Queen's Royal College
|Queen's Royal College|
Queen's Park West
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
|Type||Male secondary school|
|Motto||Certant Omnes Sed Non Omnibus Palmam|
("All strive, but the prize is not for all")
|Enrollment||Approximately 725 (in 2010)|
|Affiliation||Government of Trinidad & Tobago|
Queen's Royal College, referred to for short as QRC, or "The College" by alumni, is the second oldest secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago and is still regarded as the country's bastion of secondary-school education. The college is noted for its famous German Renaissance architecture and tradition of multi-faceted education, which continues to produce some of Trinidad and Tobago's leading thinkers, athletes, artists and politicians.
The origin of QRC goes back to the Stuart Grammar School, at the corner of Duke and Edward Street in Port of Spain, whose Principal was Edward Stuart. In 1859, when a new "collegiate school" was being contemplated, Stuart was invited by the colonial government to be part of the enterprise. The Queen's Collegiate School opened later that year opposite what is now Lord Harris Square, then known as Billiards Orchard.
The intention was, as Governor Arthur Hamilton-Gordon told the Legislative Council in 1870, "that its advantages should be open to those of every race and every religion, and that the education given should be of a decidedly superior character."
In 1870, the school became the Queen's Royal College and was housed in the supper room of the Prince's Building.
When the Government Farm moved from St Clair in 1899, part of the land was reserved as a new home for QRC through the intervention of acting Governor Sir Micah Fields.
The school, referred to in those days as Royal College, had 120 pupils, who did not wear a uniform but had to wear a hat or cap bearing the college crest. They learned algebra, geometry, arithmetic, Latin, French, English, geography, history and Greek or Spanish.
Today in Queen's Royal College uniforms are worn, as at almost all government schools, and QRC projects and involvements usually involve a blue theme, due to the well-known uniform of blue shirtjack and long khaki pants. In 2009, the school implemented a new uniform for formal occasions as existed in the past. Its principal is David Simon.
Architecture and history of main block The foundation stone was laid on 11 November 1902 by Courtney Knollys, who was the acting Governor of the day. The structure was designed by Daniel M. Hahn, who was Chief Draughtsman of the Public Work Department and an Old Boy of Queen's Royal College, during the period when the school was housed at the Princess Building. The architecture of the building is German Renaissance in style, evident by the solid appearance. Constructed at a cost of 15000 British pounds, the original building accommodated six classes for 30 boys each. The lecture hall could hold over five hundred persons at a time.
Notwithstanding the German origin of the plan, a legacy perhaps of Mr Hahn's student days in Berlin, the design of the interior is very definitely tropical with a delightfully aristocratic touch from the days when European school architecture was austere. QRC was not free at some point but after a couple years it became free.
The main building itself is one of the Magnificent Seven, a group of historic buildings built in the early 1900s. The North and South buildings, known as the North Block and Science Block respectively, were built during the late 1930s. Later came the West Block, and every student, past and present, will remember the controversial "painting pink" of the block. The school has its own pavilion and cafeteria, both located on the edge of its spacious field, used in all seasons for various sports. The school in standings is the best nationally and regarded as the best as well by most citizens.
Sons of this Royal School, rejoice;
Bless the day when each did hear
Our Fair Mother's gentle voice
Come and whisper to the ear
"The College is thine."
Not to all the palm of knowledge
Nor to the most the fame of glory;
But the youngest of the College
Can add this to his life's story
"The college is mine."
When we've left the halls of learning
And shall tread Life's sterner way,
Though we mourn our youth with yearning
Still we claim the right to say
"The College is mine."
If we've learnt what masters taught
Or to work or play or sing,
And have thence a vision caught,
This our school to God we bring,
"The College is Thine."
Queen's Royal College as a secondary school in Trinidad & Tobago consists of classes from Form One through Form Six. The school can be termed a "seven-year" school but qualification into Form Six is based on the student's performance at the CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) examinations. Classes are categorized by name according to the word "ROYAL" but excludes the letter "A" perhaps due to the stigma of an "A" and the negative effects of a stratified class system based on student academic performance. Form One consists of three classes, 1R, 1O and 1Y whereas, Forms 2 through 5 consists of xR, xO, xY and xL where x represents the class number. External students can also gain access into the Sixth Form Level based on their qualifications and other academic factors. On average, up to ten external students enter the Sixth Form level per year.
