Prayer service kicks off Sir John A. Cumber School year

Education Minister Tara Rivers and new principal Paul Samuel paid a visit to the class on the first day of school.

With a new principal and lots of exciting plans in the works, West Bay’s Sir John A. Cumber Primary School kicked off a new school year with a visit from Education Minister Tara Rivers and a special prayer service.

On Aug. 29, the first day of school, Ms. Rivers dropped in to see how the new Principal Paul Samuel was adjusting, and to welcome him to the school and the district. She also took the opportunity to visit some classes and welcome the children back to school.

Each school year also begins with a special dedicatory worship assembly. This year’s session on Sept. 2 was coordinated by Deputy Principal Lorna Lumsden and teacher’s assistant Esther Rivers. Representing churches in the West Bay community were Pastor Maurice Chambers of the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church and Ryan Powell, youth leader and after-school coordinator with John Gray Memorial Church. Mr