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A renaming attack

Let’s rename Barbados — Narnia. In recent months a whole heap of things have been falling out the proverbial closet. If I see a talking lion I am on the next BWIA flight to Pelican Island.

I hope the preceding paragraph sounds as ridiculous to you as it was to me typing it. But this discourse is by its very nature ridiculous. What’s in a name? What images does your mind conjure up when you hear Barbados? I think pride, industry, a people who constantly strive for betterment.

We are supposedly an educated society with a rich history of producing some of the best minds in the world, yet you would think we can come up with a better way to honour those who have made significant or sterling contributions to their respective fields, or Barbados on a whole.

I know, let’s rename a bunch of schools: no one cares about some well-deserving “heroes” names. The last school renamed in a series of what I can only liken to the joker attacking Gotham City was St. James Secondary, now forever know as Frederick Smith Secondary. In his obvious over exuberance, Sir Frederick stated it was a privilege to have the highest honour in the land bestowed on him — clearly “Sir” isn’t high enough. Would you care for my first born as well? Does your own home bare your name, Sir? But I digress.

I came up with three possible theories used in the renaming of schools:

1. The ability to disregard the feelings of others;

2. Drinking copious amounts of alcohol (rubbing included); and

3. Blunt force trauma.

The aforementioned would render any seemingly reasonable person with a modicum of common sense and school pride instantly brain dead. It started off with Garrison Secondary — I don’t recognise the new name. Then it moved unto St. Lucy Secondary — again I do not recognise the new name.

When one takes a cursory look you would probably ask: What’s the big deal? And therein lies the problem: Where does it stop? It begins with a name change, then what next, the uniform? Then the school song? Some of us are instilled with school pride, loyalty and a sense of belonging — a brotherhood if you will. This is being eroded slowing and consciously by a select group of individuals whose sole purpose is, I believe, to confuse the general public that they are doing some good on behalf of the school.

How about replacing a broken desk, paint a wall, renovate a pavilion, provide more the basic necessities that are needed rather than a new name? Rename Alexandra while you’re at it. Only a name change and Jesus could save that school now. Oh, I said the “J” word — apologies. Destroying a school’s good name and reputation to replace it with what? Your opinion of a reward for a job well done?

Does the renaming of the schools meet the general consensus of the schools’ alumni? What criteria is used to adjudge the new name as the most reasonable one for the school? Will all schools be renamed? Can I hope to see a school named after Rihanna, Obadele Thompson and Ryan Brathwaite? Will the untouchable Combermere fall victim” Will Harrison College and Queen’s College?

All I am saying is: Find some other way to honour your heroes; don’t destroy legacies created by children who now are parents and would want their children to attend their alma mater. It’s about going to a school were people feel you wouldn’t or couldn’t amount to anything and rising above these hurdles and obstacles.

I have a suggestion to honour the Minister of Education for his due diligence in this matter (if only he showed some with Alexandra) — a school named for him: The Ronald Jones School of Sound Higher Intellect Technology and Enlightenment. I hope you appreciate the hidden acronym.

People need something to believe in, and again it starts with school names and goes down hill from there. Don’t let this continue! R.I.P to the schools we’ve lost.

— Chad Mckenzie

Free Thinking Barbadian

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