The newly opened Blackman and Gollop Primary School in Egerton, Christ Church. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

The Blackman and Gollop Primary School is the name given to one of this nation’s newest primary schools, located at Egerton, Christ Church.

Named in the memory of Wilfred Blackman and Sir Clyde Gollop, the school was today officially opened and re-named by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones said.

Admitting that he could not recreate the experiences of the families, who, during the ceremony spoke on behalf of the "great men", Minister Jones said: "I cannot give life to the energies and passions which became part and parcel of the domestic environment or the village environment of the lives they lived or for that matter their teaching and community experience."

He noted, however, that Wilfred Blackman’s period of education was "quite phenomenal", spanning over 46 years. "He spent a tremendous time in education and like all great educators made a mark that was so indelible that persons still speak of the impact made," Mr. Jones added.

Reflecting on the contribution of Sir Clyde, the Minister said his impact too was phenomenal as he shared his own personal experiences: "I knew him more as a community worker; a person who went out into the highways and byways of Barbados and in his own way ministered to so many persons.?? You could call Sir Clyde at the last minute to come to a youth group, a 4-H Club, church group and he was always willing to come…" Mr. Jones underlined.

Sister of??namesake, Sir Clyde Gollop, Ada Straughn and Minister of Education, Ronald Jones unveil the plague, today,??commemorating the opening of the Blackman and Gollop Primary School while Sir Cortney Blackman, son of namesake Wilfred Blackman and William Gollop watch. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

He recalled working with Sir Clyde in the late 70s and early 80s as a member of the Family Planning Board. ??He told the gathering that he listened to his guidance and direction and [saw] his courage "as he dealt with so many of the social issues and social dynamics of Barbados". Noting that this still remained in his memory, Mr. Jones said, "And, therefore, there was no difficulty whatsoever,… to name this school after such distinguished gentlemen as Mr. Wilfred Blackman and Sir Clyde Gollop."

"This school will carry on the proud tradition of excellence of the St. David’s and South District Primary schools. ??Small schools, but powerful in their educational pursuits, now amalgamated here, and, I feel confident that this school will defy all of the difficulties?? which sometimes arise as a result of placing two distinct school cultures into one space."

While the new school, according to the Education Minister, will be open for use by the community, Mr. Jones has warned against abuse of its facilities.?? ??He pointed out: "This school, like all schools in Barbados, must be seen as a community institution and this school’s doors will not be shut to the community. ??All we ask is that the community protects it, and cares for it.?? Treat it as if it is your own; it costs money to build just like so many others…"

As he declared the Blackman and Gollop Primary School a "centre of learning" and a "school of excellence" he maintained it was "rightly named after two great sons of the soil of Barbados, but more particularly two excellent, [and] great sons of the beautiful village of St. David’s.

Wilfred Blackman was a long-serving headmaster at the St. David’s Primary School while Sir Clyde Gollop was one of its teachers and a well known community activist and family planner.

The school has a roll of 380 students and its principal is Miss Joslyn Brewster.


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