The Harrison College Queen’s College Alumni Network (HCQCAN) made its first donation since initiating its Improvement Campaign for the two schools in October 2021. The donation of the equivalent of BDS $12,000 will go towards equipping the Pavilion, where construction is close to completion.
The QC Pavilion
The construction of the Sports Pavilion at Queen’s College, Husbands, St. James, is the project of the Give Back QC Charity, (GBQCCHARITY). The donation was made possible through donations from alumni of both schools and their family and friends.
The Queen’s College-Harrison College Connection
Queen’s College, established as a secondary school for girls in 1883, was previously located on Constitution Road, St. Michael, a stone’s throw from Harrison’s College,an all-boy’s secondary school founded in 1733.
Schools in Barbados follow the British system. Secondary school students typically attend school from age 11 to 18, starting in first form and ending in sixth form. They take “O” levels Ordinary Level Examinations (now administered by CXC – Caribbean Examinations Council) at age 15 or 16 in 4th or 5th form, followed by a two-year specialization in areas such as Science or the Arts at Advanced (“A”) Level CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) in sixth form. Queen’s College students who majored in science at “A” level took classes at Harrison College for many years. Both schools shared classes in Latin and Art during the 1970’s.
Queen’s College’s capacity to offer science at “A” level was strengthened and the tradition of QC girls attending HC for Science “A” level ended around 1980, coinciding with the advent of QC becoming co-educational, with its first intake of boys in first form. The first males entered QC in 6th form in 1976, when six pioneering young men were admitted. This was because of a 1976 Ministry of Education decision to make all government secondary schools co-ed.
HC and QC have maintained their long history of collaboration, as the schools are reputed to be the top secondary schools in the island in terms of academic performance. A healthy tradition of competition exists between them.
Queen’s College Relocation and the Pavilion
Queen’s College relocated from Constitution Road to its present site in Husbands, St. James, in 1990. The school is situated on 21 acres of land.
A multi-purpose sports Pavilion at the new location has been planned by various Ministries of Education, a plan sadly never realized, although there were a few false starts.
In 2012, three enterprising alumnae of Queen’s College, Anne Gittens, Prof. Anne St. John and Angela Simpson came together and formed a Trust under the patronage of Dame Billie Miller, an alumna herself as well as a former Minister of Education, for the purpose of building a state-of-the-art Sports Pavilion at Queen’s College.
The Pavilion has been a priority project for the Queen’s College community during the last decade. The construction costs were shared by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, and the bulk of the funds were raised by the Trust, a great example of public-private partnership.
The herculean decade-long task of fundraising for, and overseeing construction of the BDS $1.4 million structure, was led by Prof. Anne St. John on behalf of the Trust. Bringing the Pavilion to fruition is an outstanding case study in a combination of vision and perseverance, characterized by sustained action.
It will not only contribute to Barbados’s effort to promote healthy living but to overall physical fitness in the community, a long-standing goal of QC principal Dr. David Browne.
Physical fitness is a very important element of educational development and has several benefits beyond outward health and well-being. It also contributes to the social and emotional development of youth, leadership skills, patience, perseverance, self-discipline, mental growth, confidence and healthy self-esteem, teamwork, and cooperation, as well as efficient time management. These qualities contribute to academic excellence and can also assist in the development of healthier, safer societies over time.