Boarding schools or Hostels come in many forms. One form may cater to the whole school population where the students are all boarders. In another form, such schools may cater only to so-called “difficult” kids. The GBSS Hostel was the boarding arm of a secondary school providing a home for rural boys, a very small percentage of its full population. Whatever the format, boarding schools have generally been renowned for their positive impact on personality development and outcomes.
The book is about recognition, and about saying ‘Thanks’ for an educational and life experience at the Grenada Boys Secondary School Hostel in which I, the author and others were grounded during our adolescent lives. The book is also about sharing a piece of Grenada’s educational history with current generations, another taste, as it were, of Grenada and the Caribbean.
The Hostel was ‘Grenada’s best kept educational secret’, shining in academic performance as well as in Sports; and with its boys moving on to excel in their various chosen work disciplines. The key to Hostel life was discipline – in study, in play, and in other aspects of social life. The relationship to Hostel obligations was without a baggage of written rules. The Hostel had only one written rule: ‘A breach of common sense is a breach of Hostel rules’.
The Hostel experience was one which provided the boys with opportunities with which they could purify their own ‘base metals’ into ‘polished gems’. The personal development process was one “of character and personalities unfurling under the offerings of the Hostel. I found a natural comparison in what happens with a nutmeg tree, no stranger to Grenada, as it reveals its treasures of nutmeg and mace. The tree bears a pod which is closed and green when immature. If the pod and its contents are no good, it wrinkles while green and falls to the ground where everything rots. As pods mature they grow in size, they turn yellow and progressively split in two halves to reveal bright red mace ensconced on a dark shiny nut. The open pods then fall to the ground from where they are picked up and another journey begins. Such was my Hostel experience”. The comparison is immortalized in the words of one Hostel Boy, Leon Wells (d): “So many of us came to the Hostel as brash, crude, `ignorant’, unhewn base metals, and left as polished gems.”
So, WELCOME to My Boarding School Blog, offering an opportunity to discuss issues related to the GBSS Hostel, and indeed to the impact of boarding schools all over the world.