St. Joseph's Convent, St. Joseph
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St Joseph's Convent, St Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago, founded in 1870 was for many years a privately run school, providing religious education for children of primary and secondary ages. In the early years boarders (mainly Venezuelans) lived in the garret of the three-storey wooden building.
The school was founded and is run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny. The foundress was Anne-Marie Javouhey. The sisters' publicly professed vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and lived in community.
The earliest recorded Principals of the school were Sr. Anthony Eagney who retired in 1943 and Sr. Magdalen Mathieu from 1944 to 1946.
When Sr Mel Kenny took up the post of Principal in 1947, there were 75 children on roll, mainly from the St Joseph area. This enrolment increased annually, but especially in 1953 when the private Secondary School in Curepe was closed, and the Convent began to admit students from that area as well. There were 223 children on roll.
As the school was not yet registered, in December 1203, when two students were presented for the Cambridge School Certificate, they were entered at St Joseph's Convent, Port of Spain. In April 1954, the school was registered as a Private School with a student-body of 385.
In December 1955, the boarders' section of the school was closed for lack of personnel and in 1957 a new school was built to accommodate the increased numbers seeking admission. The school was formally blessed on 5 March by Archbishop Finbar Ryan and accorded the status of a Government-assisted Secondary School with Sr Mel Kenny as the first Principal.
Sr Theresa Corbie succeeded Sr Mel in 1963 and was followed by Sr Anne Marie Rodriguez in 1973, assisted by her Vice-Principal Mrs Thomasine Elie who had replaced Sr Anne Marie during her periods of absence form the school.
The school is dedicated to educating young women from first form to sixth form. Both the Lower and Upper 6th forms contain a few young men, primarily from Holy Cross College, its brother school, who are unable to complete their Advanced level education at Holy Cross College but male students from other schools are also accepted.
Previous principals of the school include, Mrs. Huggins,Sr Philip Geofroy who replaced Mrs. Hazel B Reis in late 2002.Mrs. Claire Norville took over as Acting Principal in 2006.
The Acting principal was Mrs. Mary Lochan who took over in mid-2007. The current principal is Mrs. Margot Guerrero who took over late-2015 and the vice-principal is Mrs. Linda Ali
The motto of Saint Joseph's Convent Saint Joseph is "Virtute et Labore" which translates to By valour and exertion. The motto is recognizes that all things can be achieved when one uses the two principles as guiding lights.
The school population is divided among four houses. Young women entering in Form 1 are placed into a house according to their place in the roll. The first person on the roll is placed in blue, the second in yellow, the third in red, and the fourth in green etc. Often, young women request the house in which a relative was a member while they attended SJCSJ.
Each house is led by a Captain and assisted by a Vice-Captain. There are also two young women who serve as Head Girl and Assistant Head Girl. Also introduced later on was Sports Captain and Assistant Sports Captain.
All captains and assistants would usually be in Form 6.
The four houses are:
- Mary Immaculate Queen - blue - often called MIQ. It is named for Mary, mother of Jesus of Nazareth
- Saint Joseph - yellow.
- Saint Maria Goretti - red - often called SMG or Maria Goretti.
- Blessed Anne Marie - green - often called BAM or Blessed Ann.
The school song is:
virtute et labore,
Our motto we sing with pride,
We’re loyal to Saint joseph,
With the Lord God as our guide
Saint Joseph’s Convent, Saint Joseph,
Upon a Hill we stay,
In Safe and Green surroundings,
Looking forward to Each Day,
Saint Joseph is our Patron,
Obedient, Kind and True,
And we too, want to live like him,
Let’s strive and start anew
We’re all here for a purpose,
To prepare for life,
To learn to live, to learn to love,
To deal with pain and strife
United all in friendship,
That’s how we’ll always be,
To show our true devotion,
For God and all to see
St. Joseph's Convent, St. Joseph, is the school of the Caribbean for CAPE 2012.