One hundred and sixty-four students closed the final chapter of their secondary school life as they graduated from Harrison College on Saturday.
And they were advised to grasp the many possibilities that would be available to them to make their mark.
The advice came from Gillian Alleyne, the first female general secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL), in her keynote address to the class.
She told the students that while there were some who did not have their names displayed on the plaques on the wall that bore the names of previous Barbados Scholarship and Exhibition winners, they could all achieve greatness.
Alleyne, a former student, pointed out that her name did not grace those plaques, yet she went on to make history at the CCL. She therefore encouraged the graduates that they should “never say never”.
As for those who might not have the financial resources to pursue tertiary education immediately, the keynote speaker urged them not to be discouraged and to make attending university a life goal.
“Even if you cannot go to university today or tomorrow, make it a goal; whatever you want to do, plan for it and go for it,” Alleyne told the young men and women.
She further assured them that their parents would be in their corner, whether they succeeded or failed.
Alleyne used the example of how the West Indies cricket team still had supporters even after it disappointed time and
She also urged the students to remember that a Harrisonian takes pride in themselves.
“A Harrisonian would take pride in the way they carry themselves, they would know how to speak – when ‘yeah friend’ is appropriate and when ‘yes Madam, yes Sir’ is appropriate. They would also know how to make productive time of their resources,” Alleyne said.
The graduates bid farewell to the place at which they received their secondary education with songs by the school band, Spray Starch, as well as singing the school song for the final time.
In closing, president of the graduating committee Kalalia Pais thanked teaching and non-teaching members of staff for the life lessons they had taught the students throughout their time at the Crumpton Street educational institution.