Editor’s note: The following essays by George Town Primary School students have been judged overseas and selected for the Queen’s Jubilee Timeline.
My sister comes into this world
On May 15, a spectacular event happened at the George Town Hospital. My baby sister Natalia, was born. She was 6 pounds and 5 ounces. When my dad told me that Natalia was born, I nearly screamed. I was at my grandmother’s house when this happened. My brother Christien, who was only 2 at the time, looked puzzled. When I told him what was happening a smirk went across his face and he joined in with me. My grandmother was the first person to hear the news. She was on the telephone talking to my dad.
Later my dad went to my grandmother’s house to have lunch. After lunch he told me that the baby looked like me. After he had finished talking to me he went back to the hospital. When he left, I got out some paper and pencil crayons and I made a card for my mother and baby sister. It said “Welcome to the world, Natalia, open your eyes.” I asked everyone in my family to sign the card and I carefully put a border around it.
Later my dad came to pick us up to carry us to the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital, my sister was sleeping – she looked so cute. I gave my mother the card I made for her, she was happy. My brother, Christien, jumped on the hospital bed and gave my mother a big hug. My mother looked at him and smiled. My grandfather and grandmother soon arrived. My grandfather held Natalia and she opened her eyes and smiled. My dad took a picture of the family with the baby and then one of her and me. I felt proud.
An hour later we went back home. My mother had to spend two more days at the hospital with the baby. When we came home, we looked at all the pictures. I thought that the picture with her and me looked the best. When I went to bed that night, I had a dream that we were both playing “Hide and Go Seek”. In my dream I knew I was smiling.
The next day, my brother and I went to my grandmother’s with the helper. My dad dropped us off and went back to the hospital. At my grandmother’s house we got so many calls about Natalia and enquiring about how she was doing. By now we were so exhausted, but excited all at the same time. I couldn’t get my mind off the baby. My dad came back for Joshua, Micah, my cousins and me to see the baby. When we got to the hospital we went straight to my mother’s hospital room. This time, Natalia was awake. She had crystal clear blue eyes and blue cheeks. My mother started to feel sleepy so we had to leave.
When I came home I told my helper where I went and she asked how is my mother and I told her she’s okay. That night I waited for my mother to come home.
The next day after church, we went to the hospital to pick up my mother and the baby, we stayed in the car. Fifteen minutes later, out he came with my mother. On entering the car we presented her with a bag filled with roses. She was overjoyed. We arrived so excited. My dad and I went inside while Christien and the helper, Ms D, were also at my grandmother’s. Everyone surrounded the baby like she was a cute puppy.
My grandmother cooked a feast for my mother. We all ate, laughed and had a good time. Little did we know that my mother would soon be having another baby. Now Natalia is 2, Christien is 4, I’m 10 and Crystal is 1. I. All I can say is “Time flies fast doesn’t it?”
Nathan Hyre, 10
Inter-Primary 2011 is one of my most favourite track meets. In 2011 it was the best. The relay and the long jump were my best events. Both exciting and amusing. That’s why I’m going to tell about each of them.
I started to participate in these events as a result of running on Sports Day. On Sports Day, I was doing the relay, 100 meters, 80 meters and long jump. In the relay I was doing the last leg. I just knew I couldn’t let my team down. I was standing in position waiting for the baton.
While I was waiting, the two other teams beside me got the baton before me! I started worrying for a little while, until finally I got the baton. I dashed from the line trying to make up as much ground as possible. I ended up coming in third, but I still did catch up. That’s how I made the relay team. Now don’t forget that this race was taken place on Sports Day, not in Inter-Primary.
For long jump it’s pretty different. Long jump is basically when you run, try to jump off a white board and land in the pit as far as possible. I got the longest jump in my division and I was put down for long jump in Inter-Primary.
Inter-Primary was nearby and also the long jump Preliminaries. I was extremely nervous to see all of the competition. All I could remember is making three jumps and then leave. When Inter-Primary came I never realised that I had qualified for the Long Jump Finals. I kept on worrying and worrying.
I was so glad and kind of relieved when the local news crew came and I got to be on TV. They filmed my final jump. That last jump broke the record and won me the gold medal! 3.55 meters was the record I made. That was one of the moments in my life where I was the star of the show. No one could take my spotlight.
It was like I was in Hollywood. I must have been the world’s biggest superstar for a few seconds. I felt so proud, so amazed, and so joyful. Finally, I was winning gold for something other than a track event. A couple weeks later at school, the physical education teacher Mrs. Foster presented everyone who had earned a medal at Inter-Primary 2011. When my name was called, boy was I proud. Now the whole school knew that I held a record at Inter-Primary 2011.
