putting New Winthorpes Village on the Map in the field of Poetry”, 1992
- St. John’s Wesleyan Holiness Church for Outstanding and long service as Sunday School Superintendent, 1996
- Villa Primary School in appreciation of Invaluable contribution to moulding young minds, 1970-1973 and 1989-1996
- Zone 1, Ministry of Education, Winner of Zonal Song Competition, 1997
- International Women’s Day Award, Directorate of Gender Affairs, Recognition of many years of exemplary service to the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, 1998
- Writers’ Guild of Antigua and Barbuda Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement, 1998
- Le Chateau D’Or for Honorary Membership, 1999
- St. John’s Wesleyan Women International Award for Faithful and Dedicated Service as Past President, May, 1999
- Ministry of Education, Culture and Technology for many years of Outstanding and dedicated service in the field of education, 2001
- Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Award 2002
- Independence Literary Arts Competition, Winner of Adult Short Story, 2009
- Ministry of Education for Sterling Contribution to development of education in Antigua and Barbuda, Sept 2011
- Recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for Education and the development of Literary Arts, 2012
- Outstanding Service to the Wesleyan Church as Sunday School Superintendent, 2016
- New Winthorpes Community Group for “Enlightenment, Awareness and Knowledge shared about the transition from Winthorpes Village to New Winthorpes; April, 2017
- St. John’s Wesleyan Holiness Church in recognition of dedicated service to Christian Ministry, March 2017
- Woman of Excellence, Wesleyan Women’s President, 2017
- Outstanding service in Education, Culture, the Arts and Christian Ministry.
Institutions where she served:
- Pupil Teacher- New Winthorpes Primary 1946
- Teacher- Golden Grove Primary 1952
- Teacher- Holy Trinity Primary, Barbuda 1969
- Villa Primary School, 1970-1973 and 1989-1996
- Principal- Five Islands Primary 1974-1978
- Principal- Bendals Primary 1978-1984
- Pilgrim High School,1985-1987
- Librarian, Observer Media Group