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FORMER student of the Methodist School turned Nobel Laureate and Pride of the nation, Derek Walcott, was celebrated last Friday by the latest generation of students from the school that he once attended.
Greeted by a warm hero’s welcome, Walcott was ushered to his seat where he got to see the youngsters perform pieces of his work as well as pay tribute to a number of his stories in the form of a skit titled “Twavay Derek”
In the skit, a number of characters from numerous play and poems were brought to life including Papa Bois, Ti Jean and his Brothers and Pi Banan.
Walcott and his long term partner, along with other specially invited guests including Governor General Dame PearletteLouisy and retired Judge Michael Gordon who represented the Gordon family, were also treated to music from the students, namely a Calypso jam, “King of Culture” by the Mighty Pep.
In addition, poet Christian Joseph who like Walcott is a past student of the school, got a once in a lifetime opportunity to recite one of his own poems.
Joseph said Walcott was one of his biggest inspirations.
Speaking to the media later, Walcott said he was very proud of what he had witnessed on the day especially at the level of talent shown by the students.
When asked for his opinion on the up and coming generation of Methodist students he said: “I’m not worried about them, I’m very confident. These young guys are great.”
Principal of the school, Margaret Gabriel said this was just a way of paying homage to the past student.
She said: “We are very proud of him so today, we have participated in the official Nobel Laureate celebrations for 2016 by having this special ceremony in his honour.”
The students and staff were extremely excited and Gabriel said she was hoping that this activity will serve as an inspiration to all of them and that they could aspire to achieve excellence.
Derek and his twin brother, the late Roderick Walcott, not only attended the Methodist School, their mother Alix Walcott was head-teacher for several years when the school was located on Chisel Street. The school was renamed after her and Thomas Dodderidge Gordon, great grandfather of Michael and Lyndell Gordon.