Former Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and Lady Belgrave after the sign was unveiled to officially rename the Boscobel Primary School as the Elliott Belgrave Primary School yesterday.

Boscobel Primary School renamed

YESTERDAY was a historic occasion for former Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave when Boscobel Primary School was renamed in his honour.

The school is now known as the Elliott Belgrave Primary School.

Before unveiling the plaque to reveal the new name, Sir Elliott, who received his early education and nurturing at the 125-year-old institution which is located in Gays, St Peter, declared that the honour made him feel as though he was tasting a piece of heaven.

“I cannot think of a most satisfying experience than being here this morning…I am deeply touched and humbled by the Minister of Education, the Honourable Ronald Jones, who agreed that this institution should be renamed after me,” Sir Elliott said.

Present to witness the name change was Acting Governor General Sir Philip Greaves, Sir Elliot’s wife Lady Loretta Belgrave, and other relatives and friends.

Minister of Education Ronald Jones, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and other Parliamentarians and distinguished guests and officials also attended the renaming ceremony.

An overwhelmed Sir Elliott who professed his love for the institution said he was thankful to all those who were involved in the process of deciding that the school should be renamed after him.

In fact, he admitted that he was not ashamed to say that “a poor boy like me could never dream of achieving what I have been able to do without the foundation which I got at this school”.

“Boscobel Primary School is a classic example of the transformational part of a neighbourhood school, for there are countless persons, along with myself who are testimony to the fact that this small rural primary school has consistently taken students from the ordinary working class background and propelled them to be in elevated positions of power, prominence and prestige,” he said.

“This is of paramount importance because every community needs a focal point and an interactive centre where relevant local issues are discussed. This primary school has been doing that for over 125 years.

“I am confident that this school which shall bare my name will continue to be a vibrant force to bring about change in the community and serve as a centre of excellence,” Sir Elliott continued.

The former head of state reminded students that academic success must be accompanied with the acquisition of at least one skill and the development of character traits.

“The future which you face will be a challenging one, but the education which you receive here, will provide you with the tools to meet that challenge.

“I respectfully suggest that you involve yourselves in the life of the community either as a volunteer, a leader, or concerned citizen. Develop and exercise self-discipline and at all times show sympathy and respect,” he advised.

While delivering remarks, Minister of Education Ronald Jones indicated that renaming the school after Sir Elliott was a fitting honour for a man who is at the forefront of the quest to individually change the nation’s future by continuously allowing children to know that they are special through his official visits to secondary school.

Jones reminded that Sir Elliott has had official visits to all 73 primary schools in Barbados, starting in March 2014 and lasted for approximately three years.

“He had a mission to empower the children of our nation. Your Excellency, I am sure that those children who had the opportunity to interact with you will always remember your visits and words of inspiration.

“My Ministry and all persons who have observed your interactions over the last three years, will agree that you should be applauded for your vision for our children and the future of those children,” Jones said.

The Minister indicated that though Sir Elliott has retired, he has not stopped looking out for the youth, and must be congratulated for launching the Elliott and Loretta Belgrave Scholarship Trust to benefit persons.

The ceremony which lasted almost two hours long included a number of singing presentations rendered by current and past students of the institution. (AH)

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