The hall at The Ellerslie School has been renamed The V Eudine Barriteau Auditorium, after Professor The Most Honourable Eudine Barriteau who is the Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
Professor Barriteau, who marked the special occasion with Ministry of Education officials, her son Cabral Barriteau-Foster, staff from UWI, and friends, humbly expressed gratitude to the school’s management for naming the auditorium in her honour.
She told those gathered that she saw the grass as green and lush at Ellerslie, an approach she has taken throughout life’s journey, dwelling in the here and now and wasting no energy on what is happening elsewhere.
“I was not concerned with what other schools there were or what happened in them. I was at Ellerslie and I was very grateful for the new learning opportunities. I found over 90 per cent of my classes stimulating, I read voraciously and I had first class teachers throughout,” said Barriteau who successfully represented the school in essay and debating competitions.
Barriteau recalled that between 1967 and September 1972, she attended school at Ellerslie and at nights she helped her mother sell nuts and fruits in the bus stand.
She also said that while a student of the Black Rock institution, she watched the Cave Hill students making their way to the university and made up her mind then that she would also be attending that institution on the hill. She now sits in her office and enjoys the view of the Ellerslie school plant.
Delivering remarks at the function, Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw said Barriteau’s life story demonstrates that education can change communities, countries, regions and indeed, the world.
She noted that Barriteau attended Ellerslie in an era of transformation in education from a post colonial society to an independent nation. Bradshaw said it is notable that Barriteau, who attended four universities, is now a publisher of several works and holds the highest office of UWI Cave Hill, as the pro-vice chancellor and principal.
She said as the Minister of Education, she is proud to see the daughter of Ellerslie being honoured, since it is important that those who have blazed the trail be recognised for their outstanding contributions and achievements. Bradshaw said Barriteau’s accomplishments are prime examples for Barbadian children to understand that it does not matter where they receive their secondary education or from which circumstances they come from.
“These are all significant achievements for this daughter of The Ellerslie School, a daughter who has never forgotten her alma mater. Indeed, I know that it is not by chance that with the establishment of the Chinese Confucius institute at the University of the West Indies, Ellerslie Secondary School has also been blazing the trail in the teaching of mandarin and I believe a little birdie has told me that that has a lot to do with the honourable professor as well.
“You have created a remarkable legacy for fellow Ellerslie students to follow, in particular, the young women as well who attend this institution and who have left this institution. Certainly, you are amongst the trailblazers and the women who have certainly broken the glass ceiling for all of us. Indeed, we are very proud of you,” Bradshaw added.
Principal Lt Col Errol Brathwaite who delivered an upbeat presentation of the successes at the school, said the decision to rename the auditorium after Barriteau came following robust discussions that there is a need to promote what is being done and what has been done at the institution. He said the name of V Eudine Barriteau will forever be etched in the history of the school.
Brathwaite noted that it is because of Barriteau that students have benefitted from a number of programmes being undertaken at Cave Hill.
“Professor Barriteau is always here when she has the time. She is always engaging the students of the school. I got a call from a group of first-year students who said we want to come to Ellerslie and do some work with the students, and when I get these calls, I know who is behind it. We engage a number of members from several departments at the University of the West Indies and our students benefit significantly from the injection of the University of the West Indies under the leadership of Professor Barriteau,” Brathwaite said.