sule kamu thelwell, budding actor and glenmuir graduate has launched a GOfundme page for donations
August 31, 2020
the latest ghspsa newsletter 5.1 semper flagrans! is now available
August 25, 2020
The latest newsletter GHSPSA 5.1 is available via https://glenmuirhspsa.com/newsletters/
August 22, 2020
new academic school year in jamaica delayed until october
August 21, 2020
it's official! the glenmuir high school PSA (UK) Chapter is now a certified private limited company as of august 18, 2020
August 18, 2020
glenmuirite Deiwght peters announces his newest tv show!
August 6, 2020
live discussion on the topic of wearing dreadlocks in JAmaican schools
August 5, 2020
a personal tribute to dr. sydney H. scott, glenmuir high school's founding principal
August 4, 2020
TRIBUTE TO GLENMUIR HIGH SCHOOL’S FOUNDATION PRINCIPAL
SYDNEY HOWARD SCOTT, JP, MA, Dip.Ed., PhD.
BORN ON OCTOBER 11, 1927
DIED ON AUGUST 17, 2011
by Bev. Phillips, JP
In my tribute I will try to share some little known facts about Dr. Scott and how he contributed to Glenmuir High School and Clarendon, in particular, and Jamaica and the world, in general.
I first heard of Mr. Sydney H. Scott in August 1958, when my uncle, Mr. Vin McKie, telephoned and informed my parents (Leigh and Vera Mae Phillips), my brother, Dickie, and myself that his past student and teaching colleague from Kingston College would be coming to May Pen to be the Headmaster of the newly-formed Glenmuir High School, which was situated on Glenmuir Road, four houses away from where our home was situated at the corner of Glenmuir Road and Gratton Avenue. (Those were the days when house lots were very much larger than they are today).Glenmuir High School, a co-educational school privately owned by the Anglican Church Diocese, opened its doors at 10 Glenmuir Road, on September 15, 1958 with four teachers and 55 students in a building which housed both the school with the Headmaster’s office and the Headmaster’s residence. Naturally during that first term, Mr. & Mrs. Scott, Uncle Vin, Dr. & Mrs. Aubrey Phillips, (who were friends of the Scotts), Dr. & Mrs.E. D. Phillips, and Mrs. Mabel Lubsey-Brown, were invited for “Tea” at our home and the introductions were made. It was, also, natural in those days that a newcomer to our neighbourhood would be greeted with a basket or two of groceries and/or a large cake to welcome them into our community. So, Mr. Sydney Scott (as he was then called) came to May Pen “Burning with Zeal for the Truth” and his coming was certainly welcomed.
Rumours were rife in May Pen of how brilliant this young Headmaster was. Information on the “circulation mill” was that Mr. Scott had achieved his Senior Cambridge Examination certificate (the equivalent of GCE O’Levels/CXC) by age thirteen, and his Higher School Examination Certificate (equivalent of GCE A’Levels/ CAPE) by the time he was age fifteen. It is said that he was too young to go to University anywhere or to get a scholarship to do tertiary education in England, so he was employed by Bishop Gibson to teach at Kingston College, his alma mater, until he got a scholarship to enter the University of Oxford in England. Word was circulated that he had obtained a First Class Honours and a Distinction for his Dip.Ed. (Many will need to be reminded that there was no university in Jamaica. Indeed, The University of the West Indies opened its doors to medical students in 1948 and Science and Arts students some three years later, and that overseas scholarships were very few). Dr. Scott returned to Jamaica with a Bachelor’s Degree, a Dip.Ed. and a Mastership from the University of Oxford. He later obtained a Doctorate from the University of Alberta, Canada. A very brilliant gentleman who did not need to flaunt his brilliance, and he remained a very humble person throughout his life.
The opening of the Glenmuir High School was a dream come true for my parents, who strongly objected to parents having to have their children travel by car or train long distances from all over Clarendon to attend high schools, such as Clarendon College in Chapelton (13 miles from May Pen), St. Jago High School in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Knox College in Spaldings (on the borders of Clarendon and Manchester), Manchester High School in Mandeville, Manchester, among others. My parents were among the many people who lived in the capital of Clarendon who felt that May Pen should have its own high school.
My father and Dr. Scott became friends and they bounced ideas for expanding the school and its curriculum off one another and a few other friends. I was always struck by the way that Dr. Scott was interested in student and community welfare. The school needed a new block of buildings to expand and the Headmaster was always being told that there were no funds in the Education Ministry to expand the school. In the meantime, the school grew leaps and bounds under the leadership of Dr. Sydney Scott. By 1961, more blocks of classrooms and labs were needed as so many students were applying to become Glenmuir students. As is the usual practice, the Government of Jamaica in general, and the Ministry of Education in particular, declared that there were no funds for expansion and that the school would not be able to get any new blocks. This meant no expansion, and therefore, no new students and no growth. So, Daddy (“who was not backward in coming forward”) was called into action and my father led a large delegation of persons to the Ministry of Education to see the Minister of Education, Hon. E.L. Allen and his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bertie Cousins. This delegation consisted of fifty persons. The rest is history as this meant that Dr. Scott and Glenmuir were successful in getting a new block of classrooms in early 1962.Dr. Scott was more than elated and set to work to having the school more holistic than it had been in the first three years. He had always encouraged student involvement in extra-curricular activities, and during this period there was Choral Music, Debating, Elocution, Drama, Science Club, Country Dancing, the Cadet Corps, Physical Training, Tennis and Football. He enjoyed watching his students play tennis and football, and at various matches, he could be heard cheering on his Glenmuir teams.