Subjects offered at Form Six level
The following subjects applies to both Lower Six (year one) and Upper Six (year two). Subjects are usually divided into Unit 1 and Unit 2 with the exclusion of Caribbean Studies which is usually assigned to the first year in Form Six or Lower Six and Communication Studies to the second year in Form Six or Upper Six. All subjects are of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) format and students are allowed to do a minimum of four subjects, but exceptions are sometimes accepted.
As of July 2012
- Art and Design
- Literature in English
- Sociology (offered as a Modern subject although it is a Science)
- Caribbean Studies
- Communication Studies
Active groups and extra-curricular activities
- Scuba Diving
- Table tennis
- Water polo
- Track & Field
- Dragonboat racing
- Steel Pan
Other extra-curricular groups
- QRC Students' Affairs Initiative (QRC SAI - Student Government)
- Leadership 2020
- RBTT Young Leaders (debating)
- Key Club International
- Catholic-Christian Students' Movement (CCSM)
- Inter-School Christian Fellowship (ISCF)
- QRC Scouts [http://www.qrcscouts.org Queen's Royal College Scouts Online.
- The Blueprint newspaper
- Alpha Company, Trinidad & Tobago Cadet Force (TTCF)
- Queen's Royal College New Boys' Association
- QRC Hindu Society
- Clive Abdulah - former Bishop of Trinidad.
- Lloyd Best - economist, essayist, politician, scholar. Founder of the "Plantation school" of economics.
- Ralph de Boissière - novelist.
- Marc Burns- athlete and 2008 Olympic medallist - 4x100m relay.
- Rudranath Capildeo- mathematician, politician.
- Dr E. F. Gordon - physician and labour leader in Bermuda.
- Jehue Gordon - track and field athlete.
- Boscoe Holder - artist, dancer and choreographer.
- Geoffrey Holder - actor and dancer.
- Darcus Howe - broadcaster, writer and civil liberties campaigner.
- Karl Hudson-Phillips - jurist, politician; former judge of the International Criminal Court and former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.
- C. L. R. James - pre-eminent Caribbean philosopher, historian, novelist, essayist, political theorist and cricket writer. James writes about his schooldays at QRC in his classic cricket memoir Beyond a Boundary (1963).
- Ian McDonald - Guyana-based writer.
- Kynaston McShine - museum curator. Recognized as the first person of color at a major American museum.
- Peter Minshall - artist, Trinidad carnival masman, designer of opening ceremony for the Olympic Games of Atlanta 1996, Emmy Award-winner.
- Wendell Mottley - 1964 Olympic silver medallist and politician; former Minister of Finance.
- Deryck Murray - West Indian wicket-keeper in cricket.
- Shiva Naipaul - novelist and journalist.
- Sir Vidia Naipaul - Nobel Prize–winning author. QRC is memorialised in his masterpiece novel A House for Mr. Biswas (1961).
- George Maxwell Richards - engineer, academician, former President of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Richard Thompson - athlete and 2008 Olympic medallist - 100m; 4x100m relay.
- Air Vice-Marshal Claude McClean Vincent - Royal Air Force officer.
- Eric A. Williams - geologist, former politician and Minister of Energy.
- Eric Eustace Williams - historian, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Other extra-curricular groups
- Queen's Royal College Alumni Mailing list
- Queen's Royal College Online
- Queen's Royal College Scouts Online
- Caribbean Examinations Council Site
- George Alleyne, "QRC celebrates 150 years", Newsday, 8 April 2009.
- "Queen's Royal College Staff Listing". Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- C.L.R. James, Chapter 2, "Against the Current", Beyond a Boundary.
- Smith, Roberta (2018). "Kynaston McShine, Curator of Historic Art Exhibitions, Dies at 82". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
- Sir Vidia cherishes school days Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday, 16 April 2007.