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On Thursday of this week, the National Scholarship Award for the best CXC student was presented to Miss Angelina Outar of President's College who received a financial incentive as well as a plaque. Her name and photograph have now been added to the names and photographs of the other National Awardees. She will also be allowed to keep the plaque until another student wins it.
That function was held at the Conference Hall of the National Library, Church and Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown. The National Scholarship for the best CXC student is administered by the Ministry of Education on the basis of academic performance, as well as community outreach. The award is open to senior Secondary Schools in Guyana.
The five Anne Blue awardees are Best Second-Year Law student, University of Guyana (UG), Ayana McCalman; and other second-year Law students Shoshanna Lall and Jenelle Archer; Bishop’s High School student, Vanessa McAdam; and St. Gabriel’s Primary pupil, Troy Nurse.
In addition to her monetary incentive, Miss McAdam, the best CXC student of Bishop's High School, won for her school, a plaque to which her name and photograph will be added this time round.
An elated Head Mistress of Bishop's, Mrs. Elizabeth Isaacs Walcott, remarked that it is now the fourth time that a student of that school has received the award.
Since Anne attended St. Gabriel's Primary School and Bishop's High School in Guyana before migrating, to the United Kingdom, the awards are open to the Best Common Entrance student of St. Gabriel's Primary School; the best CXC student of Bishop's High and the University of Guyana Best Second Year Law Student.
The Anne Blue Scholarships were founded to perpetuate the life and humanitarian works of the late Anne Blue, whose parents are Guyanese. She later migrated to the United Kingdom, where she attended both the Eastham and Westham Colleges. Later, in the United States, she attended the Hunter College and obtained a BSc Degree in Nursing, then moved on to Hofstra University where she gained her JD (Juris Doctor)
In 1993, she died of breast cancer in the United States at the age of 37.
Public Relations Officer to the Ann Blue Memorial Scholarship Fund, Ms. Namela Baynes-Henry, in her remarks at the presentation ceremony, described Anne’s life as "one of charitable and unconditional giving."
She said Anne's very humanitarian nature led her to eventually set up and run a Real Estate Brokerage and Home Care Agency in Flat Bush, New York, in recognition of the need for home ownership and home care in that community.
Anne also supported the Bishop's High School Alumni Association, helped found the Caribbean-American Bar Association, and was also a founding member of the New York Music Reggae Music Festival Inc.
Baynes-Henry opined that the prospects of winning these awards should be an added incentive for all students who work towards academic excellence and community service. She said that over the past eight years, the Anne Blue Scholarship Fund had identified and assisted talented students - both in Guyana and the USA. This is done irrespective of race or religion - in the interest of development, furtherance of education, and the promotion of academic excellence and community service.
Anne's parents, who were on hand to present the awards, thought that offering scholarships in her name was one of the best ways of perpetuating her life and work.
Recalling what a gift Anne was to them, the pain of losing her, and some of the things they would do to gather strength and courage, Mrs. Blue said that her daughter’s death in 1993 made them feel humbled, and out of that came the scholarship fund.
And today, her memory lives also through an organisation dedicated to young people who have shown ability and willingness to make the best use of educational opportunities to improve themselves.
At the ceremony, there were accolades for the late Anne Blue whose memory still lives in the hearts of her parents, her husband Donald Cook and daughter Tiffany Cook, brother David Blue and many colleagues, friends and admirers.
She was remembered as being a vivacious personality; a very high achiever; one who found that fine balance between work and play; and someone who had a penchant for helping others.
Among those paying tribute to the exceptional woman were Ms. Carol Trim-Riley of the Anne Blue Scholarship Fund; Head of the University of Guyana's Faculty of Law, Professor Rudolph James; Attorney-at-Law, Emily Dodson - a batch mate and close friend of Anne's; Ms Baxter- Dennis of the Ministry of Education; Headmistress of Bishop's High, Mrs. Elizabeth Isaacs Walcott; Headmistress of St. Gabriele's Primary, Mrs. Shirley Hopkinson-James; and Dr. Wendy Rudder.
Professor Rudolph James praised the initiative and congratulated the awardees. He stressed the need for persons with their “eyes on winning the Scholarship”, to work very hard to achieve this.
Meanwhile, Ms. Trim-Riley, who said she would like to work with Guyana to see something more done for the Scholarship Fund, put forward the idea of having a small Fundraising Committee set up here to augment the Scholarship Fund.
The Fund has so far received Congressional Recognition from Senator John Sampson of New York, in recognition of its outstanding and invaluable service to the country.