Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen began their 2012 series of visits across the island on March 22, to meet and greet the Jamaican people, with the parish of St. James being the first.
These visits are of particular significance to their itinerary for this year, as the country is celebrating its 50th anniversary of Independence.
They were met on arrival in the parish by Custos of St. James, Hon. Ewen Corrodus; President of the Lay Magistrates Association in the parish, Franklyn Binns; and President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Devon Crump.
Their first stop was the seven-year old Spot Valley High School, where the Governor-General addressed the students, teachers and parents. He commended the school for its achievements, noting that this speaks well for its growth in both staff and student population.
“Your academic record is commendable, with the number of individuals who have achieved excellence, given the fact that you have not always gotten the cream of the crop, but with hard work and dedication your students have excelled. It goes to show that everyone can learn and do well,” he said.
He encouraged the students to do well, and expressed the view that the nation has reached a stage in its development where it is poised for take-off in many areas. He urged them to approach each day with care, always willing to learn something new, and making good use of their educational opportunities.
“That is what school is for; that is what learning is all about. It is not only that you have come to grasp from your teachers, it is not only that you have come to submerge yourselves in your books, but you have also come to share and impart with your classmates and with your teachers as well,” the Governor-General said.
He argued that in an ideal school environment, learning never ends, while both students and teachers learn from each other.
The Governor-General told the students that he believes in each one of them, and that young people should be trained, mentored, instilled with the good values that they need for a lifetime, and given their opportunity to take over.
Following their visit to the school, Their Excellencies toured the Peace and Justice Centre in Flankers, the Success Craft Market, and had lunch with Justices of the Peace, representatives from the Lay Magistrates Association, representatives from the business community and members of the Judiciary.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter