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Message from PACE Canada President

Published: July 2022
Dear members and friends,

We currently mourn the passing of our founder Dr. Mavis Burke, Educator – PhD, O Ont., OD(JAM) on July 7, 2022 in her 94th year.
Born in Cuba to Jamaican parents Ama Gladys Burke (nee Simpson) and Charles Norman Burke, she grew up in Jamaica before migrating to Canada in 1971 to continue research on her doctoral thesis in Education. She was predeceased by her parents and siblings Enyd MacKenzie, Norma Fernandez, Charles Norman Burke, Jnr and Sydney Burke. She leaves behind nieces and nephews as well as many cousins, other relatives and close friends.
She studied at the University College of the West Indies, then a College of the University of London. Graduating in 1958 with Honours and a degree in History.
She earned a post graduate Diploma in Education from UWI, MA in Education from University of London and a PhD in Education from University of Ottawa. She attended and spoke at numerous International conferences relating to Education and International Development and was made a Fellow of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).
An Education Officer in the Ontario Ministry of Education, in 1981 she was made Chairperson and then President of the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship. In 1985 she was appointed Chairperson of the Ontario Social Assistance Review Board.
In 1987 She founded Women for PACE, later becoming PACE Canada and became the first President. This organization was set up to assist Early Childhood Education in Jamaica initially and expanded to include Canada. PACE now assists some 317 Basic Schools in Jamaica through its adopt-a-school campaign.
Her vision, dedication and hard work have left a legacy which has enabled others to lead more fulfilled lives and to carry on the task of enriching the lives of those who come after. Her honours included the Order of Ontario (O Ont.) and Queen’s Jubilee Medal and for services to Jamaica she was made an Officer of the Order of Distinction (OD) and received the Prime Minister’s Medal for services to Education.
Her funeral service will take place on Friday July 22, 2022, at Highland Funeral
Home, Markham Chapel, 10 Cachet Woods Court, Markham L6C 3G1 at 10:30am. Masks required. In recognition of her life’s commitment to improving Early Childhood Education and In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to PACE Canada (see the link below).
Access the following link to join the livestream of the service.


We have been in operation since 1987.

Under the Auspices of
High Commissioner for Jamaica to Canada

Helping Young Children Succeed


There are over 2200 basic schools in Jamaica. PACE has adopted 300 and 1,900 schools still need your your help

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