Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon has confirmed that gifted boys attending St Francis Secondary School, whose parents cannot afford to pay school fees, will benefit from scholarships honouring the memory of the late regional banker Michael Mansoor. “Money will not block the route of talented students from receiving a good education,” he added.
The cleric gave that assurance as he accepted the Michael Mansoor Scholarship funds from CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Debra King.
This is the second year that the bank has awarded scholarships to one of the schools associated with the church. Last year, scholarships were awarded to the St Patrick’s Roman Catholic (Primary) School, but at this year’s presentation, an emphasis was placed on the secondary institution which caters to boys only.
The Archbishop highlighted the importance of encouraging secondary school boys to excel in the classroom while noting growing concerns in the Caribbean that too many secondary school boys were losing interest and underachieving. He, therefore, thanked the bank, adding that the two schools were doing well.
In response, Mrs King said supporting education in the region is important to the bank and CIBC First Caribbean was especially happy to find an appropriate opportunity to pay tribute to Mr. Mansoor, who not only supported educational projects but often noted that without a scholarship, he could not have achieved his academic and career success.
Mr Mansoor, who was regarded as a leading icon in the Caribbean’s financial sector, was the bank’s Executive Chairman from its inception in October 2002 until his retirement at the end of 2013, after which he served on the company’s board of directors.
The annual scholarship, initially expected to run for ten years, was established as a tribute to him by the bank’s community relations arm, the FirstCaribbean International Comtrust Foundation, of which he was the first Chairman.