St Cather­ine stu­dents get schol­ar­ships

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Okoye.henry@glean­erjm.com Ruddy Mathi­son Gleaner Writer ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

Faith Mar­cia Mowatt (left), who is now an ed­u­ca­tor in The Ba­hamas, presents a cheque to Karen Fran­cis, the prin­ci­pal of West­wood High School, on be­half of the Class of ’71. Other mem­bers of this group of grad­u­ates share in the mo­ment.

ex­pan­sion that has taken place at the school, es­pe­cially the many new build­ings.

“The school pop­u­la­tion was around 200 girls then,” said Har­ris, in re­fer­ring to her time at West­wood. “... And now they num­ber in the thou­sand, all while main­tain­ing the stan­dards for which the in­sti­tu­tion has be­come known for.

“The im­por­tant thing is that

the girls con­tinue to learn good val­ues and at­ti­tudes, so you can still recog­nise a West­wood girl when you see her,” added Har­ris, who is the prin­ci­pal of the Mon­tego Bay Com­mu­nity Col­lege and wife on Mon­tego Bay Mayor Glen­don Har­ris.

West­wood’s prin­ci­pal, Karen Fran­cis, who was quite en­thused by the visit of past stu­dents, said it was a plea­sure to have them

vis­it­ing and was quite ap­pre­cia­tive of their do­na­tion, which she says will be used to ac­quire more chairs for the stu­dents.

“I was im­pressed about how pas­sion­ate the ladies were for the school and their do­na­tion will as­sist us greatly to be­come fur­ther high achiev­ers,” said Fran­cis. LINSTEAD, St Cather­ine: FOL­LOW­ING AN award of cash, tro­phies and medals to 32 stu­dents from St Cather­ine who are at­tend­ing high schools and col­leges early last month, five more stu­dents re­ceived sim­i­lar awards dur­ing a church ser­vice, held at the Open Bi­ble Church in Charlemont, St Cather­ine, re­cently.

This awards were made pos­si­ble due to the con­sis­tency of Claude and Pauline Beecher, a hus­band-and-wife team who have been host­ing the Clif­ford and Mavis Beecher Foun­da­tion awards for 13 years, in mem­ory of his late par­ents who were ed­u­ca­tors.

Of the five hon­oured, two are at­tend­ing high schools in the par­ish and three presently at­tend­ing ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions. Thir­tytwo oth­ers drawn from Cres­cent, Horizon Park Pri­mary and One­ness Apos­tolic Prepara­tory schools were all given cash do­na­tions amount­ing to $250,000 along with in­di­vid­ual medals and tro­phies ear­lier in Au­gust.

GIV­ING BACK

“God has in­spired us to build on the con­cept started by my late par­ents, to give back to the com­mu­nity; not only to the stu­dents, but to the poor and needy,” Claude Beecher told The Gleaner.

“In th­ese 13 years, we have reached over 300 stu­dents with as­sis­tance to make their tran­si­tion to high schools and col­leges much smoother,” Mr Beecher added.

Beecher said dur­ing this pe­riod, mil­lions of dol­lars have been ex­pended pre­par­ing for the award cer­e­monies.

“God has given us the strength and the donors to en­able us to ex­e­cute this ven­ture on be­half of his peo­ple,” he pro­claimed.

Ker­imah Sa­muels, who is now at­tend­ing the Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, said the Beech­ers have warmed the hearts of many with their an­nual awards.

“I am very grate­ful to the Beech­ers. Their kind ges­ture has helped us in many ways in our back-to-school prepa­ra­tions,” she ac­knowl­edged.

Apart from the an­nual awards func­tion, Pauline Beecher has been ac­tive in the Charlemont, Linstead and Bog Walk com­mu­ni­ties, giv­ing cash do­na­tions to schools to as­sist with var­i­ous projects.

Dur­ing the re­cent cer­e­mony, she pre­sented a cheque val­ued at $50,000 to the Rev­erend Franklyn King, pastor at the Charlemont Open Bi­ble Church, to as­sist needy stu­dents who are fac­ing chal­lenges with back-toschool ex­penses.

“This is the min­istry the Lord has be­stowed on me. Claude and I both sup­ple­ment each other do­ing the things God want us to do,” she told The Gleaner.

PHOTO BY OKOYE HENRY

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