The Troumaca Ontario Secondary School continues to play an integral role in the advancement of education here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this according to government senator and deputy speaker of the house of assembly, Hon. Carlos James.
Senator James made the point while addressing a ceremony on Thursday, January 18, 2018, to mark the 45th anniversary since the school officially opened its doors in January of 1973.
According to Senator James, despite the many successes of the institution the community experienced a dark period of struggle to ensure the institution remained opened.
James was reflecting on the period of protest in 1995 where nine persons, including 12-year-old Devon Samuel, were arrested when the Troumaca community protested the closure of the institution by an NDP-led government.
“In 1995 the then government had settled on the closure of the institution, but it took the collective efforts of an entire community to avert this backward move. I want the current batch of students to know we have had a history of struggle as a people in an effort to keep this school opened. This is the dark period we are coming from as a community,” Senator James said.
The Senator acknowledged that North Leeward has endured many challenges, but noted that the educational advancement of the people has always remained paramount.
Giving a brief history of the institution at the ceremony, past student and current teacher, Asbert Garraway, acknowledged that the school was constructed in 1972 with funding from organisations and students in Ontario, Canada.
Garraway noted that after its construction the secondary school officially opened its doors in January of 1973 to accommodate junior secondary school students in North Leeward.
“The school actually started in October of 1972 under its first principal, Conrad Charles, who had to travel to other communities in North Leeward to register students, but it was in January of 1973 the school was officially opened,” Garraway said.
The participants at the ceremony also heard addresses from senior education officer for Secondary Schools in the Ministry of Education, Kay Martin Jack and past students Ian Allen, Julia Haywood and Hayden Ferdinand.
As a part of the ceremony, a number of literature books were donated to the school’s library on behalf of the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit to mark its 45th year as an education institution.
The scores of past students who joined the staff and students at the institution commemorated its milestone under the theme ‘after 45 years, tenacity still offers sure success.’