Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Get to know The Queen's honourees

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Honourees Lisa Hanna and Maolynne Miller
Honouree Kamala-Jean Gopie and principal honouree Etheline Aiken.
Awardees Jenni Campbell (left) and Dr Marcia Forbes.
Laura Facey Cooper
Honouree Kareema Muncey.
Principal and Honouree Jennifer Williams and Gala Chairperson Andrea Cowan.
Former head girl (1981-82) and honouree Maureen Chambers. - photos by Brian McCalla/Freelance Photographer
Honouree Helene Davis Whyte receiving her award from Gala Chairperson Andrea Cowan.
Honourees Odette Dixon-Neath (left) and Sonia Bertram- Linton.

Jody-Anne Lawrence, Gleaner Writer

On Saturday, August 7, The Queen's School celebrated their past queens in the fields in which they have excelled since leaving the institution. Today, Flair gives you an inside look at these women who are proud products of the 60-year-old institution.

Kamala-Jean Gopie - Social justice advocacy

Kamala-Jean Gopie was one of the first graduates of the institution. She was from the graduating class of 1959 and the first sixth-form group class of 1961. Since leaving high school, she has been president of the Jamaican Canadian Association and is one of the founders of the Black Business and Professional Association, and has chaired the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. In 1996, she received the Order of Ontario.

Favourite Queen's Moments:

The school rules prohibited me from wearing jewellery. However, earrings could be worn if the student had pierced ears. So when Gopie was in sixth form, she had her ears pierced by Joan (Parris) Woodstock. They went into the Prefects' Room with a needle and thread, ice to numb the earlobes, and matches to make a flame to sterilise the needle.

For the All-Round Student award, she received the complete works of Shakespeare that are still dear to her heart.

Maolynne Miller - Medicine

Miller was too young to take the then Common Entrance Exam, and The Queen's School was the only school to accept her and allowed her to take it while she was in first form. It paid off for this Montego Bay native who is today one of three paediatric nephrologists in Jamaica and founder of the Jamaica Kidney Kids Foundation, to improve the care of children with kidney disease. She also does outreach work for clinics in Montego Bay and Mandeville.

Favourite Queen's Moment:

"The year we had our first male teacher whose name, I think, was Keith Isaacs. I actually do not remember what he taught, but I have never forgotten what a thrill it was to have not only a young teacher (as most of our teachers were old), but a good-looking man as well! He may not, in fact, have been good looking, but as an impressionable teenager, I was totally smitten!"

What The Queen's School meant to her:

"The Queen's School accepted me when others rejected me and it gave me the opportunity to grow, shine and become the person God intended me to be. Thank you Queen's."

Kareema Muncey - Entrepreneurship

You know that peppered shrimp that we love? Its all because of Kareema Muncey CEO of Home Choice Enterprise Limited. She started with her knapsack and US$50 marketing her peppered shrimp and started an envied enterprise.

Favourite Queen's Moment:

"Champs definitely. We were in the Grace Jackson era and in that winning mode."What she loved most about Queen's:

"I loved the all-girls environment and the classes."

Laura Facey Cooper - Art

Best known for her piece Redemption Song - the statues at the entrance of Emancipation Park - Laura Facey Cooper is a well-established artist. This is something that has always been a part of her.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

"Winning a prize (first, second or third, can't remember which) at the flower show which was held in the Biology Department when I was in first or second form, I think organised by a Mrs Humphries, for creating a coconut burlap and seeds assemblage titled, The Three Graces! I also enjoyed Mrs Bond's creative writing and essay classes and Mr Warner's drawing classes."

What she loved most about queen's:

The friends that she made was one thing that cherished. To this day she, has good friends from her high.

Sonia Bertram Linton - Law

It all started with her being president of the Student Council Body, and since then, Bertram Linton continues to have her voice heard. The most recent of her accomplishments include senior resident magistrate, presiding in eight parishes in criminal, civil, family, tax, traffic, coroners and children's courts and in 2011, she was appointed to Supreme Court; of Jamaica as master-in-chambers.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

Camping trips with the Girl Guides and campaigning for President of the Student Council body.

