Kiwanis Club of Over-The-Hill
On Monday, September 8, the Kiwanis Club of Over-The-Hill continued its annual scholarship donation of $2,000 to BTVI’s scholarship fund. Initially, our focus was the Old Bight High School graduates and active Key Club members on Cat Island. We have since opened the scholarship to any eligible Family Island High School graduates.
The Kiwanis Club of Over-The-Hill was organised on September 24, 1975, holding its first meeting at the Shoal Restaurant on Nassau Street. The club’s name was derived from the geographical location, south of St Gregory’s Arch. After 48th years, the club continues its work in the Over-The-Hill community and is the only all men’s club in Sunshine Division 22, Bahamas, under the Eastern Cananda & Caribbean District of Kiwanis International.
ROTARY CLUB OF ELEUTHERA
The Rotary Club of Eleuthera (RCE) is taking students on an adventure through the pages of books including those written by Bahamians. As part of commitment to Education and Literacy, on September 10, RCE launched its annual signature literacy project where classroom novels are purchased and donated to schools across the Eleuthera District. The schools advised RCE on the titles and quantity of books needed. The books will be used as part of the School Literacy Programme over the next few years enabling a number of students to read and become more literate.
PA Gibson Primary School of Hatchet Bay was the first of several schools to receive 15 reading books. The title of the book is “Case of the Missing Boat Captain”. The grade six students were excited to have the Bahamian author of the book, Terri M Bethel show up and share this moment with them. Mrs Bethel has partnered with RCE over the past few years to help promote literacy in the schools.
Other schools to receive new reading books include Gregory Town, Emma E Cooper and Emily Petty Primary Schools. Our Rotary family, the Earlyactors, will also be recipients of this project, they attend two of the mentioned schools.
Approximately 125 books will be distributed. The titles of the remaining books include Brain Quest Workbook Grade 2, Brain Quest Workbook K, Charlotte’s Web, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, James, and the Giant Peach. Students from Kindergarten through grade sixth grade will benefit from this project. The books for each school were purchased by the five RCE Buddy Groups.
During the week of September 23–29, members will participate in RCE Annual Reading Programme in the various schools. Rotarians will participate and join the students during their reading sessions. The month will end with a Reading Competition and Jamboree on September 30. RCE has always and will continue to give support to the schools on the island of Eleuthera throughout the year.
RCE prepared breakfast and donated fans to Green Castle Primary School
This summer, the heat has been unbearable and it still is. Most of the schools on the island of Eleuthera do not have air conditioning therefore the students and teachers found it very uncomfortable at the beginning of the new school year on August 28. On September 7, members of RCE received a call from members of the Green Castle Primary School, Green Castle, South Eleuthera, for assistance with stand fans for the classrooms. The school don’t have air conditioning and had only one fan available at the time. RCE served with haste, purchased six stand fans, assembled, and delivered them to the school on September 8, also observed as World Literacy Day. Several of the Rotarians also learned how to assemble a stand fan during this exercise. This was a first-time experience for them. The stand fans will be used in the classrooms for Kindergarten (K) through sixth grade.
RCE also decided to use this opportunity to provide breakfast for the students and staff at the school. Members of RCE cooked and served the teachers and students. The items served included grits, tuna, and sausage. RCE also purchased lunch for the principal, teachers, and support staff from one of the local restaurants. Approximately 100 people were served.
It is known that one cannot learn or concentrate if the area they are in is poorly ventilated, the space is too hot or they experience hunger. The students, principal and staff were very appreciative of the assistance provided by RCE during their time of need.
This was also a time of fellowship and fun for everyone. Rotarians had an opportunity to connect with the teachers and students to find out how RCE can continue to provide support during the remainder of the school year. The schools on the island have developed strong partnerships with Rotary and other NGOs.
ST AUGUSTINE’S COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The St Augustine’s College Alumni Association has awarded its 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award postumously. The Distiguished Alumni Pioneer - Legend is LeRoy Cleveland Peter Mitchell, (July 28, 1930-August 25, 1998)
His wife is Dame Paula Louise Mitchell (Nee Albury), MBA, OSG, and their children are Therese (deceased), Paulette, Peter, Elizabeth, Marie, Myra, Michelle and Toni Lashelle - all SAC graduates, and Michael (deceased) who died shortly after child birth. Grandchildren: Elizabeth Rodgers, Jeffrey Rodgers (SACers) along with Sharon McIntyre, Brian and Shane Arnold, Jade and J’Aime Mitchell and Jessica and Robert Daxon. Great grandchildren: Arianna Simmons, Bryce Arnold, Ava and Ayden Longley, Nathaniel Tanelus.
Occupation: Architect, artist, general contractor, insurance agent, realtor, manager of the Nassau Prince George Market.
Class: Inaugural SAC Class 1945/47.
LeRoy lived with his parents, Robert and Myra Mitchell and his sister Mavis on neighbouring Dorchester Street just north of St Francis Xavier Church (SFX) in the city of Nassau, New Providence, the Bahamas. He grew up playing on the SFX Priory grounds. He was instrumental in being one of the boys who assisted with installing a basketball court at the Priory. It was here that he honed his athletic prowess. The inspired mentorship of his Godfather, Knight of Columbus, Sir Cyrus Ullyses Davis and the celibate Benedictine monks who took a vow of poverty in living lives of servitude. Monks such as Fr Frederick Frey, OSB, Fr Brendan Forsythe OSB and Fr Marcian Peters OSB figured prominently in LeRoy’s early formation. LeRoy was steeped in the Catholic faith, which was undergirded in excellence, disciplined work and service above self. The monks became an integral part of LeRoy’s life even in pairing him with his wife and soulmate Paula Louise (nee Albury). He became involved in everything: the church, the school, sports and the social clubs that were connected to St Francis.
