C. R. Walker Senior High School braved the inclement weather Monday, March 12, and joined the 53 Commonwealth countries around the world as it observed Commonwealth Day with a special assembly. Students, teachers, administrators and special guests gathered in Ju Ju Square, the school’s courtyard, to recognize and celebrate the day set aside for Commonwealth nations to observe and strengthen the bond that ties the Commonwealth together. Commonwealth Day was formerly known as Empire Day. The theme for 2018 is “Towards a Common Future.” It explores how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity, and fairness, in keeping with the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Special guest speaker, R. Aruba Ferguson, Foreign Service Officer, reflected on Claudius Roland Walker, the individual for whom the school is named after, and described him as the “embodiment of the Commonwealth’s theme Towards a Common Future.” Ms. Ferguson said Mr. Walker came from humble beginnings in Bain Town and emerged as a medical doctor, linguist, musician, politician and educator who established the Bahamas Technical Institute, an evening institute for adults and the Southern Library. “Claudius Walker looked Towards a Common Future for his fellow Bahamians and people of the Commonwealth. He sought to ensure that children in The Bahamas had access to a better life through education and cultural and social enhancement. He worked and fought for a nation in which people could live free from violence, crime, and fear,” said Ms. Ferguson.
She told those gathered that they are capable of going against the status quo and accepting the norm similar to freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sir Lynden Pindling and Claudius Roland Walker. “They all used their obstacles as springboards. The power they summoned to meet and beat those challenges became their greatest advantage and propelled them towards a future of political, social and economic equality for all. “We, too, can use their example in working towards a common future despite the obstacles, to inspire us to improve education and health services for all, to support women and young people to start and run their own business and seek solutions to economic and environmental problems.” Ms. Ferguson urged her audience to be concerned about the rights of others, stand against intolerance, prejudice, and racism and to do their part to eradicate crime. “Let us put in the extra time, the sacrifice, the extra effort and go the extra mile towards a common future for sustainable development for the citizens and states of the Commonwealth of nations and ultimately for The Bahamas,” she said.