May 2, 2020 1:13 pm
Written by Byron Henry Jr
Annual Graduation & Prize Giving Visit 2019
St. Rose’s Alumni Association USA Inc.
Annual Graduation & Prize Giving Visit
November 14-21, 2019
Reporting: Denise Harris-Durant, Lorraine Croft-Farnell
Annual Prize Giving & Graduating Exercise held at the National Cultural Centre, Georgetown on Friday, November 15, 2019
Lorraine & I attended the all-day event beginning with the Lower Level awards presented by Lauren Harry, the Toronto representative. Immediately followed by the graduation for the Upper School. Speakers included our own Alum, Cathy Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Dr. Marcel R. Hutson, Chief Education Officer and the Keynote Speaker, another Alum, Class of 2002, Keon Smith. The Valedictorian was Alex Abraham, top performer in the country for CSEC, reflecting on his journey towards his success and Shanomae Milling, top performer in the country for CAPE, who showed appreciation for the support of her family, the staff and her fellow students in helping her to attain her achievements.
The event was a very emotional journey. Proud that St. Rose’s not only was the Most Improved School in the country.
- The gowns worn proudly by the graduates showed varying degrees of color. It was later confirmed that some of the gowns were faded and visibly worn out.
- The lack of media coverage
- The absence of the first graduate who is attending the University of Guyana but yet could not afford the cap and gown (unbeknownst to the HM and staff).
- Being present demonstrated the need for representation (if possible) from our chapters as it showed the support from the overseas chapters
Meeting of Board of Governors (BoG) – Saturday, November 16, 2019
Meeting was scheduled with the BoG on Saturday at New Thriving Restaurant. Though a casual setting, the meeting was very intense.
- In reviewing the list, one-line item needed to be addressed immediately. That was the urgent need for a water cooler in the Staff Room. After experiencing 2 days of 90-degree weather, the overseas representatives along with Kenrick Thomas, Enrico Woolford and Russell Lancaster donated towards this item. The outcome was the purchase of the water cooler and its installation done on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 by Kenrick’s team. Suffice to say, there heavy lifting by Kenrick and team with regard to resolving items on the wishlist.
- The Headmistress, Mrs. Paula Hamilton presented a summary of the school and shared some disturbing events of some students which required the need for a guidance counselor. This information was provided to the Ministry of Education during our meeting later in the week.
- Kenrick provided an update to the new Building project including the alternate method to the piling to reduce the time and effort presented by the Bryan Benn and the construction team. The analysis was presented in a prior discussion with the Ministry of Education, Project Manager for Bryan Benn and Kenrick. Report from KP Thomas Construction will be provided this week.
Meeting with the local Alumni – Sunday, November 17 at Cara Lodge, Georgetown
This event was hosted Lorraine and I after the groundwork done by Lorraine prior to our departure. Possibly due to the rain, about 20-25 alumni participated with excitement and quite prepared to form a local chapter with formalization by the end of the year. Note, St. Rose’s is the only top high school that currently does not have a local chapter. The team galvanized and created a WhatsApp group and to date there are over 80 members. The first official meeting is targeted for December 6, 2019.
When registered as this is necessary for dues and any monetary efforts, the Guyana Alumni chapter will target a Career Day in 2020. The group clearly stated that there are many alumni who are professionals in Guyana and can be of service.
- Headmistress and Staff – Monday, November 18, 2019
- Mayor of Georgetown – Tuesday, November 19, 2019
- The Ministry of Education – Wednesday, November 20, 2019
These face-to-face meetings proved successful and gained positive outcomes including a walkthrough by the official from the Ministry of Education of the issues previously reported by the Headmistress and with pictures provided by Lorraine and I on the structural degradation of some areas on the school compound.