February 12, 2010
GHS celebrations to start with torch relay

Plans are proceeding apace for the yearlong celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary the Girls’ High School, which will begin on Friday, May 7, 2010.{{more}}

At a meeting of the past students association of the school on Wednesday, February 3, the ‘old girls’ were told of the activities planned for the weekend of May 7 to 9, 2010.

On Friday, May 7, 2010, 100 past and present students of the school will take over the streets of mainland St. Vincent in a torch relay which will begin at 6:00 a.m. simultaneously at Richmond on the north Leeward coast and Sandy Bay in north Windward. The relay will be run in 100 legs, 50 from either side of the island.

Coordinator of the event LaToya DeRoche told the gathering of over 100 women that it was “not an easy task narrowing down to 100 the list of persons to take part in the relay.” She said the 100 participants, who will be wearing house colours, will include present students of the school as well as outstanding former students from different generations and walks of life.

De Roche said it is hoped that the runners and walkers would be cheered as they passed through the different communities carrying the torches, which she said would be kept lit for the entire year of celebrations. The relay will end at the school, where “a grand celebration befitting the launch of the anniversary” will be held.

The following day, Saturday, May 8, will see the commencement of a year-long lecture series. Coordinator of the Lecture Series Laura Anthony-Browne said that on that evening, past student Dr. Peggy Antrobus will deliver a lecture at the Methodist Church Hall on the topic “1911-2011: Looking back; Are the traumas of today damaging the children of tomorrow?”

One lecture will be held each month until May 2011. At each lecture, one present student will be awarded with a laptop computer based on criteria including academics, deportment, community service, extra-curricular activities, attendance and punctuality.

A grand flower spectacular is being planned for May 8 and 9 by the graduating class of 1955. Spokesperson for the group Jeannette Ballantyne-France said the “spectacular”, which will be held at the Girl Guide Headquarters, will have as its theme “Along the pathways cool.” On the second day of the flower spectacular, a grand tea party will be held.

Annelle Paynter-Thomas, coordinator of the church services for that weekend, announced that priests and pastors of the various churches would be asked to accommodate past and present students of the school during worship on May 8 and 9, 2010. She said the churches will be asked to allow past and present students of the school to participate in the service by allowing them to read lessons, say intercessions or give the sermon. Thomas also indicated that one standard message from the school will be read in all the churches that weekend.

She also disclosed that another church service will be held in 2011 during the final days of the celebration when everyone will come together for a single service.

Headmistress of the GHS Andrea Keizer Bowman disclosed that competitions to select a logo and a jingle for the celebrations are presently being held among present day students of the school. She also said that it is hoped that past students who live overseas will join the local members of the alumnae at key points during the year’s celebration.

Information was also shared about the 100th anniversary commemorative magazine to which all past and present students and friends of the school are invited to make submissions. The magazine is being coordinated by Clare Keizer who told SEARCHLIGHT that the deadline for submissions is September 30, 2010. She said the editorial committee welcomes tributes, reflections, humorous pieces, poetry and photographs from as many different generations as possible. She also revealed that 250 past students, whose contribution will be acknowledged in the magazine, are being sought to sponsor the publication.