Fifty-two years of Love in service and counting, St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua (SJCM) formally the Marriaqua Secondary School (MSS), continues to cater to the educational needs of the children of Marriaqua and has expanded its reach to include students from across St Vincent and the Grenadines .
The school which opened its doors on September 16th, 1968, celebrated its 52nd anniversary last Wednesday September 16th and according to Biology Teacher at the school, Ronelle Andrews it was the perfect time to get together to celebrate and, receive gifts” from the school’s alumni.
The MSS/SJCM Alumni Association of North America made the 52nd anniversary celebrations extra special with its donation of science laboratory equipment and school supplies. The items were handed over at the School’s science laboratory in the presence of past and present students.
Past students residing in St Vincent and the Grenadines also added to the celebration by handing over to the school a cheque for just over five thousand four hundred dollars, monies raised during the schools 50th anniversary celebration.
Principal Sister Jacintha Wallace, in her welcome remarks, stated that she was especially pleased to see the past students – the “older faces” who were among the gathering. The School, according to Sister Jacintha, started with a few students – “here we are 52 years later with an enrolment of almost 500 students offering some 26 subjects at the CSEC level… we are a certain kind of school…. We embrace all”, Principal Wallace said.
“This is a Catholic Christian Secondary School and we are endeavouring to make sure that, that is stamped in everything we do and say in this place”, Principal Wallace asserted. On accepting the gifts, she said they were an indication that the SJCM’s mission and motto: Caritas – Latin for “Love in Service” – has been achieved through their past students. “I am very proud and pleased about that”, Wallace stated.
Representative for MSS/SJCM Alumni Association of North America Andre Bailey said their main goals are to foster ties between the present SJCM population and the Association; and to contribute to the development of quality education at the School. As past students, Bailey explained that they always want to give back to their School.
The MSS/SJCM Alumni Association of North America, according to Bailey, is headed by Kenny Browne and has nine executive members from Brooklyn and Canada, respectively. He said the members really wanted to make a significant impact with their gifts and has contributed supplies over the past two years. Bailey urged all past students, wherever they are, to have a voice in the Association.
The Alumni Representative told the students to honour their gifts to them. He urged them to take care of the items as they are not just for them. Bailey encouraged the students to take their learning seriously so that “when you leave here, you also can make a contribution”.
Past student Hance John told the students present that it was a great honour to be a part of the SJCM. “I learnt a lot from my Teachers”, John said, “they were more like family to me”. He added that “they helped me to really excel and unlock to new levels”. The 2009 SJCM graduate and Soca Artiste encouraged present students to take their education seriously, to continue to study when they get home, to push themselves, and to believe that they can achieve.