October 19, 2011

Ladies of Distinction, Miss Pinto Remembered & Quiz

On the occasion of the 49th Anniversary of Independence of Jamaica, 153 persons were recognized for outstanding contributions to nation building at the Oct 17th National Honours & Awards ceremony held at King's House. Two members of the St. Andrew High School (SAHS) family, Mrs. Mary Clarke and Mrs. Norma Newman, were included.

Mrs. Mary Clarke, CD
Mrs. Clarke received the order of distinction in the rank of commander (CD) for her contribution to advancing the rights and best interests of Jamaican children. 
His Excellency the Hon. Sir Patrick Allen with Mrs. Mary Clarke, CD           Source: The Jamaica Gleaner
Before taking up her January 2006 appointment as Jamaica's first Children's Advocate, Mrs. Clarke was Director of the Social Development and Gender Unit at the Planning Institute of  Jamaica. Many may not know but Mrs. Clarke also taught at St. Andrew High School for Girls. She is a Deacon at Grace Missionary Church, the widow of Justice Neville Clarke and mother of  three - SAHS Alumna, Dr. Tanya 'Roxanne' Clarke (Class of 1989), Dale Clarke and Dr. Nigel Clarke (a Rhodes scholar).

Mrs. Norma Gentles-Newman, BH (L)
Mrs. Newman taught Geography at St. Andrew High and is the proud mother of St. Andrew alumna, Ms. Alison Newman (Class of 1987), and son, Sean (who attended Calabar High). On Oct 17th, Mrs. Newman was awarded a Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Services for her long and dedicated service to the National Council for Senior Citizens.
L-R Claudette Robinson- Smith, Norma Newman, Blossom O'Meally-Nelson    Source: The Jamaica Gleaner
The following article captures the essence of Mrs. Newman and her dear friend, Dr. Blossom O'Meally-Nelson, who is also a distinguished St. Andrew High graduate http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20080713/out/out2.html

 Other SAHS Family honoured on Oct 17th: -
  • Mr. Ruel Reid, CD: The principal of our brother school, Jamaica College, also received an order of distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for his contribution in the field of education.
HIs Excellency the Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Mr. Ruel Reid, CD
  • Professor Peter Fletcher, CD: An order of distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for contribution to the practice and teaching of medicine. 
Professor Peter Fletcher, CD   Source: MFG Trust
Prof. Fletcher is the father of three, St. Andrew High alumni - Joanne Fletcher (a Senior Insurance Executive), Jennifer Fletcher (Human Resources Specialist) and Angela Fletcher (Senior Finance Executive).

Miss Audrey de Sola Pinto, OD, Remembered
Wolmer's High School for Girls recently held a special tribute and thanksgiving service for the revered Headmistress, Miss Pinto. We now reveal an even more special side to Miss Pinto - that of a proud St. Andrew Old Girl (SAOG)! 
Ms. Audrey Pinto   Source: The Jamaica Gleaner
She attended almost every school event and Old Girl Valentine's Day lunch up to a few years before her death. Our Museum's Planning team is pleased to share a rare interview (two parts) with Miss Audrey Pinto (AP) conducted by an Executive of the St. Andrew Old Girls' Association, Miss Glen V. Yvonne Lee (GL) in 2005. [This interview was to be a book for the School's 80th Anniversary, which did not materialize. Hope McIntyre Stewart had this dream but she passed on in the Anniversary year].

GL: Miss Pinto, in light of the fact that St. Andrew High School for Girls celebrates 80 years September 21, 2005, we believe that your experience at School as a student and teacher would add value to the institution and for this reason I am delighted and privileged to conduct this interview with you. Your contribution will greatly benefit the present student body and provide encouragement to the teachers, not only at St. Andrew High School for Girls, but throughout the island. 
What did you enjoy most about school?
AP: I enjoyed the work and many friendships with the girls. The interaction with teachers and staff members. Although I became a teacher for forty-five (45) years, I never had any Teacher Training Course.  It was after the war when I went to University and I could only afford the time and the money for a three-year course when I did a Honours Degree in Geography.  This was my main subject, so I really modeled myself as a teacher from the persons who taught me and influenced me, and particularly when I came to a position of Administration at Wolmers. I often heard myself saying things that Miss Gartshore and “Stocky” said to us.
 V.P, Miss Doris Stockhausen "Stocky" with Headmistress - Miss Margaret F. Gartshore, OBE
My love of Geography dates back prior to St. Andrew High School. At one stage of the game I had report cards, from the first School I attended, with comments of “Very Good” or “Excellent”.  So when it came to specializing, it was only natural that I should carry on that interest. This was very much fostered by teachers in the Upper School like Helen Gyles. In fact Miss Gyles was responsible for my teaching of teachers, because when I was in the Sixth Form (I don’t think it was more than four or five of us) and we were doing something about the cause of the seasons of the year, a question came up and one of my fellow classmates, who should remain anonymous, did not understand something that we had learnt in Lower 4 (equivalent to about 2nd Form). Miss Gyles stopped immediately and demonstrated with a globe in hand and gave the explanation along with some drawings on the board.
1930s Globe  Source: 1stdibs.co
Miss Gyles asked “Is it clear now?”  "No!" said the student. “I still don’t understand” “This is ridiculous,” Miss Gyles exclaimed and took the chalk and thrust it in my hand and said to me. “I can’t do any better, see what you can do.” About fifteen minutes later after prancing around the room and twisting myself in different angles to represent the inclination in the earth’s axis, the student understood me. At that time I had made up my mind to be a teacher. This was my first year in the Sixth Form.

