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SMSS CLASS OF 94 RETURN TO GIVE BACK

On Thursday, 18th November, 2021, a delegation representing the Class of 94 of the St. Martin’s Secondary School paid a courtesy visit to their Alma Mata.  These past students included: Cyran Clarke, Stephen Waldron, Sidon Alvis, Randy Boucher, Beyon Garraway, and Raheim Mu Kepera. 

Presiding on the activity were Mrs. Shanda Boyea, Vice Principal of the school, Mrs. Lucy Theobalds Counsellor the School, and Ms. Gloria Williams, school’s media personnel.  Vice Principal Boyea issued a warm welcome to all present, lauding the efforts of the group.

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This class represented had been consistent donors to the school, but the main purpose of this particular visit was to interface with current students which they had assisted for the new school term with school books and other supplies; school uniforms, and other necessities. 

Vice Principal Boyea told all: “When I was approached by Mr. Cyron Clarke several 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, in calling, messaging, in showing up.  I am really encouraged by this effort of yours as a group, as a class.  We appreciate your generosity.  We are pleased that you have taken such a genuine interest in our boys.  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.” 

An inspirational session with students and parents ensued where expressions of pride for the pivotal role of the institution in molding alumnus in their formative years were delivered.  Powerful were their recollections.  Following are excerpts:

Raheem Mu Kepera formerly known as Rodney Grant: “I totally want to say that St. Martin’s has been the making of me both home and abroad because 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. It was really how you treat your fellow man; what your character was going to be; it was leaving an impact and a legacy.”

Randy Boucher: “HARP – Honesty, Ambition, Respect and Pride; that Mr. Sarka drilled into us constantly, went full-circle.  It was because of the impact of the caring Brothers who showed us that to care for persons in education was not just about Math and English.  As a result of that, I myself became an educator and imparted that same passion at the schools I have taught.  Be proud that you’re going to an excellent institution!”

Stephen Waldrond: “We were all friends, no matter what class we were in. Something that St. Martin’s has taught me is, commitment and consistency equals discipline.  I just want you all to enjoy this humble giant – St. Martin’s Secondary School. It is an institution that is well-respected.  It is renowned for a lot of great minds that have passed through St. Vincent and the Grenadines and once you take it seriously, it will take you places.”  

 Beyon Garraway: “We had really great support.  There was always somebody in the class supporting somebody else.  We had great teacher support and that is what helped to make such a difference in the way we turned out.  The Class of 94 was special.  There was just this difference that was unexplained in our class.  Create your own special-ness.  Create your own difference.  Make your environment comfortable, not just for you but for your fellow men.  Look out for each other and that will impact the way things turn out.”

Sidon Alves: “I am heading straight to the students.  … Everybody love gifts, but what do we do with what we get?  We could always multiply.  So, what we’re doing here, we’re not giving back.  We feel a sense of duty because as everybody said, this school has molded all of us and it is molding you too.  But, to be molded, 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.  No matter what you go through, there’s always a way and you could pay it forward.  So, please utilize the gifts, utilize St. Martin’s, one of your biggest gifts!”

Cyron Clarke: “Our plan is very simple: we are here to support St. Martin’s Secondary School and we are committed as long as we are alive, that we will provide support in whichever way we can.  If you are here now, you’re fortunate to benefit from that support.  As you move on, I encourage you to do like us and help us to support this great institution.  It must go on and on!  I’m so pleased when I saw the [CSEC] results this year.  I have my colleague here Mr. Boucher, who teaches at Grammar School.  It must be so nice to see St. Martin’s ahead of Grammar School!  I want to say thank you to the students and staff for putting us where we belong – at the top for boys’ schools.  We are going to try our best, with Mr. Boucher’s help to stay the top boys’ school and eventually the top school in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  That is our aim!  We’re just starting and we have a lot in the pipeline.  We are so encouraged by what we’re seeing from the school!”

Parents present were very emotional and shared the extent of their circumstances at the point of the receipt of supplies for their children.  One mother profusely thanked the group explaining how, upon the sudden announcement of the resumption of school, she was called on a Saturday, to be given supplied.  Had these not been given, her son would not have been able to attend school for at least the first week.

Additional to what was presented to students of the school, a plea was made to parents that once a need that they cannot meet arises, never cease to make a request.  Also, the Class of 94 will institute a School feeding Programme at the school, for students in the upcoming school term.

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