Thu | Apr 19, 2018

Letter of the Day | Thanks, but no thanks, Mike

Published:Tuesday | June 28, 2016 | 12:00 AM


We, the past students of Denbigh High School, thank Member of Parliament Mike Henry for all that he has done for our alma mater, but we do not support the suggested name change of the school in his honour.

Throughout the years, Mr Henry has undeniably contributed to the development of our school, including donating containers so that the school's music room and gym could be built. In addition, he is, most times, present at school events, including graduations, prize-givings and special devotions, among others. These gestures show that he loves our school.

To show our appreciation, since recently the building containing the music room, the gym and a tuck shop was named in his honour - The Lester Michael Henry Building. But guess what? That does not seem enough for his followers.

In Parliament some weeks ago, Mr Henry announced that he will be spending more than $3.5 million to offer Denbigh High students scholarships to study at Caribbean Maritime Institute. Additionally, I noticed that a group of sixth-formers and a teacher from the school was given the opportunity to meet and chat with the prime minister.

I'm thinking this is Mr Henry's set-up. While I am grateful for these acts of kindness, these initiatives interestingly coincide with the arguments formulated in support of the name change in his honour. It is the politician's duty to help, but not for big rewards.

We want them to leave our school alone! I heard he's not the one who suggested the name change, but some "stakeholder in the Denbigh community". But who is he? Why didn't he suggest that the hospital be renamed after him? Or the primary school?

When Denbigh High was among the lowest, nobody saw it. It is people like former principals Joan Wint and Jean Porter, as well as hard-working staff members who made Denbigh High a school of choice.




So much legacy, history and emotional investment is attached to Denbigh High School. Will they just sit and allow it all to be wiped away to honour an MP? We will not sit and watch Denbigh High School die. It is what identifies us. It is what we know, love and cherish, and no other name.

I can't even believe this suggestion is causing consultations. It should have been immediately thrown away. Leave our school alone. Do not politicise our school.

We appreciate his contribution, but there is nothing Mr Henry can do to get our support with this. I suggest he build our long-needed auditorium and name it after himself. His supporters will not have our entire school be renamed after him.