Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones (second from right) at the renaming ceremony. Also pictured (from far right) are Prime Minister Freundel Stuart; Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler; Minister of Housing, Michael Lashley; and Principal Matthew Farley. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

The renaming of the Garrison Secondary School in honour of its first headmaster Graydon Campbell Sealy has been well received.

This was made clear today in the several speeches delivered at the Renaming Ceremony for the school in Paddock Road, St. Michael.

Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones in disclosing that it was a unanimous decision, recalled that the Board of Management charged with recommending names for the school did not have a difficult task. "What came back to us was not two, three or four names for us to choose.?? [But]… just one name – Mr. Graydon Sealy," he said.

Recalling that he had asked "what manner of man was this?" as there was no confusion, and no problems in renaming the Garrison Secondary School after this individual, Mr. Jones said that he surmised that Mr. Sealy "had to have stood tall among the old scholars of the school".????

In locating the school within the historical context of 50 Years of Universal, Free Public Education in Barbados, Minister Jones pointed out that Graydon Sealy, who was at the helm when the school began, some 37 years ago, would be considered part of "the pioneering effort" of achieving this tuition-free education.?? "I salute him today because of his outstanding work in education not only at this school but at all of the other educational institutions that he has taught at in Barbados and in the Caribbean and further afield," Mr. Jones.

Reflecting on what other teachers had reported to him about Mr. Sealy, the Education Minister described him as an "individual who cared for all of his students regardless of their station in life, [or] the vulnerabilities that they brought from within their communities," and said that his care was all-embracing and far-reaching.??

Meanwhile, current Principal, Matthew Farley described the ceremony as "a significant moment in the life of the school," acknowledging that Graydon Sealy had taught thousands of young Barbadians "against great odds [and] worked to ensure the development of all aspects of their growth".

Noting that many of these products of the school are making a significant contribution and could be found in every sphere of national development, he added that the renaming was about recognising "the sterling contribution of the man, [Mr. Sealy], who along with dedicated teaching and other staff "forged, fashioned and fostered an educational institution in a location where none existed before".

Stressing that the recognition was unsolicited by Mr. Sealy, the Principal said it was also "fitting and deserving of a man who was fondly revered and remembered and spoken highly of by his colleagues and his former students alike".

Mr. Sealy, in accepting the many accolades, admitted that he was humbled by the recognition.?? Stressing that it was a signal honour to have his name inscribed on the school, he, however, said: "The honour belongs equally, if not more so, as well, to those who have passed on and to those who are my colleagues who are here in large numbers. And, it also belongs to quite a number of good students whom I had."

He described the service he received at the Garrison Secondary School??as immeasurable and said of his colleagues and teachers, "for me their commitment and faithfulness has been a tower of strength."


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