Hillview College principal Leslie Mahase paid kudos to the late prolific pannist, composer and arranger Ken “Professor” Philmore at the College’s Annual Graduation and Prize Giving Exercises at El Dorado Road, Tunapuna, on Thursday.
Mahase also reminded the children to draw their strength from knowing they were children of God, and, believe in themselves as they embarked upon life’s journey.
Historic Philmore visit
Philmore, 58, died at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital on September 30, after he was involved in a vehicular accident on September 24.
Mahase said: “Earlier this year, students and staff were privileged to have had a true patriot, ambassador and hero of our twin island Republic visit what was to be his first and sadly only secondary school to share his legendary talent. I speak of none other than steelpan icon Philmore. We are truly blessed by his visit as he demonstrated his amazing talents on the pan for members of our steel ensemble along with all who were fortunate to be present on that historic day. Sadly missed. But never forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Embrace the new chapter of life
Moving to his charges, Mahase said: “As you leave these hallowed walls you go with great strength ready to face the world since you have learnt many valuable lessons here. Remember your greatest strength in knowing you are a child of God. Once you put your faith in God your journey forward will be easier. Faith moves mountains. Believe in yourself.”
He added: “You have the power to create the life you want by holding on to your dreams and thinking positively. Dare to dream great dreams. Always show compassion for the weak and downspirited. It is in caring about others you will find peace. Let humility be the foundation of your life. This is the key that opens many doors. Fill your life with enthusiasm, always excited about the new day. A dose of enthusiasm is the best medicine you can give yourself.”
Speaking on success, Mahase said: “Today you are celebrating your success, but remember life is a celebration. Live it well. Every moment. Embrace the new chapter of your life. Do not be afraid. Our doors will always be open. You are a part of us just as we are a part of you. Go with our blessings and our love.”
Thanks God for Hillview success
Mahase congratulated pupils who had gotten 100 per cent CSEC passes in the May/June 2018 examinations. Pupil Rajeev Gopeesingh was selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the International Mathematics Olympiad in Romania, Eastern Europe, in July. He also thanked Thakur Roop, Head of the Mathematics Department.
He said: “Whatever successes I have achieved over the past 11 plus years as principal, I owe it entirely to the presence of Almighty God in my life along with dedicated and committed members of the teaching and non-teaching staff, Department Heads, Deans and Vice Principals.”
Mahase added: “I owe it to parents, past students, Presbyterian Church and school supervisor Joy Griffith for support in helping me to make Hillview a place where “Humani Nihil Alienum ( I Am A Human: Nothing Human Is Strange To Me.”
An unforgettable experience
Valedictorian Vindev Oudit also proved his mettle with his heartfelt speech, in which he described his “joyful” school days as “an unforgettable experience. ”Sadly, Oudit lamented it will be the “last day to enter without a visitor badge.”
Oudit said: “Every teacher set us guidelines. We have great teachers and staff. We have to thank them. Strict disciplinarians. We have countless stories about getting in trouble. Like when a stick of deodorant mysteriously appeared under somebody’s desk.”
Oudit added: “We had “pen wars.” It got to a point as to the brand of pen. We played mafia. We were innovative. We were driven by Air Supply, Making It (jokes) Out Of Nothing At All. We had the penchant for mischief. We did have shattered hearts (girls). But we were driven by a different commonality. The search for wisdom made a difference.”
He cited Luke 12:48, which said “To whom much is given, much is required.” It was an indirect reference to their academic prowess, critical thinking skills, physical beauty and unbridled charm.
He challenged his schoolmates, to “Uplift and inspire others. Exude joy and positivity. We can change the world. Make it a better place. Enjoy the rest of your life.”
Among those present were Rt Reverend Annabell Lalla-Ramkelawan, Chairman Larry Kowlessar, Chairman Presbyterian Secondary Schools’ Board of Education Christian Dookhoo, St George East Education District supervisor Joy Griffith, teacher Nalini Ramsarran and coach Richard Kelly. Peter Machikan, President of the Old Boys Association, was also present. The feature speaker was attorney/ex pupil Larry Lalla who said time and branding were important to their lives and careers.