The long-lasting bonds and experiences of the St Martin’s Secondary School Class of 1994 has given birth to consistent, altruistic efforts that will benefit the students currently attending the all-boys institution.
The “class of 1994 gentlemen” has been consistently donating to their alma mater, with the most recent donations coming just in time for the new school term to assist boys who were impacted by the volcanic eruptions this year.
These donations included uniforms and other necessities, as well a variety of school supplies.
“When I was approached by Mr Syran Clarke a few months ago, he shared with me the intention of the class to give back and I didn’t realise the magnitude of the giving back and I was really taken aback by his persistence…” Shanda Boyea, the vice principal of the Catholic institution said at a small ceremony on November 18.
Boyea said she was pleased with the genuine interest the past students have taken in the boys and also their generosity.
“I know it’s more than just giving them something tangible but you’re really catering to a need that they have. I think I speak for them, their families, and their households when I say how grateful we are for what you are doing, what you have done and we hope, what you’ll continue to do,” the vice principal said.
A delegation of six men from the Class of 94 visited their alma mater to share about what their years at SMSS meant to them and how those experiences shaped them into the men they are today.
These past students were: Syran Clarke; Stephen Walrond; Sidon Alvis; Randy Boucher; Behon Garraway and Raheem MuKhepera, formerly known as Rodney Grant.
Clarke described the group’s plan as being very simple — “We are here to support the St Martin’s Secondary School and we are committed as long as we are alive, we will provide support in whichever way we can”.
The past student encouraged present students to do the same when they are older, and support the school so that others may benefit in the future as well.
After the November 18 event, Clarke also told SEARCHLIGHT that the Class of 94 intends in the near future, to implement a school feeding programme for about 40 students, three days a week.
In reflecting on his time at SMSS in the 90s, Raheem MuKhepera said that the all-boys institution contributed to who he is as an individual.
“Besides the academics and all the different things that happened in those five years…it was the foundation of comradeship, solidarity and understanding that there was something more than just a piece of paper,” he said to the students present. “It was really how you treat your fellow man; what your character was going to be; it was leaving an impact and a legacy.”
Another past student, Sidon Alvis, expressed that he did not see the gesture as giving back.
Instead, he said, “We feel a sense of duty because as everybody said, this school has folded all of us and it is moulding you too”.
“But to be moulded, you have to be pliable and soft. In other words, all the gifts you get is what you make of them; be it from teachers, parents, past students, everything is a sacrifice,” Alvis said. “No matter what you go through, there’s always a way and you could pay it forward. So please, utilise the gifts, utilise St Martin’s — one of your biggest gifts.”
Parents of some of the recipients of the most recent donations thanked the past students and expressed the difference that the items made in preparing their sons for this school year.