Fatima College

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Fatima College
Fatima College Trinidad.jpg
Nitendo Vinces
(By striving we shall conquer)
Location
Mucurapo Road
Port of Spain

Trinidad and Tobago
Information
Type Male secondary school
Established 1945
Principal Fr Gregory Augustine
Enrollment 895 (in 2006)
Color(s) Royal blue, Yellow
Affiliation Roman Catholic Church
Website

Fatima College is a government-assisted, highly selective Roman Catholic boys' secondary school in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. It was established in 1945 and had an enrollment of 895 students as of 2006. The school was established and is run by the Holy Ghost Fathers, an international Roman Catholic religious community. Because of its academic reputation, consistent historical performance in national exams, and notable alumni, Fatima is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious secondary institutions in the nation.

History[edit]

The College of Our Lady of Fatima began under humble circumstances on the compound of St. Theresa's Intermediate School on 1 January 1945. The pioneering members of staff were Fr John Byrne, Michael McCarthy (prefect) and Andy Cockburn (a layman who is now a priest). The association with St Theresa's began with Parish Priest Fr Francis Flavin, OP. who first recognized the need for an additional Catholic college in North Trinidad. Work on the present site began in February under the supervision of Fr Byrne. In September 1945 classes shifted from St Theresa's, and on 1 December 1945, Archbishop Ryan formally blessed and opened this new College dedicated to our Lady of Fatima.

Fr Byrne retired in 1955 after overseeing the building of the Eastern and Western wings, the diversion of the Maraval River to accommodate the Assembly Hall, the construction of the chapel and three classrooms. Fr James Ryan succeeded him and developed the academic structures and systems of the College. He guided Fatima through the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1960s Fatima designed its own uniform, held its own sports meeting, defeated C.I.C. to win its first InterCol final in 1965 with the inspirational Gally Cummings and launched its own Old Boys Union. Fr Gevias Girod joined Fatima in 1965, took charge of the Scouts and organized the first May Fair (or May Fayre) in 1966.

The 1970s witnessed many social changes in the country. Fatima led the way with the almost inevitable transfer from clerical to lay control with the appointment of Clive Pantin as principal in 1972. Fr Farfan, local Holy Ghost Father, was appointed Vice Principal and these two dynamic individuals directed Fatima through the 1970s with many innovative changes. The production of a well-rounded individual dominated Fatima's philosophy. The periods were characterized by the building of the Audio-Visual Center, Library, new classrooms, Cafeteria, Workshops and curriculum and class changes. Streaming was abandoned in the lower forms and students were now placed in alphabetical order. The concept of free choice of subjects was introduced from Form Four. The curriculum was diversified to include Art, Physical Education, Industrial Art, Technical Drawing, Accounts and Commerce.

Daphne Heywood and Jeanette Zakour joined the staff in 1973, the first women in the traditionally male-dominated institution. Fatima won InterCol for the second time in 1979 while Eugene Joseph and Roger Hernandez became our first Island Scholars in 1976. Fatima was now one of the leading institution in the country, a model of academic and sporting prowess, catering to the needs of every pupil.

Clive Pantin retired in 1981, having served Fatima as Dean, Senior Dean, Senior Lay Master, Cricket and Football Coach, Vice Principal and Principal. He was succeeded by Mervyn Moore who joined the staff in 1959. He recognized the worth of his staff and allowed them the freedom to use their initiative. Just about every individual was assigned some responsibility and brought into the organizational structure of the school.

At the function to welcome him as the new Principal, Mr Moore declared his priorities - the Catholic identity of the school, the rise in academic standards, the fostering of the family spirit and the continued production of well-rounded individuals. A Monday assembly was started to set the right tone for the week. A streamed class was introduced in Form Three as it was felt that Fatima did not adequately encourage the more gifted pupils to excel. Music was introduced to the curriculum with the arrival of Myrtle Cumberbatch.

Fatima published its first Annual in 1982; Kieron James won the President's Medal in the same year, a first for Fatima. Kyle Rudden repeated the feat in 1984. In 1984, thanks to Republic Bank, the Computer Lab was officially opened under the direction of Fr DeFour. In 1988, the new Science Wing was constructed, the Library extended and a new classroom built. This was funded by Robert Amar in memory of his businessman father, Boland Amar (Amar Group of Companies). In the 1980s the lay teachers got more involved in the teaching of Religion with the departure of many priests who has served Fatima faithfully throughout the years. Vice-Principal Anne Gomes-Phillips, a layperson, assumed responsibility for Religion Education (R.E.) to develop the Catholic identity of the school.

The nineties saw the addition of two new faces to the administration of the school, Bernard Tappin as Vice Principal in 1991 and Fr Gregory Augustine, a Fatima alumnus, as manager in 1992. The dress uniform was reintroduced in 1995 to coincide with our fiftieth Anniversary celebrations. The Support Group, Fatima and Friends 2000, was formed to give way to a more broad based Parent Support Group a few years later.