I actually spent three years in the Sixth Form. I was too young to sit for the Jamaica Scholarship and in the end for various reasons I did not obtain it. I was a sub-prefect the year before Upper 5, the Senior Cambridge Form, and I was Head Girl for three consecutive years while in Sixth Form. I thoroughly enjoyed my life at St. Andrew. The training I got there in discipline and class control was the making of my career.

Although I was no great athlete, I always had to play tennis, netball and hockey for my house CAVELL of course!
Hockey: St. Andrew High vs. Excelsior  Source: Jamaica Hockey Federation
I very much ran the House for Stocky (Miss Stockhausen). She virtually handed over both the Library and Cavell House. I was very much interested in the Library. I remember when the Library was started as a bookcase in the landing of the first staircase.  In fact, I used to take a large suitcase to School on a Friday and fill it up with library books and I managed to get through my homework satisfactorily. Other girls started to do the same by taking home books but they slipped up on their homework. As a result the rule came in that we could not borrow more than two books and later on, one book at a time.

When I returned to teach in the 40’s there was no trained gym teacher on the staff and when Miss Gartshore spoke about picking out 20 or 30 girls to train them for Champs, I said “Oh, no you don't. That’s not how it is done. You need to have House Sports”, so I undertook training the girls for House Sports and introduced Inter-house Competitions. When we had Sports Day, my father along with, Stocky’s brother, Harold Stockhausen, Eva Stockhausen’s husband, Copie Moss Solomon, helped me by becoming judges. They also trained me to man the gate for we used to charge persons to come in and watch the Sports. We had no official brother school, but we girls regarded Jamaica College as a sort of brother school. We used to watch the Manning Cup matches and I can remember Dickie Kinkead who I know is still around.

GL: Who were the personalities that influenced you the most? whether teachers or students?
AP: I will list the teachers that made an impression on me as I remember them. Some of these I have mentioned previously. Miss Stockhausen, Miss Gartshore, Edna Potter, Helen Gyles, Miss Stewart, Miss Gray (Austin Smith). In Lower School: Miss Barker, Mrs. Webb and Miss Featherstone.

I had a number of friends. One was Sybil who left and went to Hampton. She died in her thirties of leukemia. Most of the others passed on or are not in Jamaica. I was friendly with all sorts of persons.

I have not said anything about the Old Girls, but when I first left School the person I came across were Madelyn McIntosh, who was Head Girl when I first went to St. Andrew High; Lillian Maxwell who followed Madelyn as the Head Girl.  I succeeded Lillian as President of the Old Girls' Association. At that time the Association was sort of half-dead so I brought some life to it and we got it organized. I was the one who organized the Old Girls' Scholarship. When I left Jamaica, I broke my teaching by three years 1947 to 1950, when I went to New England University. I handed over to Nellie Ammar who took over the Presidency and the Scholarship Fund. I believe Nellie Ammar was the first Old Girl to be appointed to the Board. We wrote the first Constitution during my Presidency and one of the rules was that “No one should be President for more than two or three years at a time.” The Association had suffered in the past by persons being President for too long and members losing interest. Lillian had been President for several years, a darling person but not very innovative... 
 TO BE CONTINUED  [Part 2: Join us this Sunday, October 23rd] 


 [Submitted By: Prof. Elsa Leo-Rhynie]
Which staff member of St Andrew High in the 1950s...
  1. Who was ambidextrous?    
  2. Who called any student whose answer to a question was unsatisfactory: “You Goat!”?   
  3. Taught algebra using “daddy has and daddy owes”?
  4. Flung bits of chalk to wake up sleeping or inattentive students?  
  5. Told us that she was once mistaken for Princess Margaret?

Do know the answers?  Please use the comment box below. 
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                  23/Oct @5:30p.m: SAHS Parents Teachers Association 
 An Evening of Culture  
Venue: Little Theatre, 1 Tom Redcam Ave, Kingston 5.
31/Oct @4p.m: St. Andrew Old Girls' Association (SAOGA)  
The Saint Awards. Last day for nominations. Please contact Karen Henry, Selection Committee Chair, directly at: kmonique64@hotmail.com 
02/Nov @8a.m - 2:00p.m: St. Andrew High School (SAHS)
 Gartshore Cup Competition (Home Economics)   
Venue: 10 Cecelio Ave, Kingston 10.
Calling: ALL outstanding &/ unique St. Andrew High Artists, Designers, Jewelers, Photographers, Authors, Leather Craft persons, Sculptors, Hand Bag Designers, Paper Mache Creators etc. 
We have a special opportunity for 
early Thanksgiving, Christmas &/ Kwanzaa sales. 
Email: sahsmuseum@gmail.com

We welcome ideas, suggestions and thrive on feedback. 
Drop us a line, we would love to hear from you!


  1. The answer to Question #3 is - Mrs. Brassington
    She was a phenomenal teacher to those of us who had a problem grasping the "basic math principle"


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