Friday, March 14, 2014

a History by Mr. S. Alisharan

the Following was provided by  from Naparima Alumni Association of Canada's 30th Anniversary Edition of our Broadcast magazine. Thanks to Lystra Charles of Naparima Alumni Association of Quebec & Merle Ramdial, President, Naparima Alumni Association of Canada .

This is are print of an Article by the late Mr. S. Alisharan, former Principal of Hillview.

A Brief Survey of NAPS - Tunapuna

    Naparima College - Tunapuna, is a church-inspired institution. In July, 1951, when the very energetic committee of the W.M.S. wWas boosting the formation of what is now known as the St. Augustine Girls' High School - the Official Board of the Aramalaya Congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad wrote the Presbytery urging among other things, the opening of a Boys' Secondary School in the Missionary compound on Sherriff Street, Tunapuna.

  A visitation Committee of Presbytery under the then Moderator Rev. dr. J.C. MacDonald visited Tunapuna and conferred with the Official Board. Most of the requests made by the board were granted in the course of time, while a small Committee from North Trinidad was appointed by Presbytery to study the needs for Secondary School expansion. 

  In 1953 the Naparima College Board was instructed by Presbytery to proceed with plans for a programme of Secondary School expansion, giving priority to the oilfield area, South and San Fernando, and the area in the vicinity of Tunapuna, from which strong representation dating back to 1951 had been made to Presbytery for the estabhlishment of a Secondary School.

  The Rev. E.T. Lute, Principal, Naparima College, San Fernando, held conversations with Mr. I. Hopkins, Director of Education and Mr. R.C. Loinsworth, Assistant Director.

  The visit in 1954 of Rev. Dr. A. Gallagher, Secretary of the Board of Overseas Missions of the United Church of Canada received interest in the project. During the preparation of the elements for the New Year's Communion Service in January 1954' Rev. Dr. H.F. Swann ( Acting Moderator ) mentioned to Elders Earl Kalloo and Clarence Darsan that as Dr. Gallagher was due to visit the island shortly perhaps something could be done. These words fell on responsive ears and fertile minds of the two Elders. Following the Communion Service Messrs. Clarence Darsan, Earl Kalloo, George Jitman, Harold Sukhbir, Charles Kalloo, and  C.M. Chatee had a short meeting with Dr. Swann. Enthusiasm ran high. More meetings were held at diver times and places. On the 19th January, 1954, a special meeting of the Official Board was called. Also present was Dr. Gallagher who after hearing the members,  promised to introduce the subject at the next annual meetings of the B.O.M. In Canada with a view to obtaining financial assistance for the project. Decisions were taken at this meeting to write Presbytery, and also to write the Committee of Missionaries asking for release of the lands and buildings on Sherriff Street to provide accommodation for the College.

A few weeks later the Committee of Missionaries wrote stating that it was willing and happy to release the House and surrounding grounds. Presbytery replied stating that the Naparima College Board we authorised to pursue the matter.

  In March 1954 the Elders and Managers formed themselves as the nucleus of a High School Committee "To work with Naparima College Board towards the estabhlishment of a Boys' High School in Tunapuna" = 'Nap North'

  Rev. H.F. Swann was of course, the moving spirit, the general advisor, the coach, the guardian, guide and friend. Following many visits to San Fernando to hold discusssions with the Napraima Collage Board, the following statement was included in a report to Presbytery "That the Board wished to record its conviction that the proposed School in Tunapuna was necessary and feasible and taht such a recommendation be made without delay. "

   The publication of the "Working Party Report on Education" in April 1954 encourage the Board and the Committee, because among the recommendations were the rebuilding of Naparima College, San Fenernado, and the provision of additional Grammar School accommodation. It was therefore felt that the Education Department would strongly favor the opening of the Tunapuna School. Rev. E.T. Lute was in constat consultation with the officers of the Department. On the 27th September 1954, application was made to the Education Board for recognition in the status of Provisional Assisted Secondary School in accordance with Regulation 14 of the amended Assisted Secondary School, Regulations which had been approved by the Education Board on May 1952, but had not, up to then, been passed by the Legislature. In November 1954, the Education Board recommended to government that the College in Tunapuna should be accorded status as a Provisional Assisted Secondary School, which meant that when Government approved, the school would be eligible to qualify for capitation and qualification grants though not building grants. After functioning for one year, and after the erection of the first permanent build, application could be made for status as a Permanent Assisted School.

  The Rev. Dr. D.H. Gallagher had returned to Canada towards the end of March. In April 1954, word was recieved that the B.O.M. approved the policy of opening two branch schools in connection with Naparima College, San Fernando, one in North at Tunapuna, and one in the South at Siparia; and that if the one in North was begun, it might be necessary to start it in the field Missionary's House at Tunapuna' that a sum of $10,000 Con. was provided from the Project Fund; and that Rev. H.F. Swann might be pursuaded to give leadership to the venture. The B.O.M. was also willing to do its share towards permanent quarters.

