The Colorful Life of Jill Raine – The Royal Gazette


Jill Raine with one of her latest paintings (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Jill Raine says her life began when she moved to Bermuda (photo by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Jill Raine, right, with husband David (center) and an Inuit friend on Baffin Island (Photo provided)

Jill Raine tries some raw meat on Baffin Island (Photo provided)

Jill Raine has been painting and selling art in St George’s since 1975.

So it made sense for her, when her husband David died in 2004, to sell their Devonshire property and move to Convict Bay.

“People told me not to make any big decisions for the first year after my husband died,” she said.

She ignored them.

The 79-year-old works one day a week selling artwork at the Dragon’s Lair Gallery on Somer’s Wharf.

She got her start in the art using a library book, which taught her the basics of making enamel jewelry.

She found a home for herself at the Bridge House Gallery, which sold large oil paintings by Sam Morse-Brown and other renowned artists, offering her time there in exchange.

Ms. Raine ran her own gallery, Bermuda Memories, in King’s Square from 2000 to 2010.

She learned the basics of painting from a guest artist who taught a weekend beginner’s class.

“That was enough to get me going,” she said.

An outdoor painter at heart, his watercolors of St George’s have been gifted to everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and have even been included in a St George time capsule.

Ms Raine arrived here from London, England at the age of 11 with her father, Frederick Amos, and three brothers. Her mother Connie had died of cancer the year before.

“My dad found color television research work with Owen Harries,” she said.

The electronics engineer from England had filed for patents for various pieces of equipment. On Bluck Island, his company Harries Thermionics worked on the creation of a color television.

“There was only primitive black and white television back then,” Ms. Raine said. “There was a race to see who could develop color television first. Harry didn’t earn it.

RCA Laboratories in England began offering color televisions in 1954.

Ms Raine was more concerned with life at Bermuda High School for Girls where she was the only new student and struggled to fit in at first.

That there was no art in the program was a huge disappointment.

“The only art was after school, and you had to pay for it,” she said. “I knew my dad wouldn’t go for that.”

Instead, she got into athletics. When she graduated, she and her classmates had four life options: secretary, teacher, nurse, or wife.

Although Ms Raine “didn’t want to do any of these things,” BHS staff convinced her to get into teaching and she won a Bermuda government scholarship.

At Edge Hill Teachers Training College in Liverpool, England, she was immediately captivated by David Raine.

“He was pretty dashing,” she said. “Most of the boys back then were so boring. They were straight from mummy and high school – tweed coats, gray shirts and spotted faces. Then comes this man in a bright blue suit with pointy boots and long hair. Phew. It was a nice change. “

They shared the passion for adventure. In the summer they hitchhiked in Europe and the Middle East.

“We had a fabulous time through Syria and Jordan and all the way to Istanbul, Turkey,” she said. “We didn’t have any money, so we had one meal a day. We had between us a small loaf of bread, a bar of chocolate and a can of beans. This is what we ate all summer, once a day. I don’t remember drinking a lot either.

She carried with her a backpack with a change of clothes.

“I don’t think we did a lot of laundry,” she says. “It was so much fun. People would pick us up because they knew we were students.

They married in 1964 and moved to Bermuda where Ms Raine taught at Francis Patton Elementary School. Two years later, they were on the move.

“We had both studied sociology,” Ms. Raine said. “We wanted to find a culture that was completely different from ours in every way. “

The remote Baffin Island, in the far eastern part of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, near southeast Greenland, did the trick.

They were tasked with teaching English to five and six year olds in an Inuit hamlet on Dorset Island.

“They didn’t speak a word of English and the education ministry forbade us to learn their language,” she said.

The Raines tried to learn it anyway and had a blast hunting and fishing with the people there.

“There was no TV or radio so they had fun,” she said. “They had their own games. They were very funny. They laughed a lot. It was the best year of my life. They were changing a culture before our eyes, and we were part of it. “

Their students were able to speak fluent English by the time the Raines left.

They taught in Spain for a few years and then returned to Bermuda. Ms. Raine stopped teaching when she got pregnant.

She is deeply proud of her children. Andre has a doctorate in ornithology and lives in Hawaii. Jason works in the film industry in Toronto, Canada.

Ms. Raine also takes great pride in her ability to connect with people.

“I would like to think that I could talk to anyone or identify with anyone,” she said. “My husband was like that too. I would like to think that we were inclusive rather than isolated.

She has four grandchildren.

Lifestyle profiles the island’s seniors every Wednesday. Contact Jessie Moniz Hardy at 278-0150 or [email protected] with full name and contact details and the reason why you are suggesting them


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