Inauguration Ceremonies Held for St. Peter's College

Left to right: Frank Nunez, founder of the school; Patty Arceo, J.P.; Mayor Manuel Heredia, Jr. J.P.; Mark Cuellar, The Hon. Elodio Aragon and Louis Sylvestre
Friday, 20th December, 1996 marked a historical day for San Pedro Town as the founders, teachers, supporters, and students of St. Peters College, the newly opened night high school for adults, held an inauguration ceremony at the Town Hall.

Present at the ceremony were Louis Sylvestre UDP Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural South, Patty Arceo PUP Standard Bearer for Belize Rural South , Mark Cuellar, Lucio Guerrero, Frank Nunez, His Worship Manuel Heredia Jr., Mayor of San Pedro Town, Honorable Elodio Aragon Minister of Education, board members, students and invited quests. Mr. Cuellar was the Master of Ceremonies and opened the ceremony by expressing how happy he was to be a part of this wonderful step forward in education for San Pedro Town and commended Mr. Frank Nunez on his hard work and determination. Mr. Lucio Guerrero, a lay minister, opened with a prayer of blessing and then the national anthem was played.

Mayor Heredia was the first to speak and in his short address, adamantly expressed how proud he was of Mr. Nunez for developing an adult high school. "An adult high school has been long overdue. Mr. Nunez, I wish you the best in your endeavors."

M.C. Cuellar before introducing Mr. Nunez, said, "25 years ago St. Peter's College was a dream, now it is a reality. In 71 a dream, a success in 1996."

Mr. Nunez graciously welcomed the assembly and the honourable guests. In his speech he talked of his dreams and hopes for St. Peter's College and gave a brief rundown of the school's status. "Enrollment in 1st Form 21 students, 2nd Form 6 students and in 3rd From 15 students, totaling 42 students. There are seven well trained teachers on the staff. The curriculum that the College is following is the same as St. John's College and the text books are similar. Subjects that are being taught are: mathematics, English language, English literature, Belizean history, science, Spanish and business subjects such as office procedures and accounting. There are 13 people on the board of directors."

Mr. Nunez went on to list the names of these people, here are a few: Patty Arceo, Elvia Staines, His Worship Manuel Heredia Jr. Mayor of San Pedro Town, Gach Guerrero, Alex Nunez the principal of St. Peter's College, Mr. Mark Cuellar the chairman of the board and Mr. Frank Nunez. Mr. Nunez in conclusion said, "Thanks to the people of San Pedro for their support and confidence in me. We will not stop here. In the future I see a Sixth Form for San Pedro Town."

Honorable Elodio Aragon, Minister of Education, opened his address by mentioning his recent visits to San Pedro Town and the good people he met. He stressed the importance of a good education especially in San Pedro where the tourism industry is in demand of well rounded and educated people. "Education is the most important thing in a country and the main responsibility of a government is to educate the people of their country. Education doesn't see the colour of skin; who's black or white. Education doesn't see religion; who's Catholic or who is Protestant. Education doesn't see who is UDP and who is PUP. Education cuts across those barriers. Politics affect a lot of things in this country, one of which is education. Education helps us to empower the people and to develop the nation. It annoys me when I hear that politics are mixed with education. We should all join hands to make education work in this country. Education has suffered because it has been said that government controls education. We are decentralizing education. We are making drastic changes. This year we will do all we can to make the changes, to better the situation. The community must work together to better education in the country. We must share the responsibility. We must share it. Join hands for one simple goal - to educate the country. If we are educated we learn to appreciate life and each other. It is a second opportunity, Mr. Nunez said that these people are getting. A second chance to empower themselves. These adults should say, 'Yes! Education is important, so I will do all I can!.' Let us put our hands together for Mr. Nunez. I personally congratulate him. This is what we want people to do. His vision is to have a Sixth Form for San Pedro Town. It is a good thing when these ideas become a reality. This community should give him their support. What is truly beautiful about this is the motivation behind it. In the past children did not succeed because they were dunces, but because they were not motivated. You can never stop a child from learning once he is motivated. I hope you can continue with courage and stamina. Continue to move forward in education. I wish you the best and if I don't see you all before Christmas, I wish you the best for the New Year."

Louis Sylvestre in his address said that a person is never too old to learn and that children and adults must seize the opportunity to educate themselves. He commended Mr. Nunez on the realization of his dreams and his vision. In the middle of his address he said, "We will be donating $1,000.00 towards St. Peter's College to give you a start. It is good to think of the future, about trying to acquire a piece of land where St. Peter's can be expanded to even having a pre-school. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with health and wealth."

Patty Arceo closed by congratulating Mr. Nunez and commented on the growth of San Pedro and the need for highly educated people. "We know how to sweep the streets and rake the pathways, and that is good but we don't want to do that all our lives. We want to be role models for our children." Ms. Arceo said she was happy and proud of Mr. Nunez's accomplishment. She wished every one a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.




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