Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Past students to build bathroom facilities for rural school

Published:Thursday | April 6, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Everton Dawkins, past student of John Austin All-Age School, Pennants, Clarendon to put on play to assist in building the institution's bathrooms.

PENNANTS, Clarendon:

The John Austin All-Age School in Pennants, Clarendon, is more than 100 years old and as a result of its primitive construction, the institution, especially the pit latrine, has begun to feel the effects of the deterioration over the years.

As a result, popular playwright Everton Dawkins who is a past student of the institution decided to put on a play to raise funds to contribute to the construction of brand new bathroom facilities.

"John Austin is the first school I attended many years ago and I saw the need to assist them in renovating their bathroom facilities, because they are still using pit toilets.

"So we are trying to raise some funds to fix the bathroom, because, in this day and age, we realise the students are still using pit toilets there and we want to change that. Just imagine, little girls using a bathroom with peep holes," he said, with a sigh, adding that such a situation needs an urgent fix.

Dawkins, who is also the manager and producer who owns and operates Dynamite Productions, says the school will be the first to host the play titled Single Parents, which is a family-oriented comedy drama. Apart from its main aim of fundraising, the play will also seek to bring across a positive message, especially to the young people who will be its target audience.

The preliminary costing to building a proper bathroom for the 166 students who attend the school is estimated at $1 million. Dawkins said he's working closely with Judith Guy, Alleth Palmer and Robinton Edwards, who have started the Canadian chapter of the past students' association and have begun putting a committee together for the cause. "We are calling all past students, community members and parents to come on board and support us because your children and relatives will benefit from this gesture, so come and help your children be in a better environment by buying a ticket," he urged.

The play will be held this Saturday on the school grounds at 8 p.m. Tickets are $1,000 pre-sold and $1,200 at the gate. The cost for children is $500.

rural@gleanerjm.com