MONTEGO BAY, St James — Chairman of the Broadcasting Commission Professor Hopeton Dunn has charged the leadership of both the William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church and the William Knibb Memorial High School in Trelawny to inaugurate a lecture series in honour of noted emancipator, William Knibb.
"I want to underline the close correspondence between the name of the school and the church by that name and to say that it would be a fitting recognition and acknowledgement of this 50 years, should both the school and the church see fit to establish something like an annual William Knibb Memorial Emancipation lecture," Professor Dunn recommended. "We would like to see something like that in operation and I am certain that the parish of Trelawny would be very, very happy about it".
In 1830 Knibb, an Englishman and missionary to Jamaica, became the minister responsible for the Baptist Church in Falmouth. He remained there as minister until he died in 1845. The school was named in the honour and memory of Knibb for his role in the emancipation of slaves.
In the meantime, Dunn who is closely associated with the annual Emancipation Lecture, which started 1994 and which played a role in the restoration of August 1 as a public holiday in 1997, has offered to " lend whatever support we can to the development of this kind of lecture series".
Professor Dunn was speaking at the William Knibb Memorial High School long service awards, dinner, dance, and retirement banquet held at the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay.
The event formed part of the Trelawny school's 50th anniversary celebrations.
The school was founded by Reverend Stephen James in 1961 with 41 students at the Baptist Church manse on Market Street, Falmouth, but has since been expanded and relocated to Martha Brae, the former capital of Trelawny.
Dunn in his address not only congratulated the awardees, but persons who have contributed to the growth and development "of this oasis of learning in Trelawny".
"Fifty-years, whether in the life of a country or an educational institution calls for reflection on and for celebration of past and present achievements. It calls for a pause to express thanks to God, and gratitude to those who have given selflessly to the cause, in this case of education and development of our young people, we appreciate each contribution whether in the community, the classroom, the sports field or the school canteen," Dunn argued.