THE 110 th ANNIVERSARY CHURCH SERVICE
SEASIDE FRIENDS CHURCH , APRIL 27, 2008 .
An exhortation to praise the Lord; an admonition to become a Caleb; a prayer of praise and gratitude to the Almighty; a wide selection of musical treats. These were some of the highlights at the 110 th anniversary church service which launched the week of celebrations on Sunday April 27, 2008 .
The cradle of Happy Grove High School, Seaside Friends Church, was filled to capacity as a turn-out of about four hundred persons attended the service.
The front of the church displayed the horticultural skills of alumnus, Ann Ramsay. This was the beautiful setting in which the strains of the Happy Grove School band filled the chapel. A soul — soothing musical prelude, with Marilyn Nugent-Dunbar and Jacqueline Anderson-Morgan on piano, permeated the atmosphere until the horticultural genius herself gave the call to worship
The Opening Hymn, “We Build Our School on Thee, O Lord”, brought back feelings of nostalgia as alumni and friends poured out their hearts and lifted their voices as they sang in praise. Loverne George was a prayerful inspiration as she expressed gratitude to God for having preserved Happy Grove as a great institution for 110 years and asked His blessing on the school for many more years to come.
Tedroy McNabb, President of the Jamaica Chapter of Alumni, delivered the welcome address. He expressed his gratitude to his executive committee, in particular to Monica Bigby-Milloy, whose responsibility it was to co-ordinate the church service. He reminded alumni that they are the beneficiaries of the past, the trustees of the present and the architects of the future. He had special words of gratitude to some alumni, both local and abroad, who have constantly given exceptional support to the efforts of the Jamaica Chapter.
The first lesson, Psalm 150, was read by Maudlyn Mason. This was followed by greetings from the Chairman of the Happy Grove Board of Governors, Mrs Joan Brown. The ever-faithful Pastor Eugene Wolfley brought greetings from the Friends United Meeting in The United States. Pastor Wolfley reminded the congregation of his special love for Happy Grove and said that although he now resides in The United States, his heart still resides in Jamaica.
More greetings followed from Lydia Grappine, Deputy- Clerk from the Jamaica Yearly and from Mr Lauriston Lindsay, Principal of Happy Grove High School. Mr. Lindsay prefaced his greeting with the announcement that on that day, Sunday April 27th, the positions of Principal and Vice Principal for September 2008, were advertised in the newspapers. He added that he knew that there was a thinking among some that he has not been a good Principal. To those persons, he offered his apology. In his greeting he expressed his gratitude to be serving as principal and wished the institution many more years of continued success.
More items of musical praise continued with renditions from Dave Williams, who sang his heart out to a very appreciative audience. A representative from the Worthington Friends Meeting, Donna McLean, gave a soul-stirring performance through song. But, it was the three members from the original six of the Ivy Chapel Sextet - Trevor Falloon, Rixon Richards and Randolph Gordon who took alumni back into the decade of the sixties with the lively, catchy singing of Negro Spirituals.
The second lesson from 2 nd Chronicles, Chapter 7, verses 1 – 10, was read by Devon Nelson—Phillips. Alumnus Keith Goldson invited all alumni present to rock the cradle as alumni moved to the singing of lively, reggae-beat chorouses which were sung by the representative from The Worthington Church. As alumni moved around the church in a meet and greet session, it was a joy to reconnect with people not seen in many, many years.
Rev Goldson then delivered his message under the theme, “Another Milestone, Time for Celebration“. He too offered thanks to the Almighty for preserving Happy Grove over the years and spoke about the many successes of the school. He urged his congregation to become like the biblical Caleb and to emulate Solomon in all his wisdom.
After the singing of the hymn, “All Things Bright And Beautiful”, there was a period of quiet meditation in keeping with the tradition of the Friends Church. This was followed by the offering and the closing prayer by Pastor Eugene Wolfley.
The final act of celebration at the church was the symbolic ringing of the bell one hundred and ten times, each in recognition of a year of Happy Grove’s existence. This was done by alumni who volunteered to participate.
The festive, homecoming atmosphere of meeting and greeting continued in the church yard as the Happy Grove family moved towards the dining room for Sunday brunch. This was provided by alumni and local businesses who contributed in cash and kind.
A sumptuous, delicious meal was served by members of the executive of The Jamaica Chapter of Alumni. Alumnus Devon Nelson– Phillips had the responsibility for catering to this spread, a wide variety from which to choose – the ever familiar curried goat, fried, jerked and baked chicken, rice and peas, white rice, macaroni salad, tossed salad, fruit punch and sodas among other favourites. Dessert provided more variety – potato pudding, gizzadas, fruit salad, different cakes and other sweet treats.
Sunday was an overall excellent day, the result of the hard work, planning and co-ordinating of the executive of the Jamaica Chapter.
Alumni to Whom President, Tedroy McNabb, Offered Special Thanks:–
The Executive of the Jamaica Chapter ( Elaine Neufville, Lorna Allen-Lowe, Pearline Carr, Rosemarie Lammie-Shirley, Clement Burnett, Glen Warren, Wavel Dale, Phillipia Phillips, Monica Bigby-Milloy, Joan Mason-Thomas, Devon Nelson-Phillips, Eileen Thompson), Ernest Ho, Patricia Hunter, Sonia Gray, Hugh Gray, Dr Lilieth Johnson– Whittaker, Maurice Mason, Maudlyn Mason: Dr Shirley Bailey, Ann Ramsay, Maulyn McNabb, Neil Glasgow, Denver Drysdale, Linston Lawrence, Andrea Wilkie, Jean Wilson-Stewart, Veena Nichols—McDonald, Carlton Brown.
Written by: Maudlyn Mason