Tue | Oct 4, 2022

Montego Bay High alumni urged to make a difference as school celebrates 80th anniversary

Published:Sunday | November 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Donna-Marie Redway, principal of the Montego Bay High School for Girls, delivers an address during a thanksgiving service at the St James Parish Church in Montego Bay yesterday, held to mark the start of Montego Bay High’s week of activities to celebrate its 80th anniversary.
Members of the Montego Bay High School for Girls’ student choir perform an item during the thanksgiving service.
The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, past student of the Montego Bay High School for Girls’ Class of 1978 and present chaplain to The Queen, delivers the sermon during the thanksgiving service.
Kathi Cooke (left), of the Montego Bay High School for Girls' Class of 1979, sits with Audrey Chong, of the school's Class of 1976, during the thanksgiving service.

Western Bureau:

The Montego Bay High School for Girls kicked off its week of activities in celebration of its, 80th anniversary with a church service at which past and present students were in attendance on Sunday, including past graduates from the diaspora.

The thanksgiving service, which was held at the St James Parish Church, was the first of the school's weeklong activities, held under the theme 'Unconquerable and Enduring', in commemoration of the institution's longevity since its genesis in 1935 as Jamaica's first government-owned high school for girls.

In her sermon at the service, past student of the school's Class of 1978 and present chaplain to The Queen, The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, said those who have had an opportunity to attend Montego Bay High must not disregard the importance of their experience.


remember the foundation


"Every single one of us who has been given the privilege of attending Montego Bay High must understand that it was no accident. We have been privileged to be part of Montego Bay High, and we must not take that lightly," said Hudson-Wilkin.

"The story we have at Montego Bay High is a story we must share with the wider world. We must seek to make a difference ... we need to remember the foundation on which we stand."

Montego Bay High principal and past student of the class of 1975, Donna-Marie Redway, lauded the school for its longevity.

"Eighty years is not easy to accomplish, and we must give God thanks. We expect that the school will be around for another 80 years," said Redway. "God must be at the centre of everything, and that is why we are here today to give God thanks."

Montego Bay High School, which started with 40 students and three teachers under the leadership of first principal Blanche Jeffery-Smith, was established by the Government of Jamaica to fill the need of an all-girls' high school in St James. It is currently located at 51 Union Street in the Second City and has close ties to the Anglican Church and some 700 students in attendance.

Known for its academic excellence, Montego Bay High was recently ranked third among the island's top 10 schools by percentage of the 2014 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate cohort, which passed five subjects, inclusive of mathematics and English, according to local think tank Educate Jamaica's 2015 Ivy League All-Island Secondary Schools ranking.