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Health minister says Enid Bennett worthy of renamed school

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The renaming of Bog Walk High School to the Enid Bennett High School has been endorsed by Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for West Central St Catherine, Christopher Tufton.

At the renaming ceremony for the school on Tuesday (June 19), Dr Tufton said the late Enid Bennett, who was a former Member of Parliament for the area, was worthy of having that school renamed in her honour.

He said she was very instrumental in acquiring the land to build the school, established under the 'New Deal in Education' in the 1970s, and also providing education for hundreds of youth who were in need while she served as Member of Parliament for 30 years.

“She was little in stature, but she was strong in determination, in commitment, in sacrifice and in her drive to improve the conditions of all the people she came in contact with. Her achievements are so many – bringing electricity to communities that never saw light unless it was a torch; bringing roads to places where only donkey tracks existed; and in the area of education, she was committed to seeing the next generation doing better than the current generation,” he added.

Tufton said Bennett was a visionary, as she was the one who came up with the idea that the school was a necessity… and “had the vision to recognise that it would have evolved to accommodate 1,897 students 40 years later”.

He said Bennett was also very instrumental outside of the area of education, and she was one of the people who assisted him greatly in his political career.

“When I entered West Central, Miss Bennett was one of the persons who gave me unlimited support to the extent that she could, and travelled with me and gave me advice about the look and the feel and the terrain… traditional challenges and the achievements,” he said.

Bennett was born in Linstead, St Catherine, on May 18, 1931. She started her education at Linstead Primary School, and later at St Helen Commercial School, where she gained qualifications as a stenographer – the profession which helped her launch her career in politics.

She was later elected as a Councillor for the Sligoville division in the St Catherine Parish Council and then a Member of Parliament. She died in December 2017.

During her career, in addition to securing lands and funds for the then Bog Walk Junior Secondary High School, she was instrumental in securing funds and land for the establishment of Tacius Golding High School and Lucky Valley Primary School in the 1970s under the New Deal in Education project.

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