GHS centenary  celebration  culminates in Toronto
August 16, 2011
GHS centenary celebration culminates in Toronto

by Jeannine James

The Centennial Celebration, planned and expertly delivered by the Toronto Chapter of Girls’ High School Alumnae from July 24 to August 1, 2011, was superb in every sense.{{more}} Starting with group activities and class reunions on July 24 through to a splendid evening of dinner and dance on July 31, GHS alumnae from everywhere were impeccably hosted by their ‘sisters’ and their families.

The Caribana weekend event brought together, in Toronto, well over 200 alumnae from near and far, many of whom were present only in heart and spirit at the grand celebration held here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in May.

Wednesday, July 27, saw a welcoming evening of cocktails graciously hosted by alumna, former GHS and St. Vincent Grammar School teacher and insurance executive, Annette Gibbs née Alves, formerly of New Montrose and her husband, Terry Gibbs. The Gibbs’ Scarborough home provided the perfect backdrop for renewals of acquaintances and the forging of new friendships. As the perfect summer evening drew to a close, gaps of years between ‘old girls’ all but disappeared in a spirit of conviviality and reminiscences. Such a generous gesture by Annette and Terry Gibbs will always be recalled by past students, their spouses and friends.

A well-organized trip to the must-see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side and a play at the Shaw Festival provided a day of relaxation on Friday, July 29.

Among our alumnae were participants and spectators at the Caribana festival on Saturday 30. Caribana delivered its promise of a great Caribbean tradition away from home and certainly enhanced our celebration.

Our last day, Sunday, July 31, began with a moving and insightful church service at the St. Dunstan of Canterbury Anglican Church, Scarborough. The evening of Sunday ended our celebration with a fine dinner, expertly emceed by Annette Gibbs, with dinner and dance music supplied by the Julian McIntosh band. Oh, how we danced!

It was during dinner, after having listened to the stirring Keynote Address by alumna Hazel Pompey and having paused to remember and acknowledge the contributions of alumnae departed over the last 5 years, most recent among them, Nurse Educator Keziah Richards, that my thoughts drifted back to a time, exactly 5 years earlier in 2006, when a significant group of eager, girlish, GHS alumnae excitedly gathered in that same city of Toronto to plan and form committees for the centenary celebrations of 2011. Included in that group was Colette Charles, a representative of the then current student body.

The Girls’ High School, a worthy educational institution, has consistently done our country and its people proud.