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St. Vincent Grammar School celebrates milestone

St. Vincent Grammar School celebrates milestone



Celebrating under the theme: “We hope. We dream. We rise”, the St. Vincent Grammar School marked 100 years of existence on Sunday, September 21st, 2008.{{more}}

Scores of past and present students and teachers, as well as well-wishers, congregated at the school grounds at Richmond Hill for a grand assembly which began shortly after 4:15 p.m. During the assembly, the school song and the traditional beginning and end of term hymns: “Lord behold us with thy blessing” and “Lord dismiss us with thy blessing” were sung.

Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, himself an old boy of the school, inspected a smartly turned out guard of the cadet corps and unveiled a commemorative plaque mounted on the rotunda of the school’s main building.

Old boys basking in the memories as they lead the singing with much gusto.

The unveiling was followed by the planting of five palms on the school’s lawn by old boys Acting Prime Minister Mike Browne; 90-year-old retired judge Sir Fred Phillips, the oldest available past student, who flew in from Antigua; Senator St. Clair Leacock, who represented the Leader of the Opposition; Headmaster Frank Jones, and one of the youngest students present, Sean Beckford.

Not even the constant threat of rain could stop the afternoon’s proceedings or put a damper on the mood of the past students. It was often difficult to distinguish between past and present students, as some of the “Old Boys” turned up to the celebration wearing their school uniforms. During the ceremony, copies of the 100th Anniversary commemorative magazine were distributed.

Following the ceremony, past and present students and teachers assembled in their respective houses: Crick (School), Lopey (Orange), Millar (Green) or Reeves and marched from the school to the Victoria Park to the sweet strains of the cadet corps band.

At the Victoria Park, prayers and songs of thanksgiving were offered in a service led by past student Pastor Wade Carter. A “100 voice Grammar School Choir” belted out a spirited musical item, past student Kalique Peters performed a special song, and past student Anglican Bishop Leopold Friday delivered the sermon.

From left, Edgar Adams, Joye Browne, Descima Alexander Hamilton and Douglas Slater leafing through the commemorative magazine with evident pride.

During a period of reminiscence, retired surgeon Dr Cecil Cyrus, who attended the school between 1940-1947, shared memories of his time at the prestigious institution. Former Ambassador Joel Toney, Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste and Senator St Clair Leacock also fondly recalled their sojourn at the school.

Just as the day commenced on a high note, so it ended with the all male past students group “Suede”, which brought the crowd to their feet with their sultry voices.

The all boys school, which opened its doors on September 21st, 1908, has produced some of the most prominent persons in Vincentian society. (KW)