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100 years – Poole Rosary RC proud

Regina Bittan-De La Rosa, Principal of Poole RC Primary, shares a bit of history about the 100-year-old educational institution, and the way forward for the school.

The Poole RC Primary School also known as Poole Rosary RC Primary School stands proudly on its original site since its establishment in 1920.

This year we celebrate our 100th year as an educational institution.

The original structure was a small, wooden church that catered to the religious needs of its parishioners. On  March 3, 1920, the church made its transition into a school by admitting just one student, Richard David. Today the school boasts a population of 86 students.

Over the years since it first opened its gates to students, the building has seen many infrastructural changes, chief of which is its conversion to concrete and increase in capacity to accommodate approximately 150 students. It now maintains a student enrolment of between 80 and 120 students.

Church Masses no longer are held for members of the community but Masses for students are usually held twice on a termly basis. All Catholics in the community join with their fellow parishioners for Mass in Rio Claro at the main church of St Theresa’s.

In July 2019, a letter from the Chief Designs Engineer’s Office of the Ministry of Works and Transport has stated that “the School exhibited many structural defects and does not satisfy present structural code requirements for schools”. It was recommended that the building be demolished.

Confronted with this dilemma, as surprising and heartbreaking as it was and remains for staff, students and parents, over the July/August holidays no change in this decision was made and the entire school was shifted to the compound of St Therese RC Primary.

Poole RC now occupies the lower level of the compound. Students no longer walk to school as is the norm for students in rural areas where the school lies in walking distance to their homes. Parents hardly drop in to visit and check in with teachers as was the norm.

We were a community school in its true spirit. We daily feel a great sense of loss and longing for our school and its environment as we know it. Undaunted by this major setback, we continue to do our best to transform the lives of our students, while lobbying for the rebuilding/repairs to our old school structure.

It is in this backdrop in addition to present COVID-19 restrictions that we still celebrate our school’s centennial. Over the past 100 years, some of our successes have been in 4H, football and observing our past students grow into their own.

Among them are sportsmen, educational supervisors, chairmen of boards, principals, and managers.

We are still dedicated, still eager, still envisioning as we face the many challenges of this time. The way forward for us remains steadfast.

We urge and await the decisions of authorities as they discuss our school structure and pray that it will be for our best. By God’s grace we will prevail to celebrate a hundred more years.

Past principals

Poole Rosary RC Primary School has been led by several vibrant principals and acting principals over the years. These are as follows:-

Lisa Simpson

November 2013 – April 2016

Carl Humphrey

October 1999 – November 2013

Janet Matthews

September – October 1999

Stephen Seechan

January – September 1999

Rose V Blackman

April 1991 – December 1998

Sookram Sookdeo

March 1972 – March 1991

S Badall

September 1968 – March 1972

E Ammon

September 1964 – July 1968