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Groundbreaking for new Theoline L. McCoy School Hall

Education 16 Dec, 2022 Follow News

H.E the Governor Martyn Roper

Hon Dwayne ‘John John’ Seymour

Minister of Education Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly

What the new school hall will look like

The Theoline L. McCoy School Choir

Golden shovels for a wonderful new school hall. Photo includes Lyneth Monteith, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Hon. Premier Wayne Panton. H.E the Governor, Martyn Rope, Hon Heather Bodden, Deputy Pr

By Christopher Tobutt 

It was a big day for Bodden Town’s Theoline L. McCoy Primary School, because their recent groundbreaking ceremony means that in 2024 they will get a lovely new school hall. The multipurpose hall will serve as a canteen, an assembly-hall, and will accommodate indoor sports. It will also act as a hurricane-shelter for the people of Bodden Town. The official groundbreaking ceremony took place on Tuesday 13 December. Present were His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper, Premier Hon. Wayne Panton, Deputy Pemier, and Minister for Education, Hon Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

But it was Hon. Dwayne Seymour MP for Bodden Town East who was especially happy, because, he said, he has always pushed for the hall to be built, and also because he attended the school himself: “I am so proud to be standing here today, not only as a Bodden Towner, and a Member of Parliament, but because this is a school I attended as a boy some 47 years ago,” he said. “I can remember this school,  with one classroom block and dirt track for running, and a high jump and a long-jump area, “ he said,  “And right in the middle was a flagpole that allowed us to climb on the roof. It was this same dirt track that produced some of the fastest runners in the Cayman Islands, including my sister ‘The Bullet,’ Anita. 

“I have been a defender of this primary school for many years, even before politics. When this school didn’t have a photocopier, once I approached my friend at the time, even before he was elected, the one named deputy premier Chris Saunders who worked at HSBC at the time, and got sponsorship for them to purchase a very good photocopier. Before that, teachers had to travel to George Town to photocopy papers for the students.” Mr. Seymour shared his intention of having the school named after one of his former teachers and former school principal, Mrs. Francine Gardner for her dedicated service to all of the students and her long-serving commitment to education.

Governor Roper said, “This is a time to reflect on the Government’s commitment to both the future of our community but also to our young people, in delivering a truly quality education. Whilst the new hall isn’t expected to be completed until 2024, I know that it will be well received across the community, as it presents much wider opportunities for those who reside in this area. This new school hall is being built to the required standards to act as a Class A emergency shelter for members of our community.”

There was a delightful performance of “Lambeth Boat in the Sound,” from the Theoline L. McCoy Primary School choir, two of whom, Genesis Bush and Sapphire Ebanks had earlier sang the National Song very beautifully.

Minister of Education, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, praised Dwayne Seymour’s tireless commitment to looking out for the school, through three terms of government, and pushing for the hall, using the words of the song as an illustration of Dwayne ‘John-John,’ Seymour’s struggle to use his position to take care of the school: “He always reminds us the Bodden Town was the first capital, and I think that somewhere within his DNA he aspires for the Capital to turn back to Bodden Town… He never forgot from whence he came, nor did he forget the teacher who had his best interests,” she said.

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