His tenacity was a facet of his character which helped him as Headmaster of this school. He would often remark that it was his Kingston College high school motto “Fortis Cedere Non Protest” translated “The Brave may yield but never fall” and his belief in the Almighty God, that encouraged him to get over many an obstacle placed in the course of his life. Over the next few years, many facilities were needed and the Government always declared that they had no funds, so my father who was a great networker and a great supporter of Dr. Scott got a group of his friends got to work on fundraising activities for the school and these funds obtained (from the many people including Doctors, Dentist, Nurses, Engineers, teachers, merchants and the pharmacist of May Pen and its environs) were matched by the Government officials to assist in the expansion of the school up to the time of my father’s passing in 1967.
My father was informed that he was appointed to the Board of Governors of Glenmuir High School, but before Daddy could accept the appointment, he was nominated by the parents and teachers as the first President of the Parent –Teachers’ Association in 1962, with a friend, Mr. Ralph Thomas, Snr. as Vice-President. Over the next five years, the Scott-Phillips-Thomas trio, were constantly on the telephone OR were constantly together at the Phillips home (whether it be on one of the four-sided verandahs, or in the drawing room, or around our dining room table) trying to sort out the problems concerning the “young” school (including expansion and fund-raising, transportation of students, funding the volume of extremely poor students (few of whom were orphans), among other topics.
I was deeply impressed by the level of Dr. Scott’s kindness and sincerity. Facts that are hardly known are that Dr. Scott took funds from his meagre teacher’s salary to feed hundreds of very needy students, to purchase clothing, shoes, books for needy students, and to provide funds for transportation for students travelling to the distant corners in Clarendon over his twenty-five and a-half years as Headmaster of the Glenmuir High School. Many of these persons are, today, very prominent in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora in the Eastern Caribbean, Britain, Eire, Canada, United States, and even in Australia and New Zealand, and indeed, some are extremely very wealthy Jamaicans. So you see, Dr. Scott gave many of them the opportunity to “to tun inna sumady”, which I think many of them have chosen to forget.
Another lasting memory of Dr. Scott is that of his thoughtfulness and generosity. I should point out that when the grass tennis court on our front lawn dried up due to the lack of rains, Dr. Scott volunteered the school’s tennis court so that I could practice, as my father had mentioned that I was on my school’s tennis reserve team. Such was the thoughtfulness of this gentleman!!
I attended Glenmuir High School on transfer from St. Hilda’s Diocesan High School, (a boarding high school in St. Ann), as my external O’Level examination results allowed me an entry to the Howard University pre-Dentistry programme in the USA, University of Miami pre-Law programme at the in the USA, and amalgam of junior colleges in the USA, and entries to Shortwood Teachers’ College and the University of the West Indies Hospital Nursing School, in Jamaica. However, these examination results did not accord me an entry to the Sixth Form programme of my boarding school. My beloved school, St. Hilda’s, was going through one of the most turbulent times in its long history and Bishop Gibson’s choice of an 80-odd year-old Acting Headmistress added to my problems as new Acting Head told me,firstly,that she would NOT allow me not enter "her “Sixth Form with the subjects that I had gained since they were not all gained in the Cambridge examinations, and secondly, that I could not mix my Arts and Science subjects in "her" Sixth Form, among other things. Dr. Scott gave me the opportunity of doing some Arts subjects in the Glenmuir's Fifth Form to gain better grades in the Cambridge examinations and to study for two GCE Advanced Level subjects in Lower Sixth Form at Glenmuir High School simultaneously, while attending the Jamaica School of Art on a Saturday to pursue my Art subject since Glenmuir did not offer this subject…. A feat that had never been tried before…..Truly a novel adventure at the time!!!But that was the measure of the man, ready for a challenge, one not to be beaten!!!Here is he showed that “the brave may fall but never yield”. The rest of this story will be told in my forthcoming motivational talk series on “MY JOURNEY” which also took me through the following institutions: Alpha Business College, Kingston College and The University of the West Indies, all on references obtained from Dr. Scott as one of my trusted referees.
It is ironic that my two favourite High School Principals, Miss Joyce Baxter of St. Hilda’s Diocesan High School, and Dr. Sydney H. Scott, Headmaster of Glenmuir High School, were teachers at Kingston College, while Dr. Scott is a graduate of Kingston College……both chosen by Bishop Percival Gibson to head two great Jamaican Anglican schools.
