Old East End School
From Mr. Colville Petty’s book “A SCHOOL AND ITS COMMUNITY: The East End School 1917-1974”, we learn about a school that grew into prominence as the real hub of community life in the eastern end of the island.
Prior to its opening in 1917, school for the children in the surrounding villages was kept a mile’s distance away at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church.
Essentially, its establishment ushered in the separate and distinct secular way of life and living in addition to the traditional focus on the religious and spiritual; and, this gave birth to and engendered the growth and development of new talent and cultural traits that were previously stifled before due to the rigid control the Church had on the lives of the villagers.
Over its lifetime, the school – that also served as a hurricane shelter – played such a pivotal role in the community that it developed a rich cultural history which qualified it for eventual ceding to the National Trust for renovation and preservation.
The 50ft by 30ft unpartitioned structure with a double roof was was built on wooden piles, the lumber and shingles being brought in by sailing boat from St. Kitts.
It was skilfully and sensibly built thus enabling it to stand up to and survive many hurricanes including the destructive Hurricane Donna in 1960.
Like the true architectural champion that it was, it remained in great shape long after it had been shuttered; and, its still great condition enabled it to house classes in 1995 when Hurricane Luis did immense damage to its successor, the new primary school.
The school has produced a number of prominent Anguillians including two of this island’s five Chief Ministers – Mr. James Ronald Webster, “Revolutionary Leader” and “Father of the Nation” and Mr. Osbourne Fleming.
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