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Dreaming, hoping and rising

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15.FEB.08

The year of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the St. Vincent Grammar School got started rather quietly this week.

The school’s 86th annual Inter-house athletic sports meet, which was held this past Wednesday at the beautiful Arnos Vale Playing Field, was the first event on the calendar of activities planned to commemorate the centenary, being held under the theme “We dream, we hope, we rise.”{{more}}

The immaculate grounds and beautifully appointed President’s Suite at Arnos Vale were indeed an appropriate backdrop for an event of such importance, but the presence of no more than a handful of past students and former teachers, probably due to very little pre-event publicity, took away from what should have been a star studded affair.

The St. Vincent Grammar School is, arguably, the only institution, other than perhaps the church, which has existed here for one hundred years, and which has contributed so much to the overall development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The thousands of men and women who have graduated from her hallowed halls are dispersed far and wide around the world pursuing careers in diverse areas. Her graduates read like a who’s who of the outstanding citizens in our country.

All of the men who have held the office of Prime Minister of this country are alumni of the school, so too are our Governor General, our first native Governor, many outstanding church leaders, teachers, lawyers, physicians, politicians, public servants, agriculturalists, scientists, newspaper columnists, sportsmen and women. The school indeed has an outstanding legacy of which anyone associated with it should be proud.

Speaking at the opening of the sports meet on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Education Officer Luis deShong reminded the present students of their outstanding heritage and urged them to let the world see what they are made of. We hope that the students were paying attention.

Just last week, a stabbing incident involving two Grammar School students was reported in Searchlight. One may say these boys are influenced by what is happening in the wider society. But that is not as it should be. They should influence society.

Current students of the school need to understand and appreciate the need to avoid becoming enmeshed in the prevailing negativity existing among many males in the wider society. Grammar School boys must emerge as role models, following in the footsteps of the fine men (and women) who graced the hallowed halls throughout the years. The fact that they are students of the St. Vincent Grammar School means that they are the cream of the crop, and this must be demonstrated in their general deportment and performance.

Sincere congratulations to the St. Vincent Grammar School in this their 100th year. May they have a successful year of celebrations and may this noble institution continue to dream, hope and rise.

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