Jamaica College (JC) is making sure its boys start the school year right.
The Karl Hendrickson Auditorium was packed with blue yesterday morning, at the school's commencement service, the school body's first full devotion for the year. A fiery principal, Ruel Reid, used the gospel of Luke from the Bible to give his charge, alluding to the parable of the three servants who were each left with a different number of talents.
"You represent those who have been given the 10 talents. We are not going to allow you to put those talents in your handkerchief. We are going to root them out," the principal declared.
Reid told the students to feel privileged to be at the institution, while also warning them not to get complacent and live off the legacy of past JC achievers.
"We (the present students), too, must perform, we must achieve. We must go out there and do the work," he said, opining that the school must retain core principles such as honesty, integrity and discipline. Earlier board chairman Michael Bernard asked for the boys' support to help achieve JC's vision - of being the number one school in the island.
on a mission
A member of the JC family brought the sermon, the Reverend Dr Dylan Toussaint, pastor of the Edgewater Baptist Church. Also using the Bible, Toussaint focused on Nehemiah, who was charged with rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He told the boys that like the prophet, "you, too, are on a mission, to rebuild ... to make better of your life and your society."
He gave them six steps to achieve their goals. He told them to be purposeful - having an attitude for work; resourceful - using the material at their disposal; helpful - emphasising teamwork; careful - choosing their friends and the content of their music and literature wisely; prayerful - never underestimating the power of the act; and finally, to be faithful.
"You are on the race of your life, finish the race," he said.
Reid also specially recognised students he called the "finest intellectuals JC has". Among them were 46 first-form students who scored more than 90 on the Grade Six Achievement Test, and members of the school's honour roll.