Samaritan Presbyterian School
Samaritan Church of Scotland School as it was named was a continuation of the mission to the East Indian communities of Samaritan, Diego Piece and Red Mud and was opened on May 26th 1889.
The school and the church housed together could not have happened without the leadership of Rev James Muir, Rev, James Rae who followed him and the dedication and hard work in raising funds and procuring materials from the East Indian communities. The land for the church/school was donated by Mr. George De Gale (Jaydoosingh) an East Indian from Samaritan.
As the communities in the area of the school increased there was a tremendous need for expansion of the existing building and in the Church of Scotland Magazine of October 1895 it mentions that the school received from the Government an addition to the school which was constructed at right angles to the original school. One of the architectural elements that was mentioned were the Gothic windows.
On September 22nd 1955 tragedy struck that community when the school and church were completely destroyed by Hurricane Janet which devastated the island.
After the hurricane the school and church operated out of the Seventh Day Adventist Church up until 1957 when Government assistance provided a new school building which exists today. The government returned the managing of the school to the Presbyterian Church which is the present arrangement. The school is not far from the church but is in Union St. Mark while the church is in Samaritan St. Patrick.
MacDonald College - Saltando Alta Petimus
With great concern for the need of a secondary school in the north end of the island, The Presbyterian Church under the leadership of Rev Dr. J.C. MacDonald established the first co-educational secondary school which opened on January 21st, 1963 in Marli, St. Patrick with 27 students. The aim was to provide a school with a high moral tone, a religious atmosphere and good teaching. The first Principal of the school was Mr.W.R.L. Friday.
The first permanent block building was in October of 1963. These beginnings were a result of much fund raising activities and generous donations from local firms and individuals. In 1965 and 1968 more buildings were added to complete the school as it is today.
During this time land was acquired adjacent to the college for a Manse which was built to accommodate the Vice Principal/Chaplain. Assistance for this came from the United Church in Canada.
In 1970, conflict brewed between the Government of Eric Gairy and the Administrative Committee of MacDonald College fuelled by Mr Friday's venture into politics but on the Opposition side. MacDonald College became the scapegoat and Government moved to take over the school and wretch it from the Presbyterian Church. Protests from the faculty , students and parents from MacDonald and from all over the country chided the Government over this decision and the school was returned to the Presbyterian Church. However, educational grants and proper staffing were denied to the school for 4 long years. The school struggled but was held together by aid from local and overseas sources.
In 1974 with the generous assistance of the United Church in Canada and CIDA ten acres of agricultural land adjoining the school was purchased and equipment supplied by The Rotary Club Grenada for a project in 'hands on' agriculture.
Many individuals and organisations must always be remembered for their faith, generosity and determination to establish MacDonald College.
Rev.Dr.J.C.MacDonald and the Founding Committee - Dudley Ferguson and Ferguson Estates ( purchase of the land for the College) - Ms. Jessie de Gale (the Science Building) - Individual Grenadians, Grenadian Businesses, Rotary Club Grenada - The United Church of Canada - CIDA - Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Grenada - Bread for the World( paid teacher's salaries for 4 years) - Dedication of the Principals and teachers of MacDonald (Mr. W.R.L. Friday)
W.R.L. Friday in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of MacDonald College said it best.
"MacDonald College was the dream of the church and became the product of toil and sweat; today-ten short years after-it is the pride of the Administrative Committee, Principal and staff and all those who administer and teach: it is the alma mater of hundreds of young men and women who have been nurtured within it; it is the envy of many who would wish to see it destroyed, but thank God, it remains the hope of the future and a beacon to those who seek excellence in all things, and will live on with its banner in maroon and grey fluttering above its ten acres of campus green reading boldly as it ever read:
SALTANDO ALTA PETIMUS
The Belair School
The roots of the Belair Presbyterian Church of Scotland School as it was originally named followed in the same manner as the Samaritan Presbyterian Church of Scotland School. Rev. Mitchell was the guiding force in the early days up to 1869 and then Rev Muir took over followed by Rev Rae. There is no record of buildings until the late 1800's. However, they would have had meeting places because the mission was active. These most likely would have have been in the boucans of the estates.
In 1891,with the lands donated by the Guyadeen Family a wooden building with shutters on the windows was built and became the school as well as the church. A later structure was built about 200 yards away from this one.
In 1951, a new school was built and that is when the Belair Church of Scotland School became the Belair Government School. The Government took over the school. Why? It appears from the records that The Kirk was going through some difficult times of restructuring its support system since the Church of Scotland had withdrawn its support due to a lack of ministers to send to the church in Grenada. The Government would probably have financed the building of the school but perhaps it was decided at that juncture to pass on the complete responsibility to the Government. The school which was built about a mile down the road close to the Moya junction is located high above the main road and has a panoramic view of the whole area. There is a huge flat playing field to the far end of the school building where football and/or cricket would be played. The school is a long two storied building and was reconstructed after Ivan destroyed the one that had been built in 1951 and which had unfortunately been renovated before Ivan. They moved into their new school in 2005.