April 30, 2010
GHS past, present for Torch Relay

Past students and well wishers of the Girls’ High School are being encouraged to participate in the torch relay which will take place next Friday as part of the launch of the school’s 100th Anniversary celebrations.{{more}}

The relay, which will begin simultaneously at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 7, at Richmond on the Leeward coast and Fancy in North Windward, will see two torches carried by over 200 past and present students through several communities into Kingstown.

Coordinator of the event La Toya DeRoche told Searchlight that the torch which will leave Richmond on Friday morning actually starts its journey the day before, on Thursday, May 6, in the Grenadines. Past or present students on Union Island, Mayreau, Canouan and Bequia will run or walk one or two symbolic legs on each of those islands. After leaving Bequia, that torch will be taken by boat to Richmond.

“We are calling on past students, well wishers and the general public to line the route and come out and support. When we get to Sion Hill and the Court House in Kingstown, the police have given us permission for members of the general public to walk behind the persons carrying the torches.”

DeRoche explained that the persons who ran or walked the legs before Sion Hill or the Court House will also join the procession at those points and walk or run all the way to the school. She estimates that the relay should get to those points at about 2:00 on Friday afternoon.

The event coordinator stressed that the 80 students chosen to run legs are athletes, while the120 past students who were selected to take part in the relay are simply token representatives of the school’s graduates.

“It really hurt a lot of people that they didn’t make the list. It was not intentional. It is just that we cannot accommodate everybody,” DeRoche lamented. She, therefore, called on all past students who are able to get away from work to join the relay in Kingstown and journey to the school for the launch.

“This is the start of our celebrations, and we want everyone to be involved,” she said.

DeRoche, who is a teacher at the GHS, said that when the torches finally arrive at the school gates, the final legs will be walked by Natalia Trotman, the youngest present student of the school and Olive Pollard, the oldest able past student.

DeRoche said it is estimated that the torches should arrive at the school at about 2:30 p.m., at which time a grand celebration involving the school’s cheerleaders, singing, dancing and a few speeches will take place.

The Girls’ High School will celebrate its 100th anniversary on May 8, 2011.

Next weekend’s events also include the launch of the year-long lecture series on May 8 at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown, and a mother-daughter pageant and tea party on May 9 at the school. The lecture series will continue for the next 12 months, with celebrations climaxing in May 2011 with a week of activities.