By:St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 5, 2016, all roads led to the Shiloh Baptist Church located in Ramsbury, Charlestown, for the Nevis Academy Primary School graduation ceremony.
The event was held under the distinguished patronage of Mr. and Mrs. Ravi Chowtipersad.
Under its theme, ‘Overcoming Obstacles- A Catalyst for Success’ the school said farewell to 11 students who will be entering the Secondary School system in September. The event marked another successful year in the life of the primary school.
The ceremony began with the invocation by Pastor Eric Maynard. This was followed by the National Anthem.
Chairperson of the ceremony, Ms. Jacqueline Jeffers, gave the opening remarks. She told those in attendance, that some have had success without having to overcome obstacles while others have gained success by overcoming many obstacles. Claxton noted that persons such as Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers, had to quit high school after just two years but went on to become a scientist, inventor, and statesman amongst other things. She also mentioned former American Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt both of whom overcame depression to lead a great nation.
Principal of the institution, Mrs. Lucia Wilkinson, delivered the annual report. She said that graduation was always a memorable occasion. She indicated that failure and success were all part of life and one must not feel like the road has ended because of failure. She pointed out that the school has made great strides over the years moving from four teachers to eight teachers, from combined classes to separate classes and from 39 students to 89 students. The Principal talked about the untimely demise of former teacher at the school, Ms. Estella Blackette noting that her departure was of great sadness.
Mrs. Wilkinson also spoke in appreciation of the sterling contribution of her teaching staff. She continued, “I would like to say thank you to our teachers for the hard work, patience, love and dedication that you have displayed over the years”. She noted that without the tiring efforts of the staff, the children could not have made it this far. In closing, Mrs. Wilkinson wished the graduates all the best in their future endeavors.
Mr. Anselm Caines delivered the feature address. He told the students that in order to succeed in life they will have to overcome a number of obstacles. Caines also indicated to the graduates that the next level will be very challenging because it comes with a lot more work as well as peer pressure. He noted that others will encourage them to do wrong things but they have to be strong and stand up for what they know is right. The featured speaker also warned the students not to get complacent. He continued, “I have seen children leave from 1A1 to 2A2 to 3A3 until and ended up in the fourth stream so you all have to be very careful”.
Mr. Caines also encouraged the children to be diligent and work hard towards winning scholarships because some are not fortunate as some. He pointed out, that some parents may not have the money to buy those extra books so they will have to stay on their A game and win scholarships to make things easier for their parents. In closing, he told the graduates that when people see them in the streets, just by the way they walk, talk and carry themselves; they must know that they had to have passed through the gates of the Nevis Academy.
The valedictory speech was given by Jada John. She noted that upon arriving at the school she pondered on how she would be treated by her schoolmates but she soon realized that she was a part of a very chatty and caring family. She pointed out that they did not always get along and had their differences on many issues. She noted that at times the debates got so heated that Mrs. Wilkinson had to intervene but no sooner than she had left they were talking again as if nothing had happened.
Jada said she and friends had lots of discussions pertaining to life. She pointed out, that they talked about what career paths they would take, how much money they will have, what kind of cars they will drive and how big their houses are going to be. She stated however, that when she told her mother about those discussions, her mom would say to her that there is more to life than those things. In closing, Jada said that her time at the school was well spent and she will never ever forget them.
The distribution of gifts and certificates were done by the patrons Mr. and Mrs. Chowtipersad.
Two students, Tanmay and Maura gave the vote of thanks.