Photo above: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (3rd left) along with the Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Mr. Bernardo Guanche Hernandez (right) unveil a plaque in honour of the former Cuban President, Fidel Castro after whom the Anchovy High School second campus at Montpelier is named. Looking on from left are: Member of Parliament for South St. James and Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier and Education Minister , Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites. The institution was officially opened on Friday, September 11. JIS Photographer credit.
By Marlon Tingling
JAMAICA (JIS) — Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on Friday (September 11), officially opened the Fidel Castro Campus of the Anchovy High School located in Montpelier, St. James.
The facility, will serve as the second campus of the Anchovy High School, and will accommodate approximately 900 students from grades seven to eight.
The Montpelier Facility was originally built in 1980 by the Government and People of the Republic of Cuba. However, despite being built as an educational institution, the campus was never used for that purpose.
Giving her remarks at the opening ceremony at the Montpelier-based school, Mrs. Simpson Miller thanked the Government and people of Cuba for their contribution to Jamaica and in particular to the education sector.
She cited the construction of four institutions, namely the Garvey Maceo High School in Clarendon, the Jose Marti High School and the G. C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sports in St. Catherine and now the new Fidel Castro Campus of the Anchovy High School as contributions made.
“The history of modern Jamaica can never be truthfully chronicled without special mention of the great friendship that our people have shared with the people of Cuba. Over many decades the Cuban government and people have demonstrated the sincerity of their friendship through lasting gifts to us in education, training and health care among many other areas,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
The Prime Minister also highlighted what she described as a “travesty of history” that the facility was never used for its intended purpose.
She also added that she was satisfied with the process which was used to determine that the school should be named in honour of the former Cuban President.
“Today I have the honour to right that historical wrong and to participate in the opening of this educational institution. I was pleased to hear that there were overwhelming positive responses when the Minist
ry consulted on the naming of this school campus with political representatives of government… opposition, school community……and the wider community of St. James,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
She charged the teachers, students and parents to play their role in ensuring that the institution, which now bears the name of one of the greatest modern day leaders, becomes a place of respect and honour.
“I want to remind us that we have a special and great responsibility to ensure that at all times, this institution brings honour to the name of the illustrious son of the Caribbean after whom it is named,” the Prime Minister opined.
With opening of the Fidel Castro Campus of the Anchovy High School the problem of overcrowding at the original plant will be greatly reduced. The vision is to eventually have the new campus, as a standalone high school, by September 2016.