By anguillian September 14, 2015 10:09 Updated


In response to the editorial “Our Children Deserve Better”, let me begin by congratulating all of our students, their parents/guardians, teachers, supporters, and all those who recognize that education is the flip side of liberation. Students, you have done a marvellous job’ in maintaining high standards of excellence. Let me shout out loud and proud, and I am sure that Anguillans and home and abroad with home grown pride their friends and supporters, join me in saluting you, for your excellent academic achievements. Keep on keeping on’ We believe you can fly.
As the new academic year 2015-2016 unfolds, I encourage students, teachers, parents/guardians to continue to work together as a team, to provide the moral support, guidance and academic resources that our children need to make the grade. My message to our students, each and everyone of you continue to excel with this pledge “each one teach one reach one and leave no one behind”. “Stay in school, don’t be a fool”.

Moving forward, with all due respect to the editorial writer of “Our Children Deserve Better”… you poured out your heart and soul with concerns, regarding the current infrastructure of the Valley Secondary School….re-named Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive High School, in honor of one of our traditional stellar educators from back in the day. I hear you. I know your heart is in the right place. You are not alone. You are no doubt, one of those students who passed through the doors of the Valley Secondary School. You are also most likely one of those, as you referred to who passed through those doors and made something of themselves “nationally and internationally”. Kudos to you, and all those who are similarly situated…proud graduates of the V.S.S and the ALHCHS.

I am also one of those students who passed through the doors of the Valley Secondary School. I walked the halls of the V.S.S when its motto was (“Decus est Sevire” – it is an honor to serve). The V.S.S was our pride and joy. I walked those halls with home grown Anguillan pride, knowing that one of my paternal uncles (the late Hon. David S. Lloyd (Anguilla’s first duly elected official during the former Government of St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla); was the born Anguillan visionary who was instrumental in bringing secondary education to Anguilla. He secured the funds and supervised the building of the V.S.S. Its doors were opened to the first class of students during 1953.
Yours truly, also walked those halls at the V.S.S with pride, knowing that we had teachers with home grown pride, who were dedicated and passionate about educating us, to be scholars in our own right. As students, we were equally passionate about learning. Many of us thought we had it going on…..and for the most part we did back in the day. I am certain, that the passion my teachers at the V.S.S gave to the teaching profession; served as the catalyst for my twenty (20) or more years, as an educator in secondary and higher education, within one of the largest public school and university systems in the world.

May I share with the writer of “Our Children Deserve Better, that I agree with you regarding your concern for the infrastructure of the V.S.S/ALHCHS. However, until as you suggested that Anguilla has a more “modern” secondary school, inasmuch as we have lemons let us make lemonade. Therefore, in the spirit of the legendary Langston Hughes (Harlem Renaissance) “hold fast to dreams”. Let us keep optimisim at an all time high. Skip throwing or attending a pity party for the existing structural condition of the V.S.S/ALHCHS.

It is so easy to harp on what we don’t have, what needs to done, why are some of our buildings on the island of Anguilla in such disrepair (they are buildings in disrepair all over the world), how can our children learn in such an environment, and lamenting on and on for days on end. Whereas, someone else comes along and sees a diamond in the rough that can become a gem. On the flip side of the pity party throwing, that some folks have shown an affinity for; we do have the power to promote positive thinking, explore the possibilities, raise our expectations, and share a message of hope with strength, courage and endurance, for the sake of our children who “deserve better”.
Therefore, my message is, yes “our children deserve better”, so, let us join hands and make it better. This is a call to action to become part of a solution. “Tout mon bagaye la” a Haitian creole’ phrase, meaning calling all hands to join together; to become pro-active in organzing weekend(s) “jollification”, to spruce up the buildings at the V.S.S/Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School. I affirm it can and will be done. Yours truly is there in spirit.

Calling all Anguillans with home grown pride, their friends and supporters, ex-pats, including many of the most talented skilled building contractors born Anguillans on the island of Anguilla, many of whom are the graduates of the V.S.S/ALHCHS. For the sake of our children, share your skills as volunteers, organize a “weekend(s) spruce up “jollification” of the V.S.S/ Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School. We know all too well, that “putty, plaster and paint can hide a lot of complaints”.

In the spirit of the spruce up the weekend(s) V.S.S/ALHCHS “jollification”, a special humanitarian appeal is being made to hardware store owners, and the indigenous and foreign business community to donate the necessary building supplies. We have got some great chefs and cooks who can cook up a storm for the volunteers. Brothers and sisters, such an effort to restore the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School, (as the late legendary Congressman. Adam Clayton Powell of Harlem, who was also a Baptist minister would say, “it is in your hands” “it is in your hands”). It fine to talk the talk, “our children deserve better”, we must also walk the walk, and work together collectively to make it better.

Peace be unto you and may the ancestors continue to find you in their favor.

Name held upon writer’s request.
(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

By anguillian September 14, 2015 10:09 Updated


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