Combermere School principal raises a stink

The latest episode of unpleasant odour that forced the Ministry of Education to close the Combermere School indefinitely has been the result of sabotage, Principal Vere Parris is reported to have said.

Parris Monday told a staff meeting at Erdiston College someone had tampered with effluent pipes resulting in the release of septic gas, a source at today’s meeting told Barbados TODAY.

The Ministry of Education closed the school last Tuesday after continued complaints of a foul odour, which caused teachers and students to experience headaches, rashes and hoarseness.

In a statement issued Su

Vere Parris
Vere Parris

nday, the ministry said it had identified a special task force “to monitor and oversee the work over the next week” and it would continue to monitor the environment at the Waterford, St Michael learning institution.

It added that the school would remain closed until the ministry was “satisfied that the investigative and remedial work” had been completed.

While staff members were said to have been somewhat unsettled by the theory of sabotage, many in attendance at today’s gathering were relieved that the cause of the recurring problem had been identified, the source said.

Meanwhile, outspoken teacher Reverend Charles Morris told Barbados TODAY he did not attend Monday’s meeting, but he had been made aware of the principal’s remarks.

Morris, who in the past clashed with Parris over the issue, said he would reserve comment until after he spoke with the principal.

Morris had told Barbados TODAY last week that he was unsure about the future of the school, as many staff members had indicated an unwillingness to return to the compound.

“This thing is now affecting people mentally. I don’t know why but I was actually scared. Combermere is not a safe place for us, it is not a safe place for the administration of education. I find it hard to see young children collapsing. It is not an easy scene at all . . . . I don’t know what other teachers are doing but I don’t think I could work there any more,” the Anglican cleric stressed at the time.

Combermere School has experienced a series of environmental problems dating back to early last year, resulting in its closure the relocation of students on two occasions.

Last year, Parris had blamed the foul odour on nearby trees, a theory later dismissed by anthropologist and former head of the Barbados National Trust Dr Lennox Honychurch.

7 Responses to Combermere School principal raises a stink

  1. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince November 22, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Really,who sabotaging and why ?

  2. Beverley Hunte-Springer
    Beverley Hunte-Springer November 22, 2016 at 5:07 am

    I would not be at all surprised if this is the case. I have always been of the view that the problem is man-made & some person or persons want to destroy that school for whatever reason. If some teachers don’t want to work there get transferrred or retire. Combermere is a wonderful educational institution. Up and on.

  3. Eddie Forde November 22, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    If that is the case and someone is responsible for disrupting the education of the students, when that person or persons are caught, then they should feel the full force of the law.

  4. Tony Waterman November 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    @Beverley Hunte-Springer!!!!! That remark by Mr.Parris is Regrettable, as from Day One, i have been asking them via this mediun, and the Nationnews online post, to Check a few things at that Campus, and i guess that no one reads these posts, and perhaps don’e even care.

    I have consistantly from DAY ONE, asked that they check the Roofing to see if it is still the same ASBESTOS roofing from 1958

    I have asked that they have the Ceiling area inspected for Bat and Pigeon Droppings, as i don’e believe that this are has ever been cleaned out since 1958.

    I know from being at that instiution Every year for the Last 47 years (Hockey and exercise when i am Home) that some of the WELLS on the Property do NOT handle Water properly anymore, the one by Mr.Parris’s Office under the Almond Tree now Floods regardless of the amount of Rainfall, in my time this NEVER happened, this tells me that at least that one has NEVER been cleaned out, and i am supposing that none of the other perhaps 6-8 wells are going to be having similar problems, that is why i don’t believe in Sabotage, to me it is just a lack of VITAL MAINTENANCE. i dont see how anyone can Sabotage them as all the piping is below Grade (Ground) tree Roots could have damaged the pipes over the years creating blockages etc.

    doing due diligence is better than trying to blame someone/anyone for what is happening.

    i hope that someone/anyone sees this and at least see if any of it helps.

    An Old Combermerian, and a Combermerian for ever.
    Up and On.

  5. Carson C Cadogan November 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Had to be a Barbados Labour Party supporter.

  6. Tony Waterman November 22, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    @Carson C cadogan, I over the years when i was in Barbados, and after i left when i was there for an Election, i have Voted. “YES” but i have also voted for BOTH Parties at one time or another, i am NOT,NOT a SHEEPLE, and i dont even like this Whitehall (London) style of Government by Constant Controversy which we have had 50 Years to eradicate, and put in place a more concilliatory style of Government, where Politicians seek to better the Cpuntry, instead of undoing what ever the previous Government had done, and castigating one another in Parliament and in Publuc like a bunch of fools.
    said all that to say this, i am NOT a supporter of either of the two Stupid Parties in Barbados, but voting is a Privelage and everyone MUST participate, otherwise we MUST accept the Government that we so deserve.
    I have from a wee lad been associated with that plot of Land that Combermere is Built on, and from that i ws aware that the Problem Had to be associated with something in that Building, it was Occupied as a School for the Last 58 Years and Two Months, and as far as i know (Subject to Correction) there has NEVER been any Major Maintenance done at that property, some of the Equiptment in the Science Lab was replaced recently, donated by us CSOS Associations in The USA, Canada, The UK etc, and there is still an outstanding order for more Equiptment to be filled. we do have the Interest of the School on our minds, and that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Politics.
    I dont like Politics, and i care very little for those involved in Politics.

    Again i say to all Combermerians OLD and CURRENT,

    Foes in plenty we shall meet (C C C seems to be one)
    But on we’ll press with eager feet
    UP and On, Up and On.

  7. N Day November 23, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    There is more in the mortar than in the pestle. I know of three children currently at Combermere and they have indicated they have not been smelling any foul odour. Also, I had to transfer my child from that school for constant teacher absenteeism. I know of others who have done the same and I know of past students that are in their 20’s and the situation with teacher absenteeism was going on at Combermere when they were attending school. When the junior school was relocated to Samuel Jackman Polytechnic one student told their mother that some of the teachers still were not attending class, so what was the problem there? Polytechnic has environmental problems too? There is a faction of teachers there that do not want the Principal there because of his management style and unfortunately the children are paying for it.


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