Sports include Football, Rugby, Swimming, Basketball, Table Tennis, Hockey, and Cricket. Fatima boys are now excelling in a wide range of activities - Chess, Scrabble, Math Olympiad, Public Speaking, Essay Writing Competitions, Poetry, Model United Nations, Junior Soca Monarch, RBTT Young Leaders and Swimming. Our choir is a source of pride, excelling repeatedly at the biennial T&T Music Festival, whilst our Form Six boys undertake social projects with the Credo Center and the Princess Elizabeth Home. Our Scout Troop is on its way to being ranked once more as one of the best in the country.The leadership mantle has been handed over to Mr Anthony Garcia. He is working very closely with Vice-Principal, Anne Gomes-Phillips and the Manager Fr Gregory Augustine in the shaping of Fatima's future. They have inherited a highly professional staff, very committed to Fatima. They have sought to build on Fatima's strength and improve on any areas of weaknesses.

Mr Garcia took pre-retirement leave on 12 December 2008 and finally retired on 26 March 2009. Fr Gregory Augustine is currently the Principal.

Notable alumni[edit]

Fatima College House System[edit]

In the 2009-2010 academic year, Fr. Gregory Augustine introduced a new house System. On the premise of emphasizing the strong Roman Catholic identity on which the college is founded, the six houses (Ryan, Byrne, Corcoran, Stewart, Craigwell and Archbishop) were disbanded and four new houses introduced based on the four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The membership of the houses is based on one's class assignment at the Form 1 level. As a result on entry into Fatima College, the students of 1-1 are placed in St. Matthew; 1-2, St. Mark; 1-3, St. Luke and 1-4, St. John. A student remains in his house for the duration of his stay at the college. When the new house system began, in order to avoid any confusion in the then Upper School (as there are 5 groups of Forms 4 and 5 and 2 groups of Lower 6 and Upper 6) the boys were placed in the houses based on the class to which they were assigned in Form 3. The signature colour of each House is as follows:

  • St. Matthew - Golden Yellow
  • St. Mark - Green
  • St. Luke - Red
  • St. John - Royal Blue

The House Leaders[edit]

On the premise of fostering strong male figures as role-models for the students, four younger, male staff members were appointed as the house leaders: St. Matthew- Mr. Stefan de Gale St. Mark - Mr. Arthur Thompson St. Luke - Mr. Maurice White St. John - Mr. Kwasi Noel

These four remained in the position of House Leader from September 2009 to September 2012.

Sports Season 2012-2013[edit]

At the start of the 2012-2013 academic year, it was revealed that Mr. Shad Seaton would replace Mr. Thompson as leader of St. Mark and Mr. Noel, having requested a brief sabbatical owing to further studies, was replaced by Ms. Kelly-Ann Bedase who would act as leader of St. John for the school year.

The 2012-2013 leadership line-up was as follows:

House Captains[edit]

As important to the house system as the house leaders are the house captains which is a position of prestige among the Fatima College prefect body. The house captains form part of the prefect council which is composed of the head prefect, three deputy prefects, the four house captains and seniors prefects.

The position of house captain was not created until the 2010-2011 academic year. The very first house captains were as follows:

  • St. Matthew - Davon Romany (later replaced by a co-captaincy of Andrew Charles and Mickel Campbell)
  • St. Mark - Jose Gonsalves
  • St. Luke - Kevin Lee-A-Ping
  • St. John - Jaemeel Scott (later replaced by Davon Romany)

As the House System continued to grow, the position of House Captain has grown in prestige with the following students having the singular honour of holding the esteemed title:

2011-2012:

  • St. Matthew - Mickel Caraby
  • St. Mark - Michael James
  • St. Luke - Damani Joseph
  • St. John - Yehudi Walters

2012-2013:

  • St. Matthew - Varun Bairosingh
  • St. Mark - Kelvin Hosam
  • St. Luke - Jameel Phillip
  • St. John - Lemuel Scott

2013-2014:

  • St. Matthew - Leland Archer
  • St. Mark - Joshua Gouveia
  • St. Luke - Alexander Prevatt
  • St. John - Mikel Worrell

2014-2015:

  • St. Matthew - Dillon Abraham
  • St. Mark - Dominic Henderson
  • St. Luke - Justin Joseph
  • St. John - Jonathan Uddenberg

The Annual 5K & Sports Day (the first FOUR years)[edit]

Under the coordination of Mr. Joel Greene and Mr. Laurence Mc Master, the college has hosted four successful 5K runs and Sports Day meetings. The results of these events are as follows:

