Glanville MacFarlane Major
is remembered and respected as one of that breed of educators who
made it their life's work to stimulate, encourage and prepare a
new generation of Bahamians for the job world. He was born at Burrow's
Harbour, Long Island in the early 1900s. His early education was
at the Buckley's Public School, under such able teachers as Garnet
Gibson, J. L. Thompson, C. I. Gibson, and Anthony Smith. Nelson
was a good student, and so was made a monitor at age 11. At 16 he
passed the Pupil Teacher's Exam, and entered the Teachers Training
School at 18. In the same year he was also appointed Head Teacher
of the school in Rum Cay.
Major remained there for a year, before being transferred to Inagua
in 1923, where he replaced his former teacher, C. I. Gibson. As
principal there he appointed T. G. Glover as a monitor. Mr. Glover
himself went on to be one of The Bahamas' most noted teachers. In
1925, Mr. Major resigned from teaching and went into business for
five years in Nassau, and 11 years in Long Island.
he was not comfortable outside the classroom, and returned to teaching
in 1941. C. I. Gibson had recently died, and Mr. Major again replaced
him as headteacher, this time at the school in Deadman's Cay. N.
G. M. Major's tenure at Deadman's Cay was the high point of his
career. He set out to make that school not only the best in Long
Island, but in the country as well.
School consistently got top honours in the Agricultural and General
Fairs for their farming efforts. They were also very successful
in the Bahamas Junior Certificate (B. J. C.) Exams, and the Bahamas
Music Festivals. Moreover, the school, under Mr. Major's leadership,
captured about 40% of all the scholarships to the Government High
School. In 1946, T. A. Thompson, the school inspector, reported,
"The school at Deadman's Cay is the leading school in the Out
Islands, and is equal to any of the Senior Schools in New Providence."