Tue | Aug 11, 2020

Galina Breeze Hotel mixes tourism with education

Published:Wednesday | April 15, 2020 | 12:12 AMCarl Gilchrist - Hospitality Jamaica Writer
Members of the winning Oracabessa Primary School ACE Quiz Bowl team with Gregory Davis (left), principal; Winston Moncrieffe (centre), quizmaster; Althia Duckie-Foster (second right), general manager, Galina Breeze Hotel; and team coach, Cleon Willis (right).
Members of the winning Oracabessa Primary School ACE Quiz Bowl team with Gregory Davis (left), principal; Winston Moncrieffe (centre), quizmaster; Althia Duckie-Foster (second right), general manager, Galina Breeze Hotel; and team coach, Cleon Willis (right).

Considered the top boutique hotel in St Mary, the 14-room Galina Breeze Hotel in Galina is described in some quarters as a “hotel sitting on the edge of the Caribbean Sea”.

Galina Breeze offers facilities for parties, weddings, and conferences. All this, of course, in addition to their fabulous rooms that come with cable TV and free Wi-Fi, among other features.

The hotel is highly rated on TripAdvisor and is popular for its Jamaican dishes. But a little-known fact about Galina Breeze is its involvement in education in the parish of St Mary, especially at the primary level.

For the past four years, Galina Breeze, through its American Caribbean Experience (ACE) charity arm, has sponsored the ACE Quiz Bowl, a competition for primary-school students.

HELPING STUDENTS THRIVE

“We wanted to contribute to a programme like the Quiz Bowl as our primary schools in St Mary struggle with funding, like most rural schools,” explained General Manager Althia Duckie-Foster.

“As a corporate sponsor for many programmes in and around Port Maria, Galina Breeze and ACE enjoy seeing the students locally grow, thrive and get excited while displaying their knowledge in a fun-oriented environment geared at promoting camaraderie, developing confidence in self and upgrading their socialisation skills, while representing their school in an atmosphere conducive to learning, all of which comes together during this competition.”

Organiser of the Quiz Bowl this year, Winston Moncrieffe, said the competition expanded from four schools that had entered in the first three years to eight for the fourth year.

Moncrieffe, a teacher by profession, is ­empowered with the responsibility of not only providing the atmosphere of fun-­oriented competitiveness but also to ensure that the given questions are PEP-related and structured in accordance with the curriculum, as mandated by the Ministry of Education.

In the recent finals held at the hotel, Oracabessa Primary came out as champions ahead of Free Hill Primary, defeating them 61-59 in the closely fought finals, while Port Maria Primary beat Hillside Primary 53-29 for third.

“The Quiz Bowl for a fourth year has been a success, and we realise that over the years it has actually been helping to prepare students for GSAT exams and now PEP,” Duckie-Foster noted. “It has really moulded them to do excellent work and I know that the product, after following up with the schools after the results come out, we realise that the preparation has really helped them to be better boys and girls.”

Her comments were supported by principal at Oracabessa Primary, Gregory Davis.

“The ACE Quiz competition has always helped our students. It is a good foundation and a good benchmark for preparation for the PEP exam,” Davis told Hospitality Jamaica.