BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – FORMALLY known as the Sandy Point High School (SPHS), the learning institution now stands as the Charles E. Mills Secondary School (CEMSS) following a renaming ceremony that took place yesterday morning (Sept 30).
Attended by Minister of Education the Hon. Nigel Carty, Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Denzil L. Douglas, family of the late Hon. Charles E. Mills, other dignitaries and specially invited guests, the ceremony was held at the school’s compound and witnessed by hundreds of the institution’s staff and students.
Minister Carty, during his address to the gathering, lauded Mills and his work and explained that through his foresight and visionary actions in assisting with the implementation of a more comprehensive school system in the Federation, he left a legacy in the area of education which has proven beneficiary to persons in the Sandy Point and surrounding communities as well as the country as a whole.
Prime Minister Douglas expressed similar sentiments, describing Mills as a “trailblazer”.
“Most importantly, we have taken the time and are taking the time to say thank you and to acknowledge the man, the teacher, the trailblazer, who insisted that in St. Kitts and Nevis secondary education had to free, had to be compulsory and to be accessible to all. This…overnight changed our society, changed our lives and changed our prospects forever.
“To this day, we continue to reap dramatic benefits in the form of rapid social development and advancement, rapid economic advancement, rapid upward mobility because the doors of all secondary schools in St. Kitts and Nevis are now open wide.”
Flanked by her children, relatives, dignitaries and students and staff of the school, Sylvia Mills, wife of the late Charles E. Mills, unveiled the sign officially naming the school in honour of her husband and signalling the commencement of a new chapter in the history of the more than 40-year-old institution.
She told SKNVibes in an exclusive interview that her husband was a resolute individual who realised the value of working to achieve one’s goals. She said had he been at the ceremony, he would have been overjoyed.
“He left a legacy. He worked for what he wanted. He was very determined and what he wanted came to past. He would have been elated had he been here today. He was not looking for anything like this. He knew what he suffered and so he didn’t want the children of today to suffer through the same.”
The Charles E. Mills Secondary School is the second high school in the Federation to be renamed in someone’s honour; the first being the Washington Archibald High School, formally known as the Basseterre Junior High School (BJHS), renamed in honour of educator, social activist and historian Washington ‘Washie’ Archibald. That name change was effected by way of a resolution moved in Parliament by then Minister of Education the Hon. Rupert Herbert.