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SMSS celebrates 50th anniversary with Thanksgiving Mass

SMSS celebrates 50th anniversary with Thanksgiving Mass

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by Enrico DeShong Fri, Nov 11. 2011

To commemorate their 50th Anniversary, the St. Martin’s Secondary school celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass at the RC Cathedral of the Assumption on Thursday, November 3, 2011.{{more}}

The service commenced shortly after 5:00 p.m. with a welcome and brief history of the school by Sadique Samuel, a past student.

Fr. Mark De Silva, also a former student of St. Martin’s and the main celebrant of the Mass, said the opening prayers, which were followed by scripture readings read by Herbert Young and Sadique Samuel.

With his usual wit, Fr. Mark began his sermon by highlighting that the benches on which the congregation was sitting were hard and so he himself opted not to sit on the normal cushioned chair. This was to emphasize his point that “we cannot ask others to do what we are not willing to do ourselves”, this being the root cause of the rampant double standards plaguing our Vincentian society. He encouraged the congregation to make a thanksgiving not only for the past great achievements and happy memories, but also for the difficult and worrying times that helped to build discipline and faith.

He highlighted the fact that in his days at St. Martin’s that “it was always the bright students who entered the Grammar School and it was always the disciplined students that graduated from the St. Martin’s School.” He also shared stories of former students of St. Martin’s who, according to him, were not very intelligent, but who subsequently excelled in life and are very successful today “because their formative years were spent in St. Martin’s”.

While highlighting the successes and positive attributes of St. Martin’s, Fr. Mark also used the opportunity to shed light on some of the overwhelming problems which the school is currently facing. Some of which included the deterioration of the school building and furniture, persistent financial problems and the absence of a real and tangible support from the Church.

“St. Martin’s is now providing us with a glorious opportunity to be generous with our time, talent and treasure” were the words he ended with, as he spoke of the ‘new and wonderful breeze now blowing’ in the Church and in the Past Students Association, and in the school itself.

Following the sermon, prayers were offered by past and present students and a member of staff, there was a special musical interlude by past student Dexter Bacchus and greetings by representative of the Ministry of Education Carlton C. P. Hall, principal of the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown Calma Balcome and headteacher of St. Mary’s RC School Sr. Ivy Pacheco.

The Mass ended with a vote of thanks by Ronnie Daniel and the singing of the school song. Present at the Mass were Deputy Prime Minister Girlyn Miguel, members of the clergy and religious, members of the Ministry of Education, principals of other secondary schools, past students as well as past teachers.

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