Nostalgia: Wray High School – Georgetown Guyana – By Geoff Burrowes

Wray High School – Georgetown Guyana

– By Geoff Burrowes 

In my day Wray High School was at the corner of Croal St and Brummel Place in Georgetown Guyana..

I think that it later moved and became Tutorial High School.

It was a three story building. The top floor was where the principal, Reverend Pollard, lived with his wife and two sons, John and Paul. We lived in the same neighbourhood so they were my friends.

The middle floor held the principal’s office and I assume the staff room and the ground floor held the classrooms.

My first year there we had a teacher who used to line us up and ask us questions that arose out of our study assignment the night before. You can imagine the squirming in the line as we got closer to teacher because if we got the answer wrong we would get a hot swipe of the wild cane in his hand that stung for the next ten minutes! We learnt!

The next year we had a sweetheart of a teacher, Miss Brown, who had a more enlightened view of teaching. I learned more peacefully under her tutelage.

There was a leader among the students who was charismatic and who taught us a lot of new words that none of us had ever heard. Imagine my surprise when the same guy tattled to Miss Brown when I was trying out one of those words for size. Stupid me! I was given no chance to explain but hustled up to Reverend Pollard’s office and treated to “six of the best”!

I was so enraged at what I considered to be a betrayal and a travesty of justice that I ran down the stairs to the schoolyard, putting the sweetest jink on Mr. Allen, a tall uncoordinated man who was responding to the call – “Stop that boy.”

I only lived two doors down from the school so I poured my heart out to my mother who marched over.

It was quickly established  that I was no longer welcome as a student and so came the premature end of my primary school career.

I was never much of a student after that but I turned out to be a reasonably intelligent adult and coped through life so that was just an incident in my boyhood.

“Wha fo do?

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  • erroldoris  On 12/13/2018 at 2:17 pm

    Geoff…I too attended Tutorial briefly in 1968 after having been kicked out of Central High School for insubordination. I was rebellious and ended up in the CHS black book along with my brother.

    I felt that I endured enough punishment at home (later learned that Mom was taking it out on us as compensation for my father – he split with another woman and went to America). Strangely enough I made friends with Rudy Luck (the beat down general of CHS)…he did two things: He promoted me to a higher class then sent a letter to my mother (a beat down school teacher) asking her to refrain from corporal punishment. I was a brilliant student. I had a Police Scholarship which paid for everything but to avoid beat downs I skulked a lot and it showed in my math and science end of term tests even though I got 90 – 100 for all other subjects.

    Skulking took place everyday (between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm – I explained to the librarians that I doing extra curricular studies for the CP exams) at the Kennedy Library (where I indulged in all things Americana), British Council library (Their extensive recording collection included all of Shakespeare’s plays), Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society (hundreds of books on the British Royal Family) and the Carnegie Library,

    I attended more one o’clock matinees that most people would. My mother found out because of the red pain that leeched onto my khaki pants. Somebody squealed on me.

    The Police Commissioner (who controlled my scholarship) got wind of it and sent out a squad to bring me in for a beat down. Needless to say I went before him and he told my mother in his ignorance that I was “psy-chick”. I dared to correct him and he tried to initiate the beat down in his office with two other officers because I “talked back” to him. The crime chief, who was present asked that the matter be deferred.

    No one seemed happy and my mother then reported the matter to my uncle James (Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Min of Education). He was livid and demanded that I come see him, which I did, and while in his office called the Principal at CHS and petitioned him for re-admission to CHS on the basis that Mr Adams give me 12 stiff ones for my “transgressions” and all would be fine.

    Instead of going beat downs had to stop so I ran away from home and sneaked into the Youth Corps at Tumatumari.

    After my mom found out and I was brought back to Georgetown my uncle James picked me up from Brickdam Police station and we had a long talk. Next day he sent me to Mr. Monroe at Government Technical Institute where I was enrolled despite not being 17 years and 4 months – the requirement for admission…

    Everyone at GTI was an adult and at long last…no beat downs.

  • J.L. d.  On 12/25/2018 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Geoff…we’ve been enjoying your blogs. Reading them has brought back so many memories. Give us a call. Les d.

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