Rector of the St Peter Parish Church, Canon Peter Haynes, is urging students of the Alexandra School to appreciate and embrace the privilege of education, especially in light of the dislocation in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda following recent hurricanes.
Rev. Haynes took the opportunity to highlight the importance of academic knowledge at general assembly this morning as the Speightstown secondary school continued celebrations for its 123rd anniversary that began with a church service.
“There are so many other children in this region, Dominica, Antigua, Barbuda and the Virgin Islands, who have lost everything,” he told students. “We are fortunate and blessed. Children who were about to go back to school and take CXC exams had their books destroyed.”
Fr. Haynes added: “Those children would be glad to have this privilege this morning if the school was still standing. You need to embrace the wonderful privilege you have. One day coming soon, it may be Barbados’ turn.
“Don’t throw away the opportunity of school you have; there are so many people who want what you are getting. Despite a horrific hurricane season, you haven’t been destroyed. You have a school to come to. Treasure and value the people who run this place.”
Delivering the feature address in front of a packed hall, past student Carlo Goodman, who was one of the first boys to enter Alexandra back in 1984 after it became a co-educational institution, urged students to believe in themselves and have big dreams.
“Dreams drive success and innovation. When I was entering Alexandra, we did not have any Internet or Wifi. I remember I would watch science fiction movies where the actors used video watches and sent voice messages across the world in real time,” he recalled.
“Back then, this was fiction. Today it has become a reality through things like Facebook and Whatsapp. Don’t think that great inventors only came from the USA or China because it was a Barbadian called Alan Emtage who is credited with writing a computer code that developed the world’s first search engine. The next Alan Emtage could be one of you students sitting in this hall right now.”
Goodman also told students to use the time they have at school wisely.
“Yes there is time for everything . You don’t have to be in a book 24/7 but don’t waste your time while at school. Time is something money can’t buy and once it is gone, we can’t ever get it back,” he said. “Don’t waste the opportunity you have. Start putting in the hard work now.”
In brief remarks, Principal Orson Alleyne reflected on some of the words of the school’s motto as he encouraged students to continue to reach for the stars as the school. He noted that Alexandra has produced many prominent Barbadians and continues to improve.
Students were entertained by members of the school’s dance group and two renditions of music from fifth form student Ravon Ramsay and past student Ashawnya Bellamy.
The celebrations continue for the remainder of the week and conclude with an old dub fete on Saturday night.