Kingsway marks 75th anniversary

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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THERE were several stories of the sweet memories of Kingsway High and Prep School Tuesday as several past students, including Dr Ouida E Westney who was among the first batch of graduates, gathered at the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist Church for the institution's Founder's Day, held as part of its 75th anniversary celebration.

The Founder's Day service marked the end of a week of activities in celebration of 75 years of offering Christian-based education, held under the theme “Building on the Past, Embracing the Future”.

Dr Westney said she is pleased that the students' performance is in keeping with tradition. “When we finished Kingsway High School we had 100 per cent passes for the London Certificate Examination. That was extremely good. I follow the school's performance and they continue to do well; I'm expecting that consistent with the motto for this gathering — the 75th anniversary — that they're going to build on the past and go on in the future,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

“My best memory has to do with the teachers that I had here; I think [we had] world-class teachers. I had a very good biology teacher which was the principal of the school, Dr Stanley Bull,” she said

She added: “His wife was our English teacher and she was extremely good, and of course I did Spanish with a good teacher as well. So, I have very pleasant memories and memories of having had a good foundation at the high school level.”

Dr Westney said she has over the years visited to see how it has progressed, but pointed out that she is just one of many who have made the school proud. “We have produced lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses, just about all the professions that you can think of. They have walked through the halls of Kingsway High School,” director of education, East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Dr Donna Brown said.

“Today is very significant indeed because for 75 years Kingsway High School has been contributing to the growth and development, through Adventist Christian education, not just to Jamaica but to the entire world at large,” said Dr Brown.

“Our graduates are scattered across the world and are doing tremendously well. So for us today it's a time of reflection when we can say thank you Lord for helping this institution to cater to the lives of students, making them good citizens,” she added.

“… In spite of the crime and whatever is happening, I believe that education is the key to help us to solve the crime problem. If we teach our children the values from down here, then I know that they will be able to take it out into society and have a ripple effect. We will have many more anniversaries like these, of people coming together to say 'because of my school I am who I am today'. Indeed 'the Kingsway' is the best way,” Dr Brown said.

She told the Observer that the Adventist church, which owns Kingsway, will be adding more classrooms this year. “We need 280 students to break even. We have financial challenges and we realise that if we can get 280 students more, that will help us. So our major project this year is to have five new classrooms in the high school. Our target is for August 31.”

Dr Brown said the school was already in talks with Elder Desmond Young, head of the SDA's Conference Wide Development Fund, about funding for the project.

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