Tuesday, May 10, 2011


100 years of excellence

When persons turn 100, they are the toast of the nation. The Governor General visits and presents the centenarian with a bouquet of flowers and a congratulatory message from the queen. The subject, if able is quizzed on reasons for theeir longevity and life of yesteryear. All of this is fed to an awestruck audience. After all a life of 100 years is a phenomenal event.

On May 8th, my alma mater the St Vincent Girls' High School celebrated her 100th birthday. Like those before her, she was the toast of the nation as she showcased her considerable talents. Under the theme "100 years of excellence where tradition meets tomorrow", the week of activities that led up to May 8th featured sports, talent explosion, career and arts showcase, awards dinner, the blue and white affair which saw fireworks heralding the 100th year and ended with an ecumenical service at the the Kingstown Methodist Church.

In 1911, when the GHS opened its doors it was a bold step given that education of girls was not a priority at the time. Over time, the school has evolved from a private school catering to elites to a public school that embraces girls from diverse backgrounds. For me, entering the GHS was the realisation of a dream that many thought was beyond me. At age 11, already burdened by pain and a shattered self esteem entering GHS was my confirmation that I could be numbered among the best. I have written before that the joy I felt on passing for GHS remains my happiest moment.

Life at GHS was not all bed and roses. Many times I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb as I struggled at times to learn and adjust to new rules, new ways of teaching and the subtle hostility that was directed at you depending on your stream. I cried bitter tears when my best friend widened her circle, made new friends, suffered panic attacks when CXC drew near. A male teacher crossed the boundary, friends moved away, Moffett House won sports, classmates became mothers and we took shaky steps towards womanhood. Yet through it all I was proud of the blue and white and the way the simple act of getting dressed every morning gave my spirits a lift.

Looking back 15 years after graduation (how time flies!) my wish for GHS in the next 100 years is for continued excellence. Time and seasons change and GHS must change to fit the times. At the ecumenical service on Sunday the minister called for Religious Education to be reintroduced. At the risk of being labelled heathen I believe we need more practical subjects that contribute to nation building. Let religious education be the responsibility of the church and the home.

Happy 100th GHS.May your 2nd century be way better than your first.Per ardua ad alta.

Yes midear, I proud too - and I think that about half of the population of GHS felt like they stuck out like a sore thumb but still had a sense of pride when I put on that tie.
which house were you in and did you attend the bkue and white?
so true! Only 4 of us from my primary school went to GHS and we were all in different classes. I was in a class with girls who all seem to know each other. But through the years at GHS, I made deep friendships and even reconnected with others after GHS who were not part of my friendship circle.

My best friend now was in class with me from Form 1 to 3, yet it was only after we left high school and 3 years later, we reconnected through msn by chance and built a deep friendship.

I can't believe that I graduated 13 years ago! It's crazy how time flies.

It was just last week Sunday that I had lunch with my former Spanish teacher in Boston. She wore her GHS tshirt proud. It was good to catch up after 13 years and reminisce.
I was in Moffet but I didn't get a chance to attend any of the events because of clashes with work schedule...but I heard I missed on a once in a lifetime experience.
Fellow Moffett girl here..Yayyyy us and you did.
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