Holy Family Primary Celebrates Royal Visit

Photo: JIS Photographer Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex (right); accepts a gift from student, Holy Family Primary and Infant School, Demarco Hylton (left); during a visit to the institution’s Laws Street premises in downtown Kingston on March 4. Others sharing in the moment are: Acting Principal at the school, A. Walker-Gordon (centre); and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Elaine Foster Allen (background right). The Countess and His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex are in the island for a four-day working visit and will depart on March 5.

Story Highlights

  • The Countess was accompanied to the institution by Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites and others.
  • The students entertained their audience with renditions of cultural songs by Stephen Davis; dance by the school’s dance troupe; and a poem in dialect by Loward Greaves.
  • The Countess encouraged the students to make the most of their opportunities while in school, as it will assist them in achieving their goals and aspirations.

The mood at Holy Family Primary and Infant School was celebratory as Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex arrived at the institution’s Laws Street premises on March 4.

The Countess, who is on a four-day working visit to the island along with His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, was accompanied to the institution by Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Elaine Foster Allen; Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, Most Reverend Charles Dufour; and members of the school board.

The students, mainly decked in colourful attire, entertained their audience with renditions of cultural songs by Stephen Davis; dance by the school’s dance troupe; and a poem in dialect by Loward Greaves. The school’s music band also executed a medley of pieces.

Those who did not perform gathered in the school’s courtyard while others lined the corridors and waved the Jamaican flag to the various performances.

The Countess who appeared to enjoy the various pieces admitted that she truly received a “Jamaican welcome.”

She encouraged the students to make the most of their opportunities while in school, as it will assist them in achieving their goals and aspirations.

“School is a very important time in all of our lives; the problem is that we only realize that once we have left school. So I’m telling you now, don’t miss this opportunity. This is the opportunity that you won’t get back again, so use it to the best that you can,” The Countess advised.

“You have a good school here and you have a lot of very good teachers around you, who are going to do their very best to see that you become the people that you want to be,” she added.

In his remarks, Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, urged the students to “try hard with their lessons and also all the other activities which improve behavior and which make you strong young people and later strong young adults.”

He commended the Board and staff of the institution, noting that they are doing a “fine job”, and encouraged them to continue on the path of success.

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, Most Rev. Charles Dufour, thanked Her Royal Highness for gracing the school with her presence. “We believe that this visit will be an indelible memory for them and a sharp incentive that will push them ever onward and upward,” he said.

During her visit, the Countess unveiled a commemorative plaque, greeted the students and staff and toured sections of the institution’s compound.

Their Royal Highnesses arrived in the island on Sunday, March 2, to participate in activities related to the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

This will include meeting with the Board of Directors of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International, Jamaica, which is chaired by Professor Derrick McKoy, of the University of the West Indies, Mona. His Royal Highness is Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Foundation and Chair of the International Council.

They are scheduled to depart the island on Wednesday, March 5.

JIS Social