What she loved the most about Queen's:

"The fact that we were given the opportunity to explore our strengths, I still use the things I learnt then in my everyday life."

Lisa Hanna - Politics

A former head girl, Lisa Hanna is a name we all know and was so proud of when she was crowned Miss World in 1993. This was not where it all ended. She has allowed her passion for youths to drive her to the top and is the current minister of youth and culture.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

Her classmates and members of the prefect body dancing to Trailer Load.

What she loved most about Queen's:

Our camaraderie was something that I really appreciated. It did not matter where we were from - we all ate June plum and salt and got sleepy after lunch.

Grace Jackson - Sports

Grace Jackson is a celebrated Olympian. She participated in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Her times in 100-200-400 metres are still in the world's top five best times. Jackson also claimed medals in the Commonwealth Games and in the CAC Championships. Jackson was awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) in 1989.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

I have a few. One was in my first year when I tried climbing over the railing at school and was caught by my physical education teacher. I got a strong talking to. But she later became my strongest advocate.

Dr Marcia Forbes - Media

She will admit that, academically, she was a late bloomer, but there is no shame in that as Forbes has become a phenomenal woman. She was a founding general manager at Television Jamaica and part owner of Phase 3 Productions Limited.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

"That moment was when I participated in an African dance. I must admit it was so long ago I can't tell what year it was."

Odette Dixon-Neath - Public Relations

A director at CGR Communications - a multidisciplinary marketing communications agency with expertise in advertising, public relations, interactive, branding and sponsorship - Dixon-Neath executes public relations strategy for a wide range of clients locally and international.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

"It's a collection of memories, from the friendships I have made in the back of the art room, in the lunch line - Queen's friendships."

What she loved the most about Queen's:

"The strict environment is something that I appreciated. It moulded you, showed you how to put one foot before the other."

Helene Davis Whyte - Trade Unionism

Helene Davis Whyte is a voice for the people. She is the first female general secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers. In 2007, she received the Order of Distinction for her service to the trade union movement and community development.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

"The years Queen's finally won Champs was my most memorable moment even though I had left by then. I returned just to take my lap around the field."

What she loved the most about Queen's:

"I attended Queen's when it was much smaller. We were so united. When we went to Champs our cheers were loud, even though we were so small. I loved the togetherness."

Jennifer 'Jenni' Campbell

Jennifer Campbell, affectionately called Jenni, wrote her way to the top. She has come a far way from the play One Drop that she wrote for a festival competition for Queen's. She is currently the managing editor of The Gleaner Company and president of the Press Association of Jamaica.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

"I will never forget the year we won Champs. That was when we were most proud of our school. We bonded around school spirit and for that moment we were invincible."

What she loved the most about Queen's:

"It had a lot of activities, to facilitate our love for academics and the arts. We got to explore who we were and developed in all aspects - whether we loved the arts, academics or both, we got to fulfil that."

Sparkling Principals Etheline Aiken - Head Mistress 1976-1991

The students were very fond of this principal who also taught history. Her work was not only recognised by her 'girls' but recently received the Prime Minister's Award for long service in education.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

There were several moments; its very hard to choose just one. But she could not forget the day when Queen's came off shift - September 1985. Then there was the year that they won Champs which the girls had worked so hard for.

What she loved most about being principal:

Seeing the girls grow and get scholarships. "I love my students, they were the most important thing to me."

Jennifer Williams - principal (2010-present)

She is new to The Queen's family but already grateful to be a part of it.

Most Memorable Queen's Moment:

"The addition of the sixth-form block is what I am most proud of. Now all that is left is the auditorium."

What she loves most about being principal:

Her speech mirrored that of Aiken. She loved to see the girls growth, it is the best part of being principal.