By: St.Clair ‘Sazam’ Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-On the evening of Thursday, September 17, 2015, the Ivor Walters Primary School, formerly known as Prospect Primary School, held a Cocktail and Prize Giving Ceremony as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. The event was held at ‘Occasions’ which is located at Pinney’s Industrial Site.
Chairperson of the event, Mr. Denis ‘Rudy’ Browne gave the opening remarks. He told those in attendance, that he was proud to be a past student of the institution. Browne noted that during the days he spent at the school, they had to deal with a former Principal Ivor Walters who was not afraid to take disciplinary actions when the students stepped out of line. He continued, “During my time there, Ivor was very strict and gave lashes when we disobeyed. He was not one to spare the rod and spoil the child”. Browne pointed out that the students who passed through the school then, are currently better persons because of Ivor’s strict mentality.
Principal of the school, Mrs. Janice Richards, also gave some remarks. She indicated that she was proud to be at the helm of an institution that has produced a vast number of outstanding personalities. She stated, “This is a school that has produced lawyers, doctors, accountants, architects, engineers, nurses, teachers and persons in other areas of employment”. Mrs. Richards also pointed out, that she has had ties to the school even before she became Principal. She continued, “My aunt, the late Maude Williams was the school’s neighbor. My cousin Mrs. Lucina Stapleton-Wade, who was the first Culturama Queen, attended this school; and my husband is also a past student, so I have ties with this institution even before I came here to work”. In closing the Principal noted that she was confident that the next 50 years would be just as prosperous as the first fifty.
Premier of Nevis, and Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration, Hon. Vance Amory, gave some brief remarks. He stated that fifty years was a long time, and the school should be proud of what it has achieved over the past five decades. The Premier indicated that based on the school’s accomplishments, it was indicative that the staff both past and present would have put in a lot of hard work over those fifty years. He continued, “The persons who were associated with the school over the years to ensure its success, had to work hard because the task to accomplish what they did had to be difficult”. In closing, Premier Amory wished the staff and the school all the best in their future endeavors.
Principal Education Officer, Mrs. Palsy Wilkin also made some remarks. She noted that the Ministry of Education was indeed proud of the school. Mrs. Wilkin indicated that it was and still is very important for the school to keep doing well, to ensure that education remains paramount on the island of Nevis. She stated that she was aware of some of the things, that the school had achieved in the past and she was confident that it was going to achieve much more.
A number of persons received awards for services rendered to the school. Eight past Principals were awarded including Mr. James Elliott, who was the school’s first Principal when it opened its doors in 1965. His son Mr. Royston Elliott accepted on behalf of his late father. The other Principals who received awards were the late Mr. Ivor Walters, his grandson Kamil Wilkin accepted on his behalf, Mr. Ashley Farrell, Mrs. Shirley Browne, Mr. Anthony Jones, the late Mr. Autnell Swanston, Mr. Wakely Daniel and Mrs. Ileta Mills. Current Principal Mrs. Janice Richards was also awarded.
Teachers, who taught at the institution for ten years or more, were also awarded. Those teachers were, Mr. Elmo Liburd, Mr. Oliver Wilkes, Mr. Carl Williams, Ms. Matilda Taylor, Ms. Vertalie Perkins, Ms. Paula Pemberton and Ms. Kera Herbert.
Mr. Wilroy Gerald, who taught at the school for an astonishing 34 years and Ms. Lornette Thompson who gave 29 years of dedicated service to the institution, received resounding applauses, as they collected their awards.
Reigning Carnival and Culturama king, Oscar ‘Astro’ Browne and Bernard ‘Nutsy’ Thompson entertained the audience by way of calypso.