AHS CELEBRATES 90 YEARS

The Anglican High School as it is known today was born from the original name “Church of England
High School” for girls.  This distinguished institution will celebrate ninety (90) years of unbreakable
service to the education system in Grenada, on September 18, 2006. 

The present student body and those who can remember the ‘good old days’ are meeting on Sunday,
September 17 2006 at the GBSS Auditorium to “Thank God” for the years of service, the teachers,
leaders and principals who have made their contribution to education and the outstanding individuals
who have emerged from this marvellous institution.
 
HISTORY:
Anglican High School (AHS) or Church of England High School, (CEHS) was the brainchild of
Archedeacon Walton who desired to teach girls of  “the Church of England Persuasion”.  So on
September 18th 1916 with 19 students and three (3) staff members, the doors were opened at
Bachelor Hall, Simmons Alley.  Lessons were taught to both ‘boys’ and girls at pre-primary “Prep”
and only girls graduated to the senior level.  As the student body grew, they moved to Lamollie
House - present site of First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB).  In 1946 with a staff of about six
(6) and approximately 100 students, the school moved to the GBSS compound and remained until
1952.  It was also in 1946 that the CEHS became AHS. The school has been located at its present site
since September 1952 with a population of approx 250 students which increased to 367 in 1959.  It
should be noted that the transitions from CEHS to AHS and the “Prep” into only Secondary School
for Girls, were met with no demonstration; no strikes and no public display of opposition; -an
exercise which forms the ‘norm’ today.
 
COMRADERY - STUDENTS & TEACHERS:
Students of the first 30 years (1916-1946) still meet and reminisce of the good times; their teachers
and fellow students.  There is a tale of “Mr Passee” (original owner of Lamillee House) whose ghost
remained and so that the girls who had to put their hats in the attic were very wary of “Mr Passee”.   
Then those boys, who attended the Prep school, could recall vaguely their outstanding teachers; while
the girls fondly remember Ms ‘Mab’ Bertrand and Mrs Gertrude Protain.  Today there is a group who
call themselves “Mabs Girls”. The middle era (1946-1976) opened the doors further as different
denominations - Roman Catholics, Presbyterians and Methodists - could attend a very private
Anglican Church Secondary School for girls. By 1976 it is recorded that AHS boasted of 434 students
and 22 staff members.   

The school curriculum included the subjects of English Language, English Literature; Mathematics;
Geography; Science; Biology; Religious Instruction (RI); French, Spanish and Latin. British History -
(1916-1950’s) was replaced later in 1960’s by European and Caribbean History.  In the 1970s’
Physics, and Chemistry were added. In the arts - Music; Cookery and Needlework (Sewing); not
forgetting Physical Education (PE).  It was in the 1970’s when Mrs Mary Pressey, an American,
introduced Family Life Education as a subject at the school amidst doubts on the subject matter from
parents.  It was during her tenure that the AHS was completely gutted by fire - Oct 15 1972.  She
launched many massive Fund-raising efforts but did not see the ‘dream’ come through, as after the
political uprising in 1974 her family was forced to leave the island.  AHS has been holding many
Fund-raisers to this day in an effort to rebuild their beloved school.
 
The only Reunion was held in July-August 1991 to mark 75years and it is anticipated that the launch
for the 100 years celebration be done during this academic year.
 
