By anguillian November 27, 2017 11:45 Updated




The graduation of the largest number of fifth form students from the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive on Thursday this week, November 23, was preceded by a thanksgiving service at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church on Sunday, November 19.

Head of Year of the 2017 Graduation Class and staunch Anglican, Ms. Michelle Queeley, told The Anguillian newspaper why it was arranged for them to attend the church service prior to their graduation.

“I think that in everything you must give God thanks and this is one of the values we instil in our children,” she replied. “Whatever they achieve – and they even don’t have to wait to achieve something – God is responsible for our very life. He sustains us and we always instil in them the virtue of thanksgiving – giving thanks, showing their appreciation and worshipping; and what a fitting occasion that warrants them going to church. We must admit that many of them have not grown up, or were raised in an environment where church is a usual activity for them. If this is one time that you can give them that experience, I was happy to do that.”

Ms. Queeley added: “We have 187 students for graduation and this is the largest in the history of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School.”

The outgoing students were welcomed to St. Augustine’s by the Rt. Rev. Errol Brooks. He explained that his sermon was based on St. Matthew’s Gospel chapter 25, from verse 14 onwards, dealing with the master who gave some talents to his servants as he was going on a journey: one got five; the other two and another one. “When he returned, the time for handing over came. The one with five had made five more talents; the one with two, two more; and the person who had one actually decided he would give it back, telling his master he was a fellow who reaped where he didn’t sow, was a harsh man and all kinds of other things – quite out of place.”

The Bishop stressed the fact that “this parable is about paying it forward. God has given us life and we need to invest that life to make the world a better place.” He urged the students to go forward and to succeed in whatever they do. They must not just think about making themselves wealthy, but try to make the world a better place by reaching out and helping others, and to remember the whole matter of accountability.

“The time will come when we will have to give account of how we use our gifts or talents that God has given us,” he went on. “All of us need to understand that life is a gift from God. We are quick to talk about this is mine and whatever. The truth is when we came into this world we only came with a cry and we leave with only a whisper. What we do between now and our end is extremely important. So we all have to think about the way we are using the resources that God has given us. He wants us to use them to His glory and honour and to make this world a better place.

“There are some people who try to play it safe. They don’t want to take any risks, but we are here as recipients of the awards from risks that other people would have taken, and we too have to venture to launch out in the deep.”

He also told the students that they ought to have respect, be honest and not to be selfish and hoarding like others, but to share with other persons. He pointed out that there was a need for accountability to God, but that all persons were accountable to each other as well.

Bishop told The Anguillian: “I asked the students if they think they are accountable to their peers and they said no. I want them to change that mindset to understand that when we do things that are wrong, we are not just affecting ourselves, but we are affecting our homes, our schools, our peers and our church because we are intertwined. If only we can understand that – and change our modus operandi – our society would be different. We hear a lot about ‘this is my life and I do what I want with it’. No. My life impacts other peoples’ lives and we have to understand that.”

By anguillian November 27, 2017 11:45 Updated


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