P R O L O G U E
Members of the class which entered the Barbados Community College in October 1973 gathered at the BCC’s Hotel PomMarine to reconnect with each other and to celebrate the College’s 55th anniversary.
BARBADOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY (OCTOBER 1973 – OCTOBER 2023) CONGRATULATORY OBSERVATION, MR NEVILLE BADENOCK
I thank Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for sparing my life so that, among other things, I am able to share with you in celebrating this fiftieth (50th) anniversary of your entrance to various departments and subject areas of the Barbados Community College in October 1973. I thank, with tongue in cheek, the organisers and conspirators, Sharon, Ian and Co, for getting their own back on me by giving me the opportunity to share a few rambling thoughts.
As you well remember at that time in the history of the College it did not have a single campus but was scattered over a number of different locations including the vacated Deep Water Harbour buildings of the UWI and Sherbourne, at Two Mile Hill, the main campus, now transformed into the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC).
I wondered what many of you thought of the facilities at Sherbourne after your experiences of purpose built class rooms and libraries and well maintained playing fields at your previous secondary schools.
Some of you were taught there in the former stables with their large iron barred green wooden doors opening to the ‘yard’ with its distracting traffic of people coming and going. Sometimes, with a sense of amusement, you were exposed to some aspects of the rough and tumble life of the St. Barnabas villagers just behind the wall which formed the southern side of the classrooms. The Library was in the former garage and seemed ready to have its wall blown out by its collection of books. I had not thought at that time of the saying ‘It does not matter where you go to school but what you do when you get there’, So you came and I for one was glad to see you come, and I hoped that, in spite of the deficiencies in the built environment, you would be successful, as I felt you were also hoping to be.
I am glad that although many of you may not have been successful, especially in the Advanced Level subjects you were taught, as we hoped for, nevertheless you learnt, perhaps even without being conscious of it yourselves that ‘failing an exam does not make a student a failure’. I say that because you have, each and every one of you, achieved success in your chosen sphere of life in the years since you left the College. I think I hear an older generation than mine saying to you with a measure of pride ‘you have made something out of yourself’. I rejoice with you in your successes (and failures) so far and wish you many more in the future.
Your presence here tonight tells me that you gained success in the area of making friends and keeping them otherwise you would not have come to this function. I know that each one of you in your own way had to make an effort, overcome objections, yield to past comforting satisfying memories, jokes, laughs, escape from some other ‘duty’ or obligation to come. Enjoy yourselves – students, friends co-workers and company.
May the food, fellowship, fun, frivolity and dare I say, financial outlay, contribute to inspiring each and every one with such satisfaction that any and every negative memory that might have lingered in you from days spent at the BCC be blown away from among all of the other inspiring ones. (Perhaps your class of ’73 will inspire other classes of the College to have like celebrations.)
May blessings and continued successes be the lot of each and every one of you, present staff, former students and staff, and friends of the College, as well as the institution itself as it seeks to continue to meet the educational needs of citizens of Barbados. May God bless each and every one and give you safe homeward journeys afterwards.