This year, Berbice High School (BHS) is gearing for its 100th anniversary. The school which has been the premier educational institution in the Ancient County opened its door on September 5, 1916.
At its inception Berbice High School was a Boys’ School started with an enrolment of nine students. The school was established in a modest way on the ground floor of the residence of Rev. J. A. Scrimgeour. Mr. C.A.Pugsley was the first headmaster and the person who laid the foundation for the instructional programme of the school.
From its humble beginnings with only nine students, BHS grew until there was need for a separate building. This project was greeted with great enthusiasm by citizens of New Amsterdam and the government of British Guiana.
With the generosity of the government and the public, the first section of the new building was opened in February 1918. Work continued on this project and in 1920 the building known as the ‘boys building’ was completed.
The success of this venture was so encouraging that the Canadian Mission Council of the Presbyterian Church of Canada established a school for girls. It was housed in the lower flat of the Missionary residence and was under the charge of Ms. McLeod, wife of the Minister.
There were now two schools, one for boys and the other for girls.
The boys school was housed in the ‘boys building’ and the girls were housed in what became known as the brick building. The two schools continued their separate existence until 1924 when the fourth form students began studying together for the Cambridge Junior and Senior Certificate Examinations.
In 1941 the two schools were completely amalgamated with an enrollment of 190 pupils, and the school became known as Berbice High School.
Berbice High School was handed over to the government of Guyana in 1966, at the time the enrollment had reached 741 pupils.
With an outstanding record of excellence, the school boasts a proud history of producing some of the finest sons and daughters of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
Many of its alumni held and continue to hold prominent positions in the Judiciary, Government, Public Service, the Legal and Medical professions, Business, Trade and Industry.
As an institution, the school has risen from its humble beginnings to become the premier high school in Berbice. It compares its achievements with many of the top secondary schools in the country. The school’s motto is Carpe Diem- Seize the moment.
BY KAIETEUR NEWS