July 1, 2005
Calliaqua Day Nursery closes its doors

The Calliaqua DAY NURSERY has been around since the 1960s, but on Friday, June 24, it closed its doors to its last batch of students at a graduation ceremony.

It was a bittersweet and emotional end for teachers, parents and board members who were close to tears as they faced the end of the longstanding community educational facility. {{more}}

Despite years of fundraisers and efforts to keep the school going, the building, which is not the property of the institution, had to be given up and, according to board member Shirley Squire, it was wise for them to bow out gracefully.

She expressed gratitude to the many business places and public-spirited persons who attempted to save the school. The funds, which had been received were placed in a fixed deposit at British American Insurance Company for use by the Rotary Club for the betterment of children in this country, particularly in the East St.George Community.

On receiving the donation, Rotary member Dr. Kenneth Onu highlighted the beauty of the innocence of children and urged the adults to adopt a similar state of mind. “In this age of gross materialism, we should learn from children how they stare in amazement. They believe in magic and they are magic.” Dr. Onu also received a cheque from the Calliaqua Day Nursery Board for the Inner Wheel Club. Also receiving a cheque from the school was representative of the Children Welfare Fund, Milicent Iton. She expressed gratitude for the contribution but called on more persons to contribute towards the development of children.

While the parents and children have lost their school, the teachers of that institution have lost their source of financial survival. Teacher Francisca Thomas said, that though it was not easy dealing with children, she had enjoyed the six years she had worked there.

She expressed concern that some parents had nowhere to leave their children and noted that more parents needed to help their children while they were at home and not solely depend on teachers to help them learn.

The children though, were not as sombre as the adults were as they were unaware of the reality of the situation. They sang their hearts out and rendered nursery rhymes, which brought some cheer to the reality of the dreary occasion. The other staff members at the institution were Karen Lavia, Denise Hamblett and Catherine Williams.