Having benefitted from the legacy of those who preceded them, today’s students have a moral duty to set good examples for those who follow them.
This was the advice of old scholar and former Principal of the Coleridge and Parry School, Senator Alwyn Adams, as he addressed the graduation ceremony of the St. Peter school last weekend.
Adams pointed out to the graduates that they had examples of generations of students who walked the path before them and who “faced burdens and problems which you could never dream of” — but they never gave up.
“The education they received helped them to assume top positions,” he explained. “They made sacrifices so that you can benefit. You are now standing on their shoulders.
“You have a moral obligation to set examples for those coming behind you. Work twice as hard and don’t give up. Show grit and determination. Be competitive. Make sure that whether short or tall, people must look up to you.”
The retired veteran educator also advised the students to grab hold of every opportunity to master the technologies of today by being adaptive — and don’t just learn, but learn how to learn.
Adams, early in his address, took the students and their guests through the school’s history, pointing to the long lists of members of the House of Assembly and Senate who graduated from the school, top ranked police officers, two Anglican bishops, two Governors General, two Prime Ministers and more, but then cautioned:
“Let me make it clear that I am not for one minute suggesting that you should be thinking that because you attended Coleridge and Parry you now have a passport to glory and success. Not at all! I am saying that in order to succeed you must be just as prepared as earlier generations of this school to work twice as hard.
“Like them, you must recognise the difficulties and the burdens you may have to carry; grapple with them until you overcome them, but at all cost do not do as others often do — use them as an excuse to do nothing, or look around for somebody else to blame.
“To do so would be to betray our sacred trust. That is not the Coleridge and Parry way.”
The outspoken old scholar also told his audience it was time for education authorities to reintroduce a sixth form at the northern campus, pointing out that when he was a student there, there was a sixth form.
“The powers that be dismantled it and sent the boys to Crumpton Street. The schools that kept their sixth forms had white headmasters who exerted inordinate influence and pressure on the Department of Education. The results of this school deserve the reintroduction of a sixth form. Go out there and fight for it!” (RRM)