The relay is possibly my favourite race. I did the second leg for this event. My friends O’Neil, Craig and Joshua were doing the relay with me. Craig was on the first leg, O’Neil was doing third leg and Joshua was finishing the race. The four of us were training really hard to win.
As the gun sounded Craig had a great lead on almost everybody doing the first leg. He handed the baton to me and I tried to keep our team’s lead. Luckily for me no one even passed me! Quickly, I handed the baton to O’Neil. O’Neil handed the baton to Joshua, but Joshua made the worst mistake you could make in a relay. He ran out of the exchange box before he got the baton!
For those who do not know what an exchange box is, the exchange box is a small space bordered by a yellow line and a white line. However, if you run out these lines before you get the baton, you will be eliminated. So Joshua got our school’s team disqualified in the Junior Boys Relay. Everybody was cross.
The whole team was looking forward to qualifying in the finals. Those moments after the relay were probably the most miserable moments of my life. I felt discouraged that maybe it was actually my fault the team lost. The good thing about it though is that I got to take part in Inter-Primary 2011. I had fun doing so and our school didn’t lose. We came in fourth overall.
Alec Harding, 9
An unexpected time
This is my memorial story/interview of the death of Vincent Augustus Chung. Born on December 17, 1922, and he died on December 12, 2010. He lived a total of 88 years less 5 days, and it all started with an email.
It was late at night. She was the last one to be informed of his death. They didn’t know how she would respond to the news. “My aunt e-mailed me a message two days after his death.” Mom cried because being his favourite granddaughter, was the last to be informed. My mother left for Jamaica and reached Kingston, Jamaica at 8pm. My grandfather picked her up from the airport and they had the usual six hour drive to her dad’s residence in utter silence.
The memorial service was held at the Meadowbrook United Church. It was especially chosen because his wife attended it prior to her death 6 months earlier. Most of his life he was an atheist, however in his final days he spoke a bit about God and His existence.
The family did much preparation for this event. Family members spread the word worldwide, as far as Greece and China. Something happened before his death, it goes like this.
My mom visited him before his passing as, he sent her a message stating that he would not live to see the end of the year and that he loved her. Little did mommy know that this was a self-fulfilling prophesy. Four months later he drifted away leaving all human life behind, including his beloved granddaughter, my mom, who had spent much time at his side during his bedridden state.
Before his death, he requested that Rudyard Kiplin’s poem “If” be read at his service. This was given to my mother (his beloved granddaughter). The memorial was on January 8th and this is her account:
“This memorial service turned out to be a family reunion, as Grandpa was a family man and kept many functions in the past to hold the family together and our Chinese roots. There were many tears from those who did not visit him often and those family members held much hurt in their hearts. They shared the good and bad times they spent with him; leaving – no stones unturned. Although a challenging poem, it was a privilege to read it. As I read the verses I reflected on my recent conversations and visits with grandpa. In vein I decided to write a verse to try and put away all the hurts and pains to ensure that we got close so we did not feel as much hurt. I wanted to feel closer to him and what he loved to do.”
I want to acknowledge certain aspects of my mother’s reflections about my Great-grandfather; like his special talents. The first is that he was self taught and an avid reader. You often found him in the light of a lamp reading a book exploring the world. He enjoyed many poems and books. Secondly he was an excellent chef. Any Chinese delicacy you could think of, he would cook and it would be heaven for a girl like me. My mom enjoyed his dishes too. The next thing I want to acknowledge is what she missed the most about him and what grief she had. She misses his eloquence, stories, his wealth of information, his sense of humour and strong character. Though she did not grieve long she was still sad to lose him. Mom went on to say “The most painful part was that I was not there by his side as he breathed his last breath. The memories I have of him are in my heart and it’s good to know that he lives in me. He wished to be cremated instead of being buried. ”
In the Jamaican culture, which is that of my mother, cremation is acceptable; unlike the Jewish culture that forbids cremation. My grandfather was cremated.
My mom went into deep thought “I know he is at peace as his wish was to have his ashes scattered at sea in Portland Bay.” May my great-grandfather’s soul rest in peace.
Makeda Harris, 8
My sister Antonia Bell’s birth
I was 7 the day my sister was born, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Here’s how it went.
It was 3pm and I was going home from school; thinking that my pregnant mother was home cooking dinner. As I opened the door a note fell, my other sister, Oneika went inside to relieve herself of her heavy bag, while I was reading the instructions on the note. It told me, that I should make dinner for my sister and me. We followed the instructions, ate our dinner and continued to read. The second instruction was to call my Aunt Shan using my phone; it also stated her phone number. The note told me that Aunt Shan knew what to do.
