GB Aquinas College Alumni plan weekend of activities

Reunion plans — Pictured (l-r): Charlie “Softly” Robins, Billie Albury, Antoinette Carroll, Patrick Ferguson, and Anthony “Zips” Hanna discussing reunion plans. Members of the Aquinas College Reunion Coordinating Committee held a press conference to spread awareness of the upcoming 60th Anniversary and reunion event occurring from June 9-11 in Grand Bahama. (Photo by JENNEVA RUSSELL)

Aquinas College (AC) is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year. Former Aquinas College students who reside in Grand Bahama, have scheduled a reunion weekend of activities June 9-11.

The reunion’s coordinating committee held a press conference on Thursday (May 25) at the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce regarding the special upcoming event.

Patrick Ferguson, Chairman for Alumni of AC in Grand Bahama was enthusiastic when he spoke to The Freeport News.

“We are excited and delighted to invite all alumni on the island to the various events that will take place that weekend.

“All those who went to Aquinas, no matter which year you graduated, we would like you to come out on that weekend,” he said.

Ferguson revealed the schedule for the weekend, which starts with a “Meet and Greet Aqua Splash at the Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy’s (MSSCA) Auditorium on East Sunrise Highway on Friday June 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday morning June 10, there will be a breakfast starting at 9:30 a.m. That evening beginning at 7:30 p.m., a dinner is planned, followed by entertainment at the MSSCA auditorium.

On the last day of the reunion, June 11, members of the Aquinas fraternity are requested to attend the 10 a.m. mass at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church. A brunch after mass, will conclude the activities.

“We’re looking forward to a terrific weekend come June 9-11. There is great anticipation to see former classmates and fellow students,” said Ferguson.

Committee member Antoinette Carroll, a 1969 AC graduate echoed Ferguson’s sentiments.

“This will give us a chance to meet and greet all of our old scholars. Some of those, personally, I haven’t seen since we graduated. It will be really interesting to see them and to have a wonderful weekend of good fellowship and camaraderie that will give us an opportunity to catch up with each other,” she said.

Carroll furthered that alumni will have to pay a flat rate fee for the entire weekend. However those who wish to only attend one or two functions would be afforded a different fee.

All proceeds will go towards the purchasing of new computers for Aquinas College. Some Alumni from New Providence and Bimini are expected for the events.

Aquinas College is a private Catholic high school established in 1957 by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan in a converted building that formerly housed the Hibiscus Inn, on Montrose Street in New Providence. The facility was used as a teacher-training school for the Bahamian Nuns in 1957. Full student student enrollment for secretarial studies began in 1958.

Later, the Sisters began giving evening classes in English, Mathematics and Business. Students took BJC and RSA examinations, and those who were successful were among the first black Bahamians to assume positions of employment on Bay Street in financial institutions.

The year AC celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Mrs. Shona Moss-Knowles took over the leadership of the institution, having served 23 years as a veteran educator at the school. She had previously served 13 years as Vice Principal.

The school relocated from its Madeira Street location in the city of Nassau to its state of the art facilities on the Gladstone Road property in September 2009. Through the years, an increasing number of students enrolled for full tertiary education and Aquinas produced many of the country’s noted citizens.

The Alumni of Aquinas College serve as a testament to the institution’s commitment to excellence.

AC also has a strong connection to the Bahamian media, as a number of persons in entertainment and journalism are part of the Aquinas alumni. They include former Miss Bahamas (1967) Elizabeth Knowles-Bridges; Fred Sturrup, General Manager and Managing Editor of The Freeport News; Radio Host Steve McKinney; Bahamian Music promoter Rudy Grant; other media personalities such as Carlton Smith, Carla Palmer, Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs; the original members of the Soulful Groovers; Clement Penn, Tony Seymour, Andrew Richardson and noted musician and activist Freddie Munnings Jr.

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