  On Monday 17th January, 1955, the school was opened under the principalship of  Rev. H.F. Swann B.A. B. Paed. The two other permanent members of staff were Mr. Effle Mohammed, B. Sc. and Mr.s S. Alisharan. Forty five of the 226 boys who wrote the entrance examination were admitted. The Session of the Aramalaya Congregation of the Presbyterian Church very kindly granted permission for the Church Hall to be used as a Classroom, and the Committee of Missionaries through Rev. and Mrs. I.W.M. Kirkpatrick was kind enoough to allow use of a portion of the grounds and the cow-shed for games. Mrs H.F. Swann, Mrs. Russell Alcorn and Rev. I.W. Kirkpartick helped with Music and Singing; Rev. R. Alcorn taught Religious Knowledge, Rev Paul Sharma helped in morning devotions and Mrs. I.W. Kirkpatrick, Bursar taught Mathematics. The first year's expenses totalled $15,432.43 - Salaries $10,839.92 and Capital expense $4,592.51 .

  In November 1955, application was made to the then Honourable Minister of Education and Social Services for five acres of land west of the El Dorado Playground which had been acquired by the Government for education purposes. On the 2nd March, 1956, the Deputy Superintendant of Crown Lands wrote, " Approval is given for a 99 year Lease to the Incorporated Trustees of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad at the pepper corn rental of 24 cents per annum of 5 acres of land."

In January 1956, a new class was admitted and accomodated on the ground floor of the Mission
House. Mr. Harold Atwell joined the permanent Staff. Rev. I.W. Kirkpatrick taught French, English and Religious Knowledge. In May 1956, Rev. H.F. Swann retired and returned to Canada. Mr. S. Alisharan  was appointed by Presbytery on the recommenaation of theNaparima College Board, as Acting Principal, with Rev. I.W.M. Kirkpatrick, B.A., B.D .. as Associate or Co-Principal.

By early 1956 it was felt that the Tunapuna High School Committee was not representative enough
having regard to the fact that the College was serving the needs of boys almost all over North Trinidad. Accordinglv, the High School Committee was dissolved and replaced by the Naparima College (Tunapuna Branch) Committee.

In November, 1956, work was started on the New site: Mr. Lewis Campbell, Agricultural Engineer of the Centeno Experimental Station and Mr. Robert Moosai-Maharaj, gave many of their spare hours to lay down levels and contours. Mr. Sydney Martin was responsible for the erection of the first permanent building.

So far $89,571.23 had been spent at the Tunapuna College by Naparima College, San Fernandc
which had its own re-building programme, and which had been bearing the financial burdens of the College since January 1955. There was no more money and Government aid was as yet uncertain. It was a moment of crisis. Again the Church came to the rescue. Prebytery loaned $50,000 to the Tunapuna and Siparia Colleges.

In January, 1957 another class was admitted and further encroachment was made into the home and grounds of the Kirkpatricks. Mrs. Margaret Rose Evans, B. Sc., joined the Staff but left in June to be replaced by Miss Elaine Mahase, B.A. (now Mrs. AlIison Gray). Mr. Douglas Getty served for a short time but left to enter Toronto University.

On Tuesday 20th August, 1957, the College was formally opened by the Rt. Rev. J.S. Thomson M.A., D.D., LL.D., Moderator of the United Church of Canada.

  In November 1957, the long eagerly and anxiously awaited Government recognition as a Permanent Assisted Secondary School was granted retroactive to May, 1957. Soon the College was placed under Gcvernment's Five-year Development Programme with building grants totalling $160,000 of which $80,000 was available in 1958.

  In January 1958 Rev. I.W. Kirkpatrick was appointed Acting Principal. Joining the staff were Mrs. Celia Kalloo, Mr. Trevor Spencer and Mrs. R. L. Getty. Rev. and Mrs. I.W. Kirkpatrick left in July 1958 furlough. in Canada and Rev.R. Alcorn was appointed.Acting Principal. Later, Mr. A. Sieuchand, B.B.Ed., Mr. L. Forde, Miss Jean V. Tathan, B.A., Mr. B. Chan, Mr. S. Epstein and Mr. C. Ramcharan join the Staff.

  The Science and Class-rooms buildings were started in July 1958 and were formally opened on Thursday 16th July 1959, by the Moderator of Presbytery, the Rt. Rev. C.F. Beharrv, B.A., B.D.

   This is a church-inspired and God-centred institution. The College is interested in imparting knowledge to the students and enabling them to acquire and develop certain skills to make them useful members of the community. But we are much more interested in deeper and basic things. Education is not merely the process of giving or acquiring knowledge. Education has the more difficult function of guiding the learner in the best development of his capacities for the efficient living in the almost revolutionised society that Trinidad, and the West Indies Federation are becoming. Education is essentially interested in producing a socially useful person. Unlike those who wish to compartmentalize God to certain times, places, and occasions in their lives, we in this College believe that God's Holy Spirit pervades out whole lives, every moment of it, a constant guide and help, and the source of all goodness and love. The things of the mind and spirit are not only compatible but in the truly effective personality are indissolubly bound together. In the final analysis, the concerns of the spirit are more important than the concerns of the intellect or mind. 

  Physically the College  had grown. There are beautiful building and grounds. The students too have grown physically, especially those in the higher forms. But true growth is physical, intellectual, moral and above all spiritual. We are to increase not only in stature, but also in wisdom and in favour with God and man/

Naparima College - Tunapuna, expects its students to go out from the College imbued to do justice, to be kind and loving to all God's creatures, and to walk humbly before their fellow men in whatever sphere position or capacity Almighty God calls them to do His will.



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