Friday, 22 April 2011

80 and Going Strong

Haywood Mission Institute Celebrates 80th Gala Anniversary….

The Haywood Mission Institute, located on the Old Road in Monrovia yesterday April 21 celebrated its 80th gala anniversary with pomp and pageantry.
Bishop Leo M. Simpson, Principal of the Institute put the cost of the anniversary celebration at half a million (L$0.5m) Liberian dollars, which was contributed by the students through fees paid to the institution.
Says Rev. Simpson: “To have young people coming up to prepare an event so well is quite impressive. We are teaching them to be responsible for the future”.
Dressed in a white T-shirt and blue skirt, Apu Siah Kolo, a senior student at Haywood, says the institution is one that encourages students to learn how to read and write. “At HMI we are thought to be active and to be good role models in class and beyond,” she boasted.
The 12th grader was jubilant as her class won second place--- next to the 11th graders who won first place in an eating competition. She indicated that the 80th anniversary of the school means a lot not only to her, but also the entire school.
“I have attended this school since I was in the 5th grade and I am happy to be in the 12th grade and be actively participating in another anniversary,” she added.
 The 19 years old averred that this year’s event was more of a competition, where students from each division decorated their class room, prepared various kinds of food and dressed in special attires, while judges came and decided the winners of the various competitions.
 Brief History of HMI
The HMI was founded in 1931 by a naturalized Liberian, Mrs. M.C. Bennette. Bennette was a free slave who managed to return home to establish what is today known as the Haywood Mission Institute. The institution has molded the minds of minds Liberians for the last past 80 years.
The school was named in honor of Bishop G. T. Haywood, a renowned American Negro Minister of the Gospel who devoted his life to the welfare of humanity. He died on April 12, 1931.

The Anniversary
According to Bishop Leo M. Simpson the event is a yearly tradition, but events of this year were organized by the students themselves.

Rev. Simpson: “The essence of the exercise is to establish interpersonal-relationships, eating and teaching the young people social responsibility”.
Konah D. Robert, sponsor of the 12th grade class, said the gala anniversary was a special celebration, because the students put their limited resources together and this resulted to a great event worth celebrating. He said the event was one of the best ever.
In spite of of the celebrations, he said the students are still committed to their lessons, especially the 12th graders, in preparation of the pending West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams.
“We tell our students to dress properly, no long mouth school, we train our students moral discipline because this school is a Christian school,” Roberts said.
The anniversary celebration was climaxed with an indoor program attended by Liberians from all walks of life.