I followed all of the instructions and waited patiently for my aunt to arrive. Oneika and I got a little restless so we started to play games. Aunt Shan came, and she beeped her car horn for us to get in. I thought quickly and packed a few suits of clothes. We hurried and got into her car in fear that something bad had happened to mom. I was even more worried when my aunt eased her car into a parking space, in the hospital parking lot. All this time there was an uneasy silence. I could hear my heart pounding. I rushed down the halls of the George Town Hospital to catch up with the others because they left me behind. I slowly stepped into a room that echoed my mom’s crying. They all had beaten me to it.
“Surprise!” they all said, “You guys are having a new baby sister”. At first I was confused, and then I asked, “Is mom hurt.” “She might be but it’s for a good cause. “Okay family, time to go, you can visit later when the baby is delivered,” bellowed the surgeon. “See you later mommy,” we said in unison. We were all so happy; I even called a race, “Last one to Auntie’s car is a slowpoke,” I shouted. I rejoiced; seeing that I won. We all got into the car and headed for Aunt Shan’s house. When we reached there, we all played video games including my aunt. It was a great way to pass the long time we had to wait. I beat everyone except my older cousin, who in my opinion is a professional. Suddenly the phone rang.
It was the hospital; they called to tell us that my baby sister was born. We hurried to see her and find out what mom named her. We went to mom’s room anxious yet again. We stepped in. And there she was healthy, strong and smart. At first we thought she was a boy and that Aunt Shan made a mistake, I was astonishingly confused. We watched her in her crib, we took turns holding her and watched her stick her tongue out at everyone. Shortly a nurse came to see what mom was going to name her. Her dad’s middle name is Anthony, so mommy quickly thought of Antonia Antoinette Bell.
She was very different from us, but over time we bonded, and conformed more to what each other liked. Bonding, however, is a vital part of the Commonwealth; across the Commonwealth there are births and many fond memories for all of us. I have shared one of the most important memories of my life; my sister Antonia Bell’s birth.
O’Neil Duncan, 10
The Day I Became Victorious
Inter Primary is when schools compete in track and field. Every body wants to represent his/her school.
So let’s get to the track. People had to participate in long jump, high jump, shot put, 100 meters, 200 meters and 800 meters and I must mention; the fantastic relay.
Let me tell you about the 800 Meters. As the starter’s gun was shot, we all began to run. We were in a bunch where I was pushed by another runner. I fell. Shocked I didn’t know what hit me. However I didn’t want to give up. So I got up and began to walk. I was in last place and I felt so discouraged. Suddenly I heard “Go Joshua go”. The cheering motivated me, so I started to run. I ran really fast to catch up with the others. I actually got up to third place just before the last lap. Then came the last lap; I was relieved.
With only 200 meters to go until the finish line, there was some more pushing. I was pushed by another runner which caused me to hop on one leg, making me lose my third place position with a few runners passing me. This made me feel weak. At the 100 meter mark I was really tired. My legs started to hurt but I kept running. I gave it my best and I passed two people. That put me in fifth place at the finish line. I didn’t run really hard at the end because I was told to take it slow as I was in the top five. At the end of the race I was so tired I almost fainted. They brought Gatorade to prevent dehydration. I was extremely happy to earn the points.
When I went to the stands every one was cheering for me. As I sat down to rest I pulled my hamstring. I couldn’t move my left leg. I was scared as I had long jump to do and that was my jumping leg. Thank goodness long jump was not until later and my next event was the 200 meter. This meant I had a chance to recover.
When it was time for the 200 meters it felt like forever. When it came to my heat, I had butterflies in my stomach. My nerves were getting the best of me, my head feeling light, as if floating. I don’t remember when the starter said “On your marks, get set”. I just heard the gun fire. You should have seen me run. I ran as fast as a bullet. When I burst around the corner I was way ahead. No one caught up to me. I could hear my school, and I swear I heard my brother, Micah, shouting “Run Joshua Run”. When the race was over I was victorious.
But I didn’t stop there. I had to do Long jump. Long jump is fun but not such a simple sport to learn. On the day of competition there were many competitors. I had to work extra hard to get a top five position. I wish my entire family were there to watch me jump. My furthest jump was 4.20 meters, which was good enough for second place. I could have jumped further if I had hit the board, but my run up was not good.
