The Hon. Desmond Bannister, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Works admonished members of Government High School’s (GHS) Magic Ivy band to utilize opportunities at their institution to prepare them for any situation that life throws their way. The students, representing grades 10, 11 and 12, along with Performing Arts educator, Yonell Justilien, called on Minister Bannister Monday, February 26, at the Ministry on JFK. Magic Ivy competed against 12 high schools in the Music Project competition held February 17 at Botanical Gardens. A 1975 graduate of GHS, Minister Bannister, told the students that they have a “wonderful” opportunity to study at an institution that has a tradition the present students need to uphold.
He told the students that experiences prepared the students of yesterday for challenges today. He recalled that teachers gave detentions to boys who walked the streets clad in uniforms with shirts out of pants and girls whose skirts were too short had their hemlines ripped out during assembly. He admitted that the school’s campus is not what he would like it to be and committed to ensuring that there would be improvements. Four former graduates of GHS were on hand to greet the students and give pep talks. Heading the list was the Hon. Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security, Antoinette Thompson, Permanent Secretary; Obafemi Pindling, Lawyer and Musician and Vaughn Albury, Senior Television News Producer, Editor, Reporter, Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas.
Minister Dames, a 1982 graduate, is a former Deputy Head Boy who played the trombone, ran track, and held a leading part in the school’s play ‘Pearly Victorious’. “Government High holds a special place in my heart,” said Minister Dames. “We all have a vested responsibility to ensure that our country is the best country on the face of this earth. If we’re not playing our respective roles then that will not happen. No one’s contribution is more important than the other person,” he said. He applauded the students for their participation and urged them to continue to reach for the stars.
Mr. Pindling, assigned mentor, told the students that they are winners despite not placing in the competition. He encouraged them to continue the traditions of the blue and white school uniform, to value and not underestimate the importance of relationships in life. Mr. Justilien said the students will make the country proud and he wants to bring awareness of how talented they are. He advised parents that putting instruments in the hands of their children is an investment and they will reap the rewards in the future. Shadiamon Bain and George Manson, 12th graders, shared their experiences of the competition.