Western News

'Operation Regain and Retain'

New Cornwall College principal vows to return school to glory days

Observer West reporter

Thursday, July 05, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Newly appointed principal of Cornwall College Michael Ellis, says for the resort city of Montego Bay to return to its glory days, then the 122-year-old high school for boys will first have to return to its former days of greatness.

“If Montego Bay is to be great again, Cornwall College ought to be great again,” Ellis, who has been at the helm of the school for two months, charged at the graduation ceremony for the Cornwall College Class of 2018 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Sunday.

“I further believe that if Jamaica is to achieve its millennial goals and its vision for 2030, it begins at Cornwall College.”

Ellis, a former principal at Green Pond High, also in St James, served notice that come September, he will be heralding “Operation Regain and Retain”, which is “predicated on 10 strategies and one attitude”, a strategy aimed at the development of the school.

A part of the master plan is to deny arbitrary access to the school compound between the hours of 8:30 am and 3:00 pm.

“So, my message to you is that Cornwall College is open for business again. September morning will be a new day for Cornwall College. Cornwall College in its present construct, in my mind, is too accessible to all. We will be taking a business approach to what we do at the school September morning. There will be business hours for the operation of the school, and this is something that I would want for the public to understand,” Ellis charged.

Taking the microphone after the principal was the guest speaker, noted economist and lecturer at The University of the West Indies, Dr Andre Haughton, who is a Cornwall College graduate, and he concurred with Ellis.

“For too long Montego Bay has been neglected, and if it is a person, or an institution, or a group that is supposed to transform Montego Bay positively, it has to be the boys from Cornwall College,” Dr Haughton, who graduated from Cornwall College 18 years ago, argued.

“Teachers have been complaining that Cornwall (College) boys have become followers. Some little youth from Anchovy (High) and some school — me don't even know dem school deh, some little school — me hear sey dem tun big school an a gi Cornwall bwoy talk and leadership.

“The onus is on you gentlemen to display this level of leadership. The onus is on you to set positive, sensible example for your peers who live around you, for the people who depend on you — not physically, but futuristically — because you will become the leaders of tomorrow.”

He argued that in spite of a lot of people making money in Montego Bay, the quality of life in the city has not improved since the 1980s.

“This money isn't being funnelled into useful channels, this money isn't being channelled into the development of the city. It is being used to buy garments, buy liquor, buy motor vehicles, and to buy guns to shoot at each other. This is why I took it upon myself to come here today (Sunday) to speak to Cornwall College boys about their roles and the importance of them not just to Montego Bay, but to Jamaica and the entire world,” said Dr Haughton.

Dr Haughton also called on the graduates to blaze a trail for others coming behind to follow.

“Think not about who you are and what you can achieve, or about somebody calling your name, but think about how to help to lay a foundation for those who come after you, just as how a foundation was laid for you,” Dr Haughton recommended.

“What you learn at Cornwall College is not the structure that you are going to build; it is the foundation that you will build structures upon.”

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