After earning second place in the Long Jump I had the 100 meter to do. I had many rounds and by the time I got to the finals my legs were weak. My mom told me, all I needed was a second place to win overall Champion Boy. So in the final race I gave it my best shot. I ran as fast as I could and with 20 meters to go I felt my hamstring pull. I did not give up, I ran hard and got second place. My friends, family and teachers were so excited.
At the end of the day I was awarded Division Champion and Victor Ludorum, which meant I was champion boy for the whole island for the second year in a row. I worked hard, was dedicated and had a great attitude toward other competitors.
Joshua O’Garro, 10
My Inter-Primary Track-Meet 2012
I knew Inter-Primary 2012 was coming up, but I was scared because the other girls looked faster than me. Anyway I did not let that thought bother me. My mom said, “Just do your best and don’t worry.” I took her advice.
Later that day, it was my turn to run. I put my spikes on. I had to go to the marshalling area. Some of the girls said, “Oh no you are going to beat us.” Doubting myself I replied, “Suppose I’m not fast.”
Anyway it was time for me to do my first race of the day. I was nervous about it. My head felt like it was swinging, but I remembered what my mom said.
The official carried me out on the track to get started. She said, “On your marks, get set.” I felt like my knees were buckling. Then the gun went off and I sprang forward and started to run. As I was closing in at the finish line I heard my name, “Let’s go Josette!” As I crossed the finish line my coach told me I was first. I came first in my 100m prelims.
I felt so elated, relieved and tired all at the same time. I went to get some Gatorade to drink, after which I walked across the whole field to get back in the stands. The crowd was filled with noise and cheering. It was for me. When I reached over, my mom hugged me with excitement saying, “I knew you could do it!” I replied, “Yes”
My friends were happy for me. I got to go on to the finals. By the way surprisingly enough, the other girls didn’t feel badly, that they lost as we all became friends. Anyway it wasn’t my only race I had to do. I had the 200m prelims, 4×100 relay, 100m finals and the 200m finals. While the other races were going on, I wondered to myself, “I don’t think that I can beat them in the 200m.” A few minutes passed, it was time. Time to do my other race. Inside I was bag of nerves. I was psyching up myself when I suddenly heard, “Pow!” That was the gun again. There I was, full speed around the track. They tried to beat me, but I had already crossed the finish line; only this time with an injury. I pulled a muscle in my leg. My coach carried me to the nurse for ice.
With my teacher’s assistance I walked across the field. Stepping gingerly I could see another race starting. We crossed over the track quickly, to avoid getting knocked over. There was my worried mom waiting right at the gate for me. She noticed my injury and helped me up the stairs. Other kids from different schools congratulated me on my running. It was lunch time already.
My coach secured my ankle with bandage. Lunch time passed and the 100m finals were upon me. I was to compete with the champion girl. “Time to run girls,” The official shouted. While getting ready, I thought positively because I had to be my best. Time went by and I head that loud gun once again. My legs earned me a second place. I was frightened! The fastest girl was first. She was just too fast for me.
14.30 was my time for the 100m finals! Now the second fastest girl in my division; I paraded with a grin on my face. The crowd wowed with amazement.
In the afternoon I had to do the 4×100 relay. Hours passed and it was time. We got lined up on the track. I had the second leg. I heard when the gun fired. Then suddenly it did. As the baton came toward me I yelled “Run!” I grabbed hold, and headed off to the other girl. All I could hear was, “Let’s go!” She was sprinting like a bullet. In no time the last person, taking a grip of the baton bolted really fast; earning us 3rd place. That was our best effort and my last race for the day. Inter Primary Track Meet 2012 has to be the most exciting event ever.
Josette Facey, 11
The day I wore my best outfit
It all started April 3, 2011; I was so pretty. My mom didn’t want me to wear my outfit because I would show off with it. She said I could only wear it when it was dress down day. I never hardly ever got to dress down on dress down days, that was a long week ahead. I gave my mom a mean face and she rushed me out of her room. I went upstairs stamping my feet as hard as I could. By the time I looked, my brother was upstairs playing the piano getting on my last nerve. I was very angry.
One week later I asked and asked. Finally she said “Yes”. I ran upstairs and ran back down happy as ever. I had tears of joy. The next day, I went back to school; it was free dress down Acting all fashionable I went to class. Everyone was saying “You look nice, Ashanti”. I had on my black and blue shirt, a sparkling jeans pants, with a hat on. My teacher, Mr. Ebanks, was saying you look very good today. Some seemed jealous that every time they looked at me they would cut their eyes. I felt like a superstar that day.
Ashanti Scott, 9