The British Virgin Islands (BVI) Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) School took time to lavish appreciation on four individuals whose contributions have been integral to the school’s development, at an appreciation and fundraising gala dinner hosted on March 19, 2017. The honorees were: Honorable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, former Premier; Honorable Julian Fraser, RA, Third District Representative; Mrs. Veronica Melda McDowall, retired educator of the BVI SDA School; and, Mr. Salvadol E. Callwood, who is credited with willingly and tirelessly sourcing significant donations for the school in its early years.
Attendees were impressed to continue the legacy of such notable contributors and among the highlights of the event was a pledge of $10,000.00 by Honorable Julian Fraser. Mr. Wade Tobin, principal, responded to the pledge: “Over the years, [Honorable] Fraser has been a friend of the school and he is demonstrating that again. This institution provides the balance. . . that our children need. We believe the home, school, church and community should partner to have model citizens for this word and the world to come.”
The “themed” event, Changing Directions, was an initiative of the School Board to encourage the community’s participation in furthering the ministry which the school provides and the proceeds will be used to provide scholarships for students and an upgrade for the school’s computer lab.
The dinner guests were inspired by the guest speaker, Deputy Governor Rosalie Adams, who is a member of the SDA Church on Tortola. She shared experiences from her life to emphasize embracing change for personal development, “Change is inevitable and it should be embraced courageously.”
Although the Minister for Education and Culture, Honorable Myron V. Walwyn, could not attend the gala dinner, he conveyed his greetings and congratulated the organizers for seeing it fit to “pause and reflect on those [who] have greatly advanced the school’s development.” He added: “The role of private institutions in assisting the government to mould young minds for their rightful place in today’s society is extremely important. There is work to be done by all and I am grateful for the partnership that we share in accomplishing this task.”
The BVI Seventh-day Adventist School, originally known as the Carrot Bay Seventh-day Adventist School, commenced operations in the spring of 1954. The school currently has an enrollment of 323 students and employs 24 teachers.