December 19, 2013 – Providence, The Bahamas…Andrew Burrows/IAD Staff
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Bahamas recently celebrated the official opening of its new campus in southern New Providence as a testament of the secondary school’s presence on the island since 1912. Church leaders, educators and government officials took part in the centennial ceremony activities throughout the island.
Minister of Education of the Bahamas Mr. Jerome Fitzgerald spoke on behalf of Prime Minister Perry Christie commending the Adventist Church for 100 years of quality education in The Bahamas.
“We must accept that the opening of the New Bahamas Academy is more than an opening of a school; it is a commitment to God. Through it, God’s people will be empowered with knowledge to serve Him, experience self-determination and live a better quality of life,” Minister Fitzgerald stated.
Also, in highlighting the role of Dr. Hugh Roach who was the first Bahamian principal to lead the Bahamas Academy, Minister Fitzgerald said he was happy that the veteran educator was present to witness this historic achievement. He added that under Dr. Roach’s leadership, the school moved from a mere one hundred students to six hundred.
“Bahamas Academy’s reputation for excellence, character building, discipline and high academic standards under-girded by Christian principles and love for God was cemented during Pastor Roach’s tenure,” the Minister stated.
President of Northern Caribbean University, Dr. Trevor Gardener, delivered the keynote address while the oldest living alumni, Mrs. Elizabeth Moses, executed the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon. Special tributes were made to Dr. Leonard Johnson, former board chairman and president of the church in the Atlantic Caribbean Union which oversees The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos, and Mr. Winston Ash, former president of the Volunteer Bahamas Adventist for their outstanding contributions to the actualization and overseeing the construction of the new campus.
Bahamas Academy is the largest Seventh-day Adventist educational institution in the Atlantic Caribbean Union with a student enrollment of just over 900 in three divisions: The early center, the elementary division and secondary division. During the first 35 years of its existence, the school was primarily an elementary school with various locations in New Providence. An additional campus was built in 2005 as the school outgrew its facilities on the Wulff Road Campus. Later in 2011, a new campus for its elementary and secondary school was built a few miles away on Marshall Road in New Providence.