Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Honouring the Queens

Published:Sunday | August 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Denise Gopie and Jimmy Tucker exchange pleasantries at The Queen's School's 60th anniversary awards function.
From left: Former head girl (1981-82) Maureen Chambers, honoree Kamala-Jean Gopie, and gala chairperson Andrea Cowan pose for a photograph at The Queen's School 60th anniversary gala.
From left: Head girl of The Queen's School Rochelle Lee with former head girl Maureen Chambers and Student Council president Herbeisha Williams.
Current principal of The Queen's School, Jennifer Williams (centre), accepts a cheque from Leroy Dallas (left) and Claudette Rickards, on behalf of Guardian Life.
Honorees Odette Dixon-Neath (centre) and Sonia Bertram-Linton (right) snap a photo with friend Sandra Samuels-Reid. - Brian McCalla/Freelance Photographer

After 60 years in existence, The Queen's School had a lot to celebrate. They have graduates who have really become leaders in their respective fields, and so, to celebrate, they honoured them in an anniversary gala at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Saturday, August 2.

Ten past students and five past principals (which includes all the principals who have ever presided over the prestigious institution) were honoured at the gala. The event was not one with strict speeches, but one of celebration, excitement, and fine entertaining honouring these 'sparkling' women.

Though many things have changed at the high school in six decades, one thing remains constant - the abundance of talent. Members of the current student body did a beautiful Queen's rendition of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri and Give Me You by Shana Wilson, along with a dance number.

In her greeting, honoree Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, who was also a former head girl of the prominent high school, recalled moments from her time at the institution. She spoke of the camaraderie, she enjoyed, noting that everyone appeared to get along, irrespective of where they were from. She admits that there were a few, including herself, who were rebellious - in that they questioned a lot that was put before them. This has moulded them into the vocal and confident women they are today.

One of the highlights of the night was a jazz and cabaret performance by Karen Smith. She performed songs from the '50s to the current
hits of today, so every generation in the audience had something they
could identify with while singing along and tapping their feet. The
Queen'ss girls know how to have fun and many of the past students were
on their feet rocking to the beat which went into overdrive as Smith
closed her performance with We are Family by Sister

Then it was time for the spotlight to be on
the honorees, as each got their moment to shine and was presented with a
plaque and summary of their numerous accomplishments. Judge Sonia
Bertram-Linton, who was honoured for her accomplishments in the field of
law, spoke on behalf of the guests of honour.

Then it
was time for guest speaker and honoree Kamala-Jean Gopie. Her petite
stature definitely did not reflect her heart and drive. Her speech
reflected her life's work and journey, which was the importance of
giving back. This, she noted, did not have to be monetary, but rather it
could be of your time - tutoring or just helping someone else. She told
the gathering that she knew what it was like being at the other end,
and if it was not for the generosity that was bestowed upon her by
former principal Sarah Evelyn Clarke - she would not be the woman she is
today. Clarke, she disclosed, allowed her to attend sixth form in spite
of her family's financial constraints.

After her
heart-warming and motivating speech, the vote of thanks was given by the
chairman of The Queen's School, Dr Vincent Lawrence. The night wore on
for hours after as the women took the opportunity to catch up and dance
the night away.

  • 2014 Sparkling Alumnae Honorees

❐ Judge Sonia Bertram Linton -

❐ Jenni Campbell - journalism

Helene Davis-Whyte - trade unionism

❐ Odette
Dixon-Neath - public relations

❐ Laura Facey-Cooper -

❐ Dr Marcia Forbes - media

Kamala-Jean Gopie -social justice

❐ Lisa Hanna -

❐ Grace Jackson - sports

Maolynne Miller - medicine

❐ Kareema Muncey -

  • Sparkling

❐ Anne Chamber (1954)

❐ Sarah Evelyn Clarke (1955-1976)

❐ Etheline Aiken

❐ Yvonne Keane-Dawes (1992-2008)

❐ Jennifer Williams