Yolande Henderson, Pakistani teacher, Died at 81


Yolande Henderson was born on January 14, 1934, and died on December 5, 2015 from intestinal cancer.

She was a high school teacher from Karachi, Pakistan.

Yolande finished her schooling from St. Anne’s School in Mumbai before moving to Pakistan in 1950.

She started teaching in 1954 after graduating from St. Joseph’s College, Karachi.

Yolande received a scholarship to do her MA in Literature from Laval University, Canada, which she completed in 1957.

She joined St Patrick’s High School, Karachi while Father Stephen Raymond was principal.

Yolande teaching career with this school lasted for 34 years until the day she retired.

In a 2013 tribute in the Christian Voice to the late Bishop Anthony Theodore Lobo she also eulogised Raymond calling him “ an educational visionary and leader.”

While teaching at St Patrick’s, Yolande also completed her teacher training.

Yolande became headmistress of the St Patrick’s O’ Levels section in 1991.

Under her, the St Patrick’s O’ Levels section was an exceptional institution with strict discipline, excellent academics, and great extracurricular activities.

Yolande retired in 2006 because of her failing health.

She is remembered as one of the teachers who “focused more on the lessons of life and character-building than the curriculum.”

At an October 18, 2010 school reunion to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of its founding, one of her former students described her as “one of the most well-loved teachers and mentors.”

Another student, Roland deSouza, described her as “one of the best teachers” he had.

On May 6, 2011, The Old Patricians (former students of the school) presented the Yolande Henderson Gold Medal to the top student from the Cambridge O level section at the closing ceremony of the 150th anniversary of the school.

On October 12, 2012, the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) paid tribute to Yolande, for whom it was said that “her students spread across the world are better human beings thanks to her guidance.”

In March 2013, Yolande was asked by The Express Tribune to write a tribute to the late Bishop Anthony Theodore Lobo, a former principal of St Patrick’s High School.

On 5 December 2015, Yolande passed away of intestinal cancer, her memorial was held the next day at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Saddar, Karachi.