Dr. Scott was a disciplinarian, and would call to me from his office upstairs (At Glenmuir) to indicate that I was “not wearing the school hat or beret properly” as it was perched on my head or bent in all different shapes so as not to disturb my “beehive” hairstyle of the late 1960’s.He was very fair to all students, and clearly no student was to think that because I was his friend’s daughter, that I was above keeping the rules of the school, so Dr. Scott threaten me with detention if I did not comply.
However, it was after my Dad’s death in 1967, that I really got to know Dr. Scott, as he joined my mother, my uncles, my aunts, my senior cousins and a few of my parents’ dear and trusted friends, to become members of my select mentorship group. Dr. Scott wrote several of my references for entry to University, job applications and even checked on my brother and myself to make sure that we were continuing our tertiary studies. He remained a very dear friend up to the time of his death. I (on behalf of my brother and myself) would write and send him clippings of Glenmuir’s achievements and its functions from the Jamaican newspapers to keep him up-to-date.
Dr. Scott had a dry sense of humour, and his use of puns, which would often have my brother, Dickie , my mother, and myself, in stitches, whenever we visited him and his wife at their Glenmuir Road home (the Headmaster’s quarters on the Machado Foundation’s property) in May Pen and later at their Plumbago Avenue home in Mona Heights.
He was always very proud of students’ achievements in particular and the schools’ achievements in general. He still holds the record of the school which produced seven doctors in one graduation class at The University of the West Indies, second only to Kingston College’s production of twenty-one doctors in one UWI graduation class by Biology Master, Mr. Vincent McKie, for KC’s Headmaster, Mr. Douglas Forrest. These records are still to be broken. Dr. Scott will be remembered for the loyalty with which he served Glenmuir, even when they played School Challenge against Kingston College, his alma mater. He was proud of all of his students, but especially of his first graduates, for example, Dr. Omar Davies who was his first UWI graduate, and later his first PhD who became the first past student to return to teach at Glenmuir; Dr. Irvin Anderson, who was his first medical graduate; Karlene Waddell, who was his first “Miss Jamaica Farm Queen” and later his first “Miss Jamaica”, and “Norman” W. W. Ashton who came third in an International Mathematics competition, Drs. Guyan Arscott, Patrick Bhoorasingh, Neil McGill, among others.
Dr. Scott had mentored Omar Davies and had always hoped that Dr. Davies would succeed him on his retirement as Principal. However, this was not to be, as Dr. Davis had to decline the offer since he had already accepted a post with the UWI. Therefore, when the fifty-six-year-old Dr. Scott was retiring from Glenmuir in 1983, he made sure that “his beloved Glenmuir High School” was left in safe hands, and he hand-picked Mr. Clement Radcliffe, one of his bright past students, to be his successor. The school gave him a present of a recliner, while the Alumni Association under the guidance of Omar Davies, Earl Bisasor and Bev. Phillips, among others, gave him a “golden handshake” of Twenty-five Thousand Five Hundred Dollars.
A twist of fate is that Dr. Scott (who had been the epitome of kindness to so many people) had to migrate to England with his family when he found out that his pension after twenty-five and a half years of service to Jamaica as Headmaster of the Glenmuir High School, could not purchase a house in Mona Heights (or anywhere in Jamaica), thus he would have to pay rent from his meagre pension and his wife’s meagre salary as a Nursing Sister at a hospital, and also the facts that both pension and salary would not be able to fund his children’s postgraduate education.
I tried on no less than four occasions over the period 1983 to 2009 to have Dr. Scott given a national award from the level of Order of Jamaica (OJ) down to Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service (BHM), and all of my nominations were turned down. So no national awards were awarded to Dr. Scott by the Jamaican Government, but his rewards were seeing his students do well in Jamaica, in particular, and take their place in the world society globally.
The Glenmuir High School’s Motto “Burning with Zeal for the Truth” translated “Flagrans Vertatis Studio”truly reflected the life of Dr. Sydney Howard Scott.
DR. SCOTT WAS GLENMUIR,AND GLENMUIR WAS DR.SCOTT !!!
His funeral service was held at St. Andrew’s Church in Girton, Cambridge, England, UK, on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.A Memorial Service will be held at the Glenmuir High School, 10 Glenmuir Road, May Pen, Clarendon on October 1, 2011 at 3.00 p.m. Donations will be collected at the Memorial Service for “The Dr. Sydney Howard Scott Foundation” (in memory of Dr. Scott) and this, will in the future, provide scholarships for needy students attending Glenmuir High School.
My brother, Dickie, and I, wish to express our sincere condolences to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and other family members. May the memory of this great Jamaican “who walked with kings but never lost the common touch” live forever in our hearts and memories. May his soul rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon him.
“Flagrans Veritatis Studio” always!!!