Monday, March 17, 2014

Brief History of Hillview College (1960-1980)

Brief History of Hillview College (1960-1980) 
by Mr. Stephen Seepersad (Present Principal)

  The early history of Hillview College indicates that the College started at the Old Presbyterian Primary School ( Canadian Mission Indian School as it was in those days) at Sheriff Street, on Monday January 17th, 1955, under the Principal-ship of Rev. Dr. Swann. Its name was then Naparima College - Tunapuna Branch.

  In the article copied from the Parnassian, which was written by Stephen Alisharan the historical background of the college as well as activities up to 1959 has already been recorded.

  Towards the end of 1960, staff and students saw the completion and occupation of block 3 & 4 to accommodate six or more classes. By this time the College had begun to look commodious and impressive. This year also marked the employment of three graduate members of staff namely Andrew Roopsingh, Clyne Boodoosingh and Stephen Seepersad.

  In May 1962, Rev I.W.M. Kirkpatrick retired as Principal to return to Canada. The new Principal appointed was Dr. Stephen Moosai-Maharaj with Mr. Stephen Alisharan, who had returned to Hillview College the previous year, as Vice-principal. The period also saw Effle Mohammed, one of the graduate teachers who had started to teach at the school when it began, leave on promotion as Principal at Couva Government Secondary School.

  The new Principal initiated several changes in the structure of the Administration. The College saw the introduction of Deans, Heads of Departments, Sports Master etc. Also introduced were a new name, that is, Hillview College, a crest with a motto, a school flag and a College song.

  A couple of years later saw the introduction of a Sixth Form ( Higher School Certificate Class ). Shortly after it started, the Cambridge Syndicate changed the name of the examination from School Certificate to General Certificate of Education and so Hillview College has recorded the name of only one student, namely Gunness Bisram ( now a Physician ) who ever gained a Higher School Certificate from this institution.

  Later the Main Building was convert to its present design and architecture with a second floor to accommodate staff and offices etc. Construction of a classroom, store-room and a games-room to the north of the Main Building was also effected. This building recently (1979) has been renovated, redecorate and converted to its present structure.

  In 1968 Dr. Moosai-Maharaj retired as Principal. Stephen Alisharan and Stephen Seepersad were appointed as Principal and Vice-principal respectively. A Fund-raising project was launched not too long afterwards in order to build a Library. Unfortunately, this dream has not yet become a reality though funds raised have been placed in a commercial bank to be used for purchasing books and equipment when the library is built. This will take place when the college is converted shortly, as we are informed, to a Composite School with Sixth Form, in keeping with the National Model.

   The years that followed saw the normal changes in staff and the school becoming better established especially the Advanced Level classes.

   On June 24, 1975, Stephen Seepersad assumed the principal-ship of the College on the retirement of Stephen Alisharan. Hubert Nagina was appointed to act as Vice-Principal. Eighteen months later Richard Kokaram was appointed Vice-Principal.

  The College continued to develop in every respect of its life. Among the new facilities that were added : The New Toilet Block, eight outdoor security lights, renovation the Annex and the Cafeteria, restoration of electricity in the classrooms and repainting the entire school.

  Over the years there have been many outstanding academic achievements by the students. These are well-known and too numerous to mention. In the midst of all these events there has been a heavy annual turn-over of staff. However, there have several persons who have remained at the College for a long period of time. They are Hubert Nagina, Richard Kokeram, C.P. Maharaj, Rafeek Mohammed, Ashra Supersad, Bedoor Maharaj, Dayanand Maharaj, Carol Lee-Look and Eleanor Singh. In this respect also Phylliss Dickson, Vercille Huggins, Harrylal Jawahir and Wildred Drayton, have remained at the College for a very long time, particularly the latter two have been employed from the inception.

  John Ragbirsingh (deceased) affectionately referred to as 'Sahib' by the staff and the students who assisted in pioneering the college until his retirement, will be remembered for his fine job at landscaping and dedication generally to the development of the college.

  Of much significance also was the excellent contribution in various capacities that was made during the early years of the college by Albert Soodeen. He passed away unfortunately while he was performing night duty at the college.

  The Cafeteria which is a vital part of the school was efficiently run for over fifteen year by John Rampersad and his wife. The won the hearts of all as they served clean and wholesome foods at very reasonable prices.

  The Administrative Committee under the guidance of the late Wilard G. Grant for over twenty years administered the college wisely and well. This position of Chairman is now being held by Dr. S. Moosai Maharaj whose leadership too is most vibrant.

   This short account of the development of the school may not have placed the many events in true historical perspective. The period of time and the space accorded to this sketch do not permit full and proper treatment of the topic. As a result it is mainly descriptive. The intention is to give the readers an over-view of most of the highlights of this period. I trust this has been achieved.

Staff Portrait : Mr. Effle Mohammed, Mr. Andrew Roopsingh, Mr. Hayden Forde, Mr. Selwyn Ramsaran,
Mr. Hubert Nagina, Mr. Clyne Boodoosingh, Rev. Isaac W.M. Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Margaret Kirkpatrick,
Dr. Stephen Moosai Maharaj, Mr. Stephen Alisharan, Mr. Stephen Seepersad,
Mr. Ralph Persad, Mr. Winston Douglas, Mr. Evans Ramnath,
Mrs. Lilian Bonaparte, Mr. Tara Persad, Mr. Keith Rameshwar .

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

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