After three months of planning, the past students of Ferncourt High School finally saw their goal become reality with the launch of the South Florida chapter last Saturday (November 6) at the Sunshine Ballroom in Fort Lauderdale.
Newly appointed President, Peter Scott, told JIS News that as the same time that activities were being planned for a grand past student reunion at the school’s St. Ann campus in July, several alumni members resident in South Florida began toying with the idea of forming an association to help in the development of their alma mater.
He said that several past students from across the Diaspora as well as those in Jamaica attended the reunion and “for most of us it was our first visit to the school located in Claremont, since our individual graduation dates.”
He said that they were able to see firsthand, the various needs and concerns, which have informed the mission of the newly formed alumni association.
In consultation with the administration and inspired by the school’s motto ‘Labor Vincit’ (hard work conquers) the South Florida group, since July, have been assisting with the immediate need on the campus.
These include refurbishing female toilet facilities, boosting the meal and transportation programmes, providing equipment to a disabled student, and helping in the rebuilding of a home destroyed by a fire that took the lives of a past student and her siblings.
As he read the objectives of the newly-formed alumni chapter, which boasts some 25 members, Mr. Scott urged that they remain vibrant and foster a sense of fraternity and commitment to the educational development of their alma mater “so we can build a better school and ultimately a better Jamaica.”
Principal of the 62-year old institution, Rev. Lenworth Sterling, himself a former student, echoed the call for support to the school in an effort to improve the educational offerings to the nearly 1,400 students on roll.
He also commended the alumni group for their commitment to aid their alma mater. “We could achieve more with the availability of more resources,” he stated.
The Principal highlighted the institution’s various accomplishments, especially in the area of sports, and noted that as the school moved forward, emphasis was being placed on building the self-esteem and self-worth of the students.
Guest speaker and fellow alumni, former Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, praised the team for launching the South Florida Chapter, which, he said, was a meaningful way to get involved in Jamaica’s educational development.
He said that the work of the association should be guided by the school’s administration, and should, at all times, be in keeping with the goals outlined by the Ministry of Education.
While providing humorous accounts of his student life, Rear Admiral Lewin praised the teachers, whom he said, helped to mould the students into successful and productive citizens. “Ferncourt has been good to us, so let us work for the good of the school,” he stated.
Florida State Representative, Hazelle Rogers also offered congratulations and affirmed her commitment to assist in Jamaica’s economic development through engagement with the Diaspora associations.
The induction of the Board of Directors was conducted by the Consul at the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami, Desreine Taylor. The evening’s activities included musical interlude by trumpeter, Jermaine Ramsay, son of a past student, Dr. Raymond Ramsay.
The Atlanta chapter of the Ferncourt High School Alumni Association was launched last month.