Although a prominent girls’ school, there were many male teachers who joined the staff.  Minister of
Agriculture, Fishers and Public Utilities Mr. Gregory Bowen was a teacher during the period that Mr
H D Baptiste was principal (1975-1984).  There were also several Peace Corps teachers - Mr James
Oakley, Jim Sinn; Mr Black and Mr DeFazio - to name a few.  The Principals were mainly female.  
Ms Estelle Garraway - 1916-1939; Ms Marion A Bertrand - 1939-1954; Sis Frances Margaret of the
Sisters of The Community of Jesus of the Good Shepherd - 1954-1963; Ms Dennis - 1 term 1963; Ms
Margaret Forder - 1965-1969; Ms Minnie Kemp - 1969-1971 Mrs Mary Pressey 1971-1974; Mrs
Dorothy Martineau - 1974-1975 (acting); and Mrs Glenda Mason-Francis (1984-2000).  The only
male principals were Mr E. DeVere Archer who acted 1963-1965 but had been a teacher since the
period of Ms Bertrand’s leadership;  the other being Mr H D Baptiste - 1975 -1984.  His daughter, Ms
Madeline Baptiste is the present principal and a past pupil of AHS. It should be noted that from its
inception, this school has been headed by a Grenadian national unlike the other Secondary Schools.
AHS excelled in Sport; Public Speaking debates and literary arts.  GBSS remained the ‘brothers’ for
the girls and they counted on each other for support during their annual school games.  1n 1925
CEHS began the first Girls Guide group/pack.  It is said that CEHS organised in 1931 the first
carnival pageant ever held in Grenada.

This précis seeks to conjure memories from the wide community of past pupils and to excite the
minds of present students.  It has been an honour to share an institution that can boast of contributing
to nation building with the output of students through the ages.  Not yet 100 years old; it names
distinguished females like Mrs Carlotta Phillip (Ma Lottie) who is today considered the oldest
surviving pupil; Mrs Nesta Patrick (from Gouyave) who is the first Awardee and  first woman to
receive the Caricom Citizen Award. Mrs Marcella David -Secretary to Cabinet -1979 - 1983); Ms
Cecilia Quashie - first girl to qualify as an Economist and in 1985-87 was the Economic Advisor to
Government of Grenada. Mrs Gloria Payne-Banfield- Secretary to Cabinet 1978-1979/1992-1999 and
Ambassador for 8yrs in USA;  Mrs Jennifer Hosten-Scarfield who in 1970 became the first and only
Grenadian to win the Ms World title. During the Revolutionary period Mrs Hosten-Scarfield acted as
High Commissioner to Canada; she now resides in Grenada. Then there are Ms June Lendore and Ms
Ruth Rouse who acted as High Commissioners  to London in the 1990s. Ms Rouse is currently
Grenada’s representative at the United Nations. Ms Denise Mitchell, the only Grenadian woman
among the first 33 medical students, when the University College of the West Indies now UWI
opened its doors in 1948.  Lawyer Mrs Celia Clyne-Edwards was the first girl to receive the Grenada
Island Scholarship; Ms Elizabeth Henry-Grenidge  - Permanent Secretary in the Prime Ministry’s
Ministry and the Minister of Education Mrs Claris Charles.   There are so many who form the nucleus
of these past 90 years’ achievements.  Permanent Secretary of Sports, now Deputy CEO of Cricket
World Cup Ms Veda Bruno-Victor served her Alma Marta for 12 years as Physical Education
teacher. The most past pupil to join the distinguished is Ms Samira Noel who was awarded the
Grenada Island Scholarship jointly with SJC student Ms Akima Paul.
 
Today, in addition to the subjects named earlier, students are offered Integrated Science; Information
Technology; Technical Drawing; Office Administration and Principles of Business & Accounting.  A
total of 21 subjects are on the curriculum today.  In the handbook handed to every new student, they
are reminded that ‘every student is expected to take her academic studies seriously at al times;’
and  ‘every student should regard herself as a citizen of the Anglican High School Community,
who live together, pooling and sharing their qualities of mind and character with a view to
utilizing and developing the resources of their common habitation for the good of all.’

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY AHS.
 
Karen A Charles
 


School Quote

‘every student is expected to take her academic studies seriously at all times;’ and  ‘every student should regard herself as a citizen of the Anglican High School Community, who live together, pooling and sharing their qualities of mind and character with a view to utilizing and developing the resources of their common habitation for the good of all.’

~ AHS Handbook given to every new student