On Thursday, November 29 Ritchies Primary School got a helping hand when Mr. Leslie Reid, past student and a London civil servant donated 4 computers, a printer and an overhead projector valued at over $250,000 to its beleaguered computer lab.
Principal Mrs. Lesseta Samuda, teachers, students and representatives from both the School's Board and PTAssociation, in a brief ceremony on the school's grounds, expressed heart-felt gratitude to a man who 'made good' on a promise.
Mr. Reid was feted ,' Ritchies Primary-style', with music, poetry and songs. A dialect titled ' It's aal about technalagy' performed by teacher Mrs. Terina Levy elicited laughs as she expressed in colourful words how ' foreign a com a mi thru technalagy'.
In his response, Mr. Reid said that he hoped that the students would take care of the computers as they were God's property. He also made promises of future donations. He added that he hoped that the 'powers that be' would fast-track the installation of a telephone line so that the school would have internet access.
Afterwards, the teachers and a few students were taken up to the computer lab to have a look and feel of the newly installed equipment.
Mr. Reid told the Gleaner that the donation was as a result of a conversation he had with Mrs. Samuda in December of last year. He said that it was while reminiscing with a friend on the school's grounds on his visit to the island that he met the Principal.He said that she shared with him her hope that a past student would help to restore their computer lab. ( Thieves had taken a TV, VCR, keyboard and 6 computers in 3 separate incidents). When Mr. Reid returned to England he organized with some past students and friends to put on a concert in July of this year which raised the funds for the equipment.
Mrs. Samuda,in corroboration, said that in her prayers she had asked for a past student to assist in revitalizing the computer lab, and along came Leslie Reid in answer to her prayer.
She added that future plans included making the lab available to the wider community so that parents and children alike would have access to computer classes.