5K

  • 2009-10 John
  • 2010-11 John
  • 2011-12 John
  • 2012-13 John

Sports Day

  • 2009-10 Luke
  • 2010-11 John
  • 2011-12 Luke
  • 2012-13 John

Sports Season 2013-2014[edit]

The 2013-2014 academic year saw the addition of Mr. Richard Mason as Fatima College's new Physical Education teacher and the third addition to Sports/House System Management Team. Mr. Kwasi Noel officially resumed duties as leader of St. John. On Saturday 16 November, the college hosted it's extremely successful 5th Annual 5K. After it's four-year winning streak, St. John was defeated in the 5K. The final results were:

  • 1st - Luke
  • 2nd - Mark
  • 3rd - Matthew
  • 4th - John

Following the 5K, the Sports Season 2013-2014 continued with the Pre-Sports events in Term II. Along with the points earned at the 5K, the places before the Sports Day were as follows:

  • 1st - St. Luke [1st place Basketball] - 76 points TOTAL
  • 2nd - St. Mark [1st place Junior Cricket] - 72 points TOTAL
  • 3rd - St. Matthew [1st place Junior Football; 1st place Tagby] - 56 points TOTAL
  • 4th - St. John [1st place Senior Football; 1st place Senior Cricket] - 40 points TOTAL

Sports Day 2014 was held on Friday 21 February 2014. In a fiercely contested competition, the places based on the events of the day's events were as follows:

  • 1st - St. Matthew - 112 points TOTAL
  • 2nd - St. John - 84 points TOTAL
  • 3rd - St. Luke - 74 points TOTAL
  • 4th - St. Mark - 72 points TOTAL

The Tug-of-War final was held on the Sports Day which saw St. John taking the Junior category as well as the Senior category although, especially in the Senior category, St. Matthew valiantly held its ground which resulted in a true stand-off between the two houses. In the end however the final results saw St. John losing its 2012-2013 Title and earning 4th (last) place; St. Mark retaining its place as 3rd; St. Luke retaining its place as 2nd and in a history making performance, St. Matthew winning the Sports Season for the first time.

New House System 5K Results[edit]

  • Nov 2009 - St. John
  • Nov 2010 - St. John
  • Nov 2011 - St. John
  • Nov 2012 - St. John
  • Nov 2013 - St. Luke
  • Nov 2014 - St. Mark

New House System Sports Day Results[edit]

  • 2010 - St. Luke (winners); St. Matthew (2nd); St. John (3rd); St. Mark (4th)
  • 2011 - St. John (winners); St. Luke (2nd); St. Matthew (3rd); St. Mark (4th)
  • 2012 - St. Luke (winners); St. Matthew (2nd); St. John (3rd); St. Mark (4th)
  • 2013 - St. John (winners); St. Luke (2nd); St. Mark (3rd); St. Matthew (4th)
  • 2014 - St. Matthew (winners); St. Luke (2nd); St. Mark (3rd); St. John (4th)

The Prefect System[edit]

Head Prefects[edit]

  • 2014 - Gregorio Felician
  • 2013 - William Ward
  • 2012 - Stephen Yearwood-Davidson
  • 2011 - Chad Wallace
  • 2010 - Keiva Yearwood-Mitchell
  • 2009 - Daniel Francis

Gifts of Blue & Gold[edit]

Although a relatively new tradition at Fatima College, Gifts of Blue & Gold, often called GOBAG for short, has grown into a significant event on the College’s school calendar. Originating in November 2009, the concert was organized as a fundraiser for the Form 5 Graduation of the class of 2010. In addition, it was an opportunity to showcase the talented students of the college, creating a space to celebrate those "gifted" in the various performing arts of music, dance and drama. The production’s title is of course metaphorical. Given the fact that blue and gold are the primordial colours of the college, the concert seeks to highlight that the boys of Fatima College are gifted and more so, are themselves "gifts" to us all. Over the years the students, teachers and parents of Fatima College witnessed the growth of a production which year after year seems not only to maintain a high standard, but also surprises the audience. An important aspect of the Gifts of Blue & Gold concert series is the "guest star" role played by the girls of the Holy Name Convent Choir. It is hoped that this production will be staged for many years to come. It represents the work and dedication of many stakeholders of our great institution and without a doubt, it is a source of pride for anyone associated with Fatima College.

Gifts of Blue & Gold (the FIRST concert)[edit]

Gifts of Blue & Gold II[edit]

Gifts of Blue & Gold III[edit]

Gifts of Blue & Gold IV[edit]

Gifts of Blue & Gold V[edit]

Gifts of Blue & Gold VI[edit]

Gifts of Blue & Gold VII[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

College Song[edit]

Fatima Boys,
Come answer to the call,
From far and wide.
Shoulder to shoulder,
Ever marching on,
God be our guide.
Fearless and true,
Loyal to You.
O Alma Mater,
Firmly One.
Strive On Fatima Boys,
Strive On!

Sources[edit]