You can Still Achieve your Dreams

STILL

It is always more challenging to be assigned a topic than to choose your own. The organisers of this Retreat assigned me this topic, along with the injunction that this is the note upon which these three days of mountaintop experience will come to an end. The intention I am told is that all of us should leave here with this topic lingering in our minds.

As I started to meditate on this topic each word or phrase became a focus of attention. You and Yours, Still, Achieve and Dreams. Over these many years of listening to speeches I have heard talks on You and Yours; Achievement and Dreams. I cannot recall hearing one on Still. On further consideration, I realise that still is really the focus and the fulcrum on which this topic turns.  The point is not only that you can achieve your dreams, but that you can still do it. The word I will strive for you to linger on after leaving is: Still. Continue reading

A SALUTE TO VAZ PREP SCHOOL: FROM A GRATEFUL PARENT

It is with eagerness and gratitude that I grasp this opportunity to pay tribute to Vaz Preparatory School on the occasion of its celebration of fifty years as an educational institution. God has granted me the gift of three precious children, and I have sent all three of them to Vaz Prep for their primary education. Our reasons for choosing Vaz are simple but consistent with what we believe. They are that Vaz Prep:

  • Promotes Christian values and virtues and stresses these in all of its programmes.
  • Provides a sound basic education in foundational areas of learning at this level.
  • Enrolls students from a wide cross-section of the society, and therefore is not socially exclusive in terms of its student population.
  • Provides an educational environment that, in addition to the academics, allows students to explore their talents in sports, music, dance and other forms of cultural expression.
  • Fosters wholesome habits and insists on various routines that assist children in developing the self-discipline essential to success in life.

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HALF-WAY-TREE ELEMENTARY AND THE MILLER FAMILY

Half-Way-Tree Elementary School

I went to Half-Way-Tree Elementary School when it was located on Hope Road next door to Bethel Baptist Church. Nelson Mandela Park was the playfield of the school although it did not belong to the school. We played our cricket matches at Nashton, which is now Melbourne Cricket Club. I represented the school at cricket and was the wicket-keeper/batsman on the team.

Mr. Spencer James was the head-teacher. His wife was the fabulous and famous Mrs. Edit Dalton-James. Mr. James was a disciplinarian. He kept the school in strict order. He walked around with a leather strap, coiled. Behind his back, students called him ‘Jimmy’. One day he came into my class and the boy sitting on the bench in front of me called out: ‘Jimmy’. Mr. James threw the coiled strap in the direction of the sound. The boy in front of me, who had called out ‘Jimmy’, ducked. The strap fell in my lap. Mr. James said: “The boy with the strap, bring it to me”. I got six strokes of the strap. I could not tell my parents what happened because I would have gotten another beating at home if my father knew that the head-teacher had given me six of the best. Continue reading

TRIBUTE AND CHALLENGE TO COLLEAGUE TEACHERS

Occasion of this Speech: Ardenne High School Teachers Day Function

I am delighted to be participating in this function this afternoon. Three years ago it was my privilege as president of the Jamaica Teachers Association to have participated as a “mid-husband” at the birth of the idea of Teachers’ Day. The late Honourable Glen Owen and Miss Coleen Ho of the Jamaica Chambers of Commerce, Mr Woodburn Miller Secretary-General and myself of the JTA met to consider ways in which our organizations could take practical steps to promote wider recognition of the work and worth of teachers, promote teaching as a career among young people and inspire teachers in service to continue the arduous work and not to despair. Continue reading

NOTHING WITHOUT HARD LABOUR

Occasion of this Speech: York Castle High School Past Student Association of New York

INTRODUCTION

Mr Master of Ceremonies, Mr President and members of the Executive, honoured guests, distinguished members of the head-table, ladies and gentlemen, you have afforded my wife and myself a great privilege by allowing us to share this occasion with you. Accept our heartfelt thanks. Speaking personally I must immediately confess that I belong to the ranks of the underprivileged, by virtue of not having attended York Castle High School. Continue reading