British Ambassador James Dauris presented the British Empire Medal to Miss Rosemary Gibson, a missionary, teacher and former Headmistress at the British-Peruvian International College (Colegio Internacional Peruano Británico) in Arequipa. The “Inter”, as the college is known, is celebrating its 90th Anniversary this year.
Miss Gibson comes from Northern Ireland and only planned to be in Peru “for a couple of years” when she first came in 1975, sent by the Latin America Mission organisation, which is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She spent her first two years in Lima teaching English and was then sent to Sicuani for a further two years. She was then asked to go to the Colegio Internacional Peruano-Británico in Arequipa as temporary teaching cover whilst new staff was sent out from the United Kingdom.
However she ended up staying at the college for the next 33 years, retiring at the end of 2012. During her career as a missionary and teacher at the college, Miss Gibson has been its Headmistress, Promoter and Scout Troop Leader and continues to live in Arequipa continuing to carry out her duties as a missionary.
“I want to dedicate this Medal to my extended family at the Inter,” Miss Gibson said. “With respect to Her Majesty the Queen, to me it means more to receive this medal here in Arequipa (as opposed to receiving it in the UK), surrounded by the people I love and care of.”
In this year’s Queen’s New Years Honours List, Miss Gibson was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her long service to education in Peru. She requested that she receive her medal from the British Ambassador in Lima, James Dauris. The ceremony took place at the college on 17th September, where Ambassador Dauris and his wife Helen received special honours joined by the British Honorary Consul, Francis Rainsford and other local authorities from the College and from the local Boy Scouts Association chapter.
Colegio Internacional Peruano-Britanico, founded in 1923, is the oldest British-Peruvian school in Peru.