Graduation Ceremony of Class 2014

Last Updated: Sunday, 29 June 2014 Published: Friday, 27 June 2014 Written by Daria Mitchell Sorhaindo

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With the Pen still in our Hands, the rest is yet to be written.”

94 students from the Convent High School graduated victoriously on the afternoon of Wednesday 25 July at  a ceremony held on the picturesque grounds of the Botanic Gardens in Roseau.

The afternoon’s proceedings were under the banner of Head of the school , His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire. The highlights of this special occasion were the Feature address by  Ms. Andra Christian, Principal of St Martin’s Secondary School and former Head of Mathematics at the Convent High School and the 2014 Valedictorian, Miss Kadisha Culpepper’s speech, the Head Girl, Kaele Benjamin’s Welcome Address as well as the graduates themselves singing  “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. The CHS choir, Sign Language  Group and Band all helped to grace the evening’s  ceremony. There was a special mark of respect for deceased member of Class of 2014, Cahdene Edmund.

Invited guests comprised His Excellency Charles Savarin and his wife, Mrs. Savarin, The Honorable Ambrose George, Minister of Information, Telecommunications and Constituency Empowerment representing the Minister of Education and the many donors and benefactors of the Convent High School.

The Convent High School wishes a bright future guided by God’s Grace to the Class of 2014. 

pdf.png Graduation Booklet 2014 HOT

Graduation Booklet for 2014.

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 Welcome Address-Head Girl - Kaele Benjamin

We gather to celebrate the accomplishments of, and to convey our fondest hopes for a group of remarkable young women, the graduating class of 2014.  Today, we are here to celebrate success. We have chosen the theme “With the pens still in our hands the rest is yet to be written” and  thus  the words of  William Makepeace Thackeray, renowned English novelist,  resonates:  “There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.”  High school has been an unforgettable journey that has prepared us for the future, whatever it may hold.

These past five years have involved some of the most memorable and influential moments which we have already recorded. Individually, our experiences here are unique, but together we share a common bond. We are proud to be the graduating class of 2014 of the Convent High School.
We give God the full glory for guiding us in times of struggle. The involvement of the Catholic Church in our school has influenced our development into strong, hardworking, God-fearing young women of today. Thus we welcome you my Lord Bishop, as the head of our school; members of the Clergy and the Religious.

To our dedicated parents and guardians and teachers extraordinaire we are honoured to have you here at our graduation. According to Napoleon Hill, American Author of personal-success literature: “The starting point of all achievement is desire”  and you all have constantly supported us in our development and urged us onwards facilitating the burning desire for us to go forward and achieve greatness.
To the media as well as to our family, benefactors, friends and well-wishers who have travelled from just down the street and around the world to be present here at this prestigious celebration, your presence is greatly appreciated!

We welcome all, as we were once welcomed wholeheartedly into this amazing school, our dwelling away from home. But now we must go forward, it is now our duty to take our pens, and write a different story of success for the entire world to read and enjoy.

Ladies and gentlemen we welcome you all to the 2014 Graduation Ceremony of the Convent High School.

 Feature Address - Andra Christian

In 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, then 1st Governor General of Pakistan, said “There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”

Today as we see the ladies of Convent High School making their exit from the school gates onto the grander stage of life, we recognize the power that lies within each of you to master the forces around you.  I will consider the pen over the sword as I examine your graduation theme “With the pen of life still in our hands, the rest is yet to be written.”  This is so rich in imagery.  

The pen of life is still in your hands, and this suggests that you are about to wield that tool, the pen of life, with skill.  You are destined to exercise power and control over your life using your hands and the pen to maximize the outcomes.  Remember that the sword is a rival, that the forces of evil will confront you and you are to make choices for your life.  American poet laureate Billy Collins proffered “The pen is an instrument of discovery rather than just a recording implement.  If you write a letter of resignation or something with an agenda, you're simply using a pen to record what you have thought out.”  Roman poet Horace wrote “The pen is the tongue of the mind” and a 19th century German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, said that "The hand is the visible part of the brain." These thoughts show the link between the pen, the hand and the mind.  In Kant’s philosophy, the human mind is an active originator of experience rather than just a passive recipient of perception.   

You had the opportunity while at Convent High School to be involved in active learning through a variety of pedagogical methods.  You got many chances to participate in co-curricular activities that were planned for you, as well as in those you initiated and followed through with the guidance of your teachers and parents.  The experiences gained are expected to make you stronger, more mature and empowered to continue the race for development.  Your school motto “Effort conquers all” should drive you to use your hands to demonstrate that active involvement in any task produces the greatest results.  There are thinkers, initiators, planners and the executors or doers.  Those who run with the ideas of others and carry them to fruition are more likely to be recognized for the results, than those with creative thoughts and no plan of action.  You have heard of the idiom “All hands on deck”.  See how you can integrate thinking with doing, or surround yourself with a team that has the abilities and attributes necessary for following through from initiation to implementation.  

Where does the pen come in?  Simply, document all that you do.  You are well aware that in our local setting, we have a rich oral tradition, but it is only in more recent times that we have seen the value of recording and documenting our history and culture for posterity.  Foreigners come in, see our beauty, recognize the quality of our products and services, as well as the shortage of our patents.  Right there, we lose our trademarks to global entities since they are wiser or more experienced in matters of claiming ownership of intellectual property.  By writing, you will lay your claim to your identity through literature, poetry, music, dance, theatrical works.   Dr. Maya Angelou, an African-American woman who passed just last month, was one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time.  

Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou was a celebrated poet, teacher, activist, artist and human being, and a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.  She reminded through her writings that “Our stories come from our lives and from the playwright's pen, the mind of the actor, the roles we create, the artistry of life itself and the quest for peace.”  

Revisit your theme “With the pen of life still in our hands, …” Will the operative word be “still”, meaning that there will be no action,  that you will remain a lifeless being with nothing to contribute to the fabric of life? OR will you have the pen continually in your hand making a difference by the action that it takes?  Write! What will your pen write as you hold it in your hands?  Will your writing perpetuate negative images and suffocate hopeful dreams, or will it bring comfort to wounded hearts and soothe ears that have heard only hurtful words?  The power is in your hands as you move on to the next phase in your journey of life, as you write, to be a source of joy to those longing to be uplifted, the voice that speaks for the voiceless and wills them into being, the draughtsman of effective legislation, the proponent for eradicating illiteracy and social ills, the producer of literature for quiet spiritual meditation.

The pen of life is still in your hands.  The rest is yet to be written. Your future lies ahead, with plans that you have conceived and formulated.  An unknown author writes "Life is like writing with a pen. You can cross out your past but you cannot erase it."  That being true, you must ensure that writing for the future is well thought out to produce fewer mistakes.  You are proposing, but God has the final say to dispose of your plans and set you on his chosen path for your life.  Consult him daily in prayer, lay your desires in His hands, and he will supply your needs according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19).  God sees the road ahead and can already steer you away from disaster.  As you write the rest of your life, keep connected to the author of life who will provide the guidance necessary through the positive individuals and situations that He will allow you to encounter.

Graduates, your paths may be different but with all the technology available, you can stay in touch by networking.  Use the lessons and skills that you have acquired through your various associations (eg) with the Credit Unionette, Environmental Club, Choral speech and dance clubs, anti-bullying campaigns, breakfast programme, sporting teams.  Those of you who served in leadership positions through your classes and Houses have chapters to write that will speak to the future generations of exemplary conduct, interpersonal skills, volunteerism and motivation.  The rest is yet to be written, and such edifying initiatives must be allowed to continue in the stories of your lives.  Another unknown author said that “Success is a ladder that cannot be climbed with your hands in your pocket”, so I urge to get busy about using your hands for fulfilling enterprises.

19th century English novelist William Thackeray stated “There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write” .  As I conclude, let me remind each of you that as you hold the pen to write, all the thousand thoughts that run through your mind do not have to be expressed.   Determine which thoughts will be effectively turned into words that allow you to write a story that you would like to read.  Write to excel, live life to the fullest, satisfied for the rest of your life that you have contributed to making a positive difference in the world.

 Valedictorian's Address - Kadisha Culpepper

“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” renowned English poet, William Henley from his poem Invictus.

A pleasant good evening to all. It is with great honour and pride yet humility that I stand here today.

Our theme for today’s ceremony is, ‘With pens in our hands the rest is yet to be written.’ How is it possible that we are staring at blank pages when we say that we are the masters of our fate and captains of our souls? We may believe that we have control of our lives but at the same time we are uncertain of what lies ahead. Today, one thing is certain - one chapter in our book has been completed, having reached the end of our high school years.

One of the moments which we bookmarked in this chapter was the loss of one of our characters in Form 3; our sister, our friend, our dear Cahdene Edmund. Let us keep her memory alive as we move on. pause
The compilation of the CHS chapter in our books would have not been possible without the help of certain editors and designers. First and foremost, we thank the Almighty Father for his guidance. He has designed the chapters of our books even though we were unaware of it as he predestined what was to be penned.

All praise be to Him. We would like to express our gratitude to the Roman Catholic Church which contributed to our spiritual development. To His Lordship Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, we say thank you. Thank you  Monsignor John Lewis, our chaplain for playing the role of spiritual guide and for blessing us with uplifting songs.  

To Mrs. Dublin, our Aunty Josie, mother, teacher we would like to express our gratitude. You were patient with us and treated us as if we were your own, we are very appreciative of this. Your words of wisdom will always remain with us as we step out into the world.

Our special thanks to the teachers of the Convent High School, our main editors. Even though we sometimes were not the best, you were patient with us. You took extra time to explain certain things to us so that we could fully understand a topic. You comforted us at times when we were giving up. And you had faith in us at times when we didn’t believe in ourselves. Words cannot express how grateful we are.

We thank our parents and guardians, the initiators of our books, who supported us during our years at Convent High School. You were our first teachers and have instilled core values and morals into our lives. Today we can only repay you by making you proud as we have reached one of our greatest accomplishments thus far.

To our benefactors, thank you for supporting our school over the years. Your generosity has made our ceremony here today possible. We also want to thank the Ministry of Education for the scholarships and bursaries that assisted us financially during our school years.

We wish also to acknowledge the presence of the media, thank you for giving expert coverage to our graduation  ceremony.  Graduates, today we have closed one chapter of our lives. We are finally through with high school. At this point, we are just staring at blank pages uncertain about where our future lies. Some of us may have mixed emotions as we step out into a completely different environment. We are scared because we do not know how we would be able to cope. At the same time, we are excited about the new adventures that lie ahead to be written down in our books. To us it may seem that our destiny is already written out, as our future is already planned out in our minds. However, at the same time, we really have no idea what our destiny is, as we have no full control of our future. Friends, this is the reason that we need faith and hope to go through this dilemma. We need faith, even though it may be as small as a mustard seed to believe in the things that we cannot see. We should trust God’s plan for us as He already has the perfect book of our lives written. All we are left to do is, discover it.  We need hope and reassurance that even though we do not know what the future holds, we will think of it positively. We should be optimistic people.

Fellow graduates, we need the right attitudes to become successful and publish great stories worth reading. The power lies within us to strive for the best. Poet Maya Angelou once said, ‘Nothing will work unless you do.’ We all want to publish great stories but we can only do that with hard work. Yes, it is true that we do not know what the future holds but we all are optimistic that we will be successful. In order to be successful we need to be hard working and determined young women as our motto says, Labor Omnia Vincit – Hard work conquers all. We can attest to this as we sit here proud today to be graduates of the Convent High School. Five years ago, we were unsure about our future here. We did not know how the CHS chapter of our lives would have been completed. However, we were optimistic and even in our uncertainty we worked diligently. Today, we reap the fruits of our labour. Likewise, we should continue to work hard as we move out into the world. We may not know what lies ahead, but what lies within is much greater. What lies within us is strength, optimism, determination, perseverance, hope, and faith. Let us remember this as we the Class of 2014 step out with our pens, ready to continue recording our new discoveries.

Thank you and God bless you.

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