Government Senator and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Carlos James said the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School continues to play an important role in the advancement of education here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Senator James made the point while addressing a ceremony last week Thursday January 18, to mark the 45th anniversary since the school officially opened its doors in January 1973.

According to Senator James, despite the many successes of the institution, the community experienced a dark period of struggle to ensure the institution remained opened.

He was reflecting on the period of protest in 1995 where nine persons, including 12 year-old Devon Samuel, were arrested when the Troumaca community protested the closure of the institution by the Government.

The Senator acknowledged that North Leeward has endured many challenges, but noted that the educational advancement of the people has always remained paramount.

Giving a brief history of the institution at the ceremony, past student and current teacher, Asbert Garraway, said the school was constructed in 1972 with funding from organisations and students in Ontario, Canada.

Garraway noted that after its construction the secondary school officially opened its doors in January of 1973 to accommodate junior secondary school students in North Leeward.

Those in attendance at the ceremony also heard addresses from senior education officer for Secondary Schools in the Ministry of Education, Kay Martin Jack and past students Ian Allen, Julia Haywood and Hayden Ferdinand.

During the event, a number of literature books were donated to the school’s library on behalf of the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit to mark its 45th year as an educational institution.