It was in the early 1940s where LeRoy Mitchell became the benefactor of the strict yet spiritual and well-rounded teaching of the monks from St John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. These determined priests were instrumental in building the first Catholic secondary school - St Augustine’s School on the northwest corner of the Priory grounds in a humble two storey structure called “The Niche”. LeRoy became involved in everything: the church, the school, sports and the social clubs that were connected to St Francis.
In 1945, it was Fr Brendan Forsythe, OSB together with Fr Frederic Frey, OSB - the first headmaster of the school, that enrolled LeRoy as the first student of the inaugural class of St Augustine’s School (see photo).
LeRoy also transitioned to attend 8am to 8pm lessons when the school was relocated to the newly constructed hilltop monastery, off Bernard Road, Fox Hill. This afforded young men in Nassau a wholesome strictly administered learning experience. The education model was both curricular and co-curricular, also placing emphasis upon the “out of class” experience in moulding the whole man.
The historic spot known as the Priory Grounds was the hub where many sporting, social and liturgical activities took place. Fr Brendan and Fr Marcian kept an eagle eye on LeRoy, and took him under their wing. They quenched his thirst and willingness to learn and serve, by developing his innate sporting talent and spiritual growth. He was an original “Priory Rat” and the consummate altar boy.
He played for several basketball teams (Drippers, the Mosquitos etc) and he was the first captain of the perennial powerhouse SAC-based St Bernard’s –A Team from 1949–52. (see photo) These were the glory days of the Priory Grounds, known as the Bahamas Mecca for basketball where night games were introduced. This is where organised basketball found its origins, where games were ruled by LeRoy and his mate Basil Sands who made up the unstoppable the backcourt tandem known as “the Great Mitchilli and Bazilli”.
• Mitchell was the National High Jump champion and record holder as performed at the Empire Games on Clifford Park, at Ft Charlotte.
• LeRoy was the Charter President of the Bahamas Volleyball Association where as SACA President Mitchell entered two teams in the league. These teams consisted of a mix of alumni and SAC upperclassmen. He captained and managed the first two men’s national volleyball teams that competed in the Jamaica Caribbean Championships and in Winnipeg Canada at the Pan Am Games.(see photo)
Under his presidency volleyball was introduced in the curriculum of Ministry of Education secondary schools and the and the Private high schools.
• Mitchell was the founding president of the SAC Alumni Association and he also served in other capacities such as chairman of fundraising, event planning and public relations.
Under his tenure in 1966, during what were renaissance times, where he served under the leadership of the first black Bahamian Prior of the Monastery, Fr Bonaventure Dean (see photo), both visionaries, the Blue Square Campus (lower campus), the school cafeteria and the SAC swimming pool and sports facility were built. This ushered in the amalgamation of SAC and Xavier’s College all girls, who formerly schooled at the hillside West Bay Street campus nestled East of Fort Charlotte, a school now known as Xavier’s Lower School.
LeRoy was a leader among leaders and he had a strong team of SAC men the likes of Basil Albury, Harold Longley, Winston “Tappy” Davis, Ed Carey, Leviticus Adderley, Sylvester Ramsey, Godfrey Symonette, Bill Cooper and Leonard “Skinny” Archer just to name a few.
• LeRoy also served as President of SAC PTA. Under his tenure many students were enabled to get to school via the Bahamas’ first New Providence-wide school bus service that operated from Coral Harbour. This was a financial game changer for many a family as this service provided safe student passage to and from school, economic relief for parents and mitigated traffic challenges of the day.
• LeRoy was the first president of the Ferguson Manor - Perpall Tract Neighborhood Association. The association was started in the mid-70s.
• He was the lead master of ceremony for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nassau - overseeing diocesan services including the Papal visit of St John Paul II to New Providence, Bahamas in 1979.
• LeRoy was inducted in the Hall of Fame both in the inaugural class of the Vince Ferguson lead Bahamas Amateur Basketball Association, and again in 2013 the Bahamas Ministry of Youth Sports & Culture for his multi-faceted sporting prowess and unselfish service in sports administration locally and on the international stage.
• He was president of the Savannah Sound Commonage Association in Eleuthera, the land of his mother’s birth.
• “LeRoy C” continued being a ray of hope in our community - illuminating all via the principles of Christianity imposed by his beloved aforementioned mentors in paying it forward and using the mantra “The Lord is My Light”, he too became “The Beacon” that lit the way as an inspiration and an exemplar to many.
• LeRoy Cleveland Peter Mitchell was the man’s man, a man for all seasons, a man of faith with works, indeed a nation builder ... He is that SAC Legend!
October is Toastmasters’ Month
• 9/30/23 - Joint Division Council Meeting will be held at AGOC Toastmasters Club (Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church) Hall on West Street North, this Saturday September 30, 2023 at 10am (see flyer attached).
• 10/1/23 – Division Church Service at HolyTrinity Anglican Church. Stapledon Gardens, Nassau, NP. Sunday October 1, 2023 at 9am.
• 10/1/23 – Division Luncheon at the Garden of Eden (after the church service).
More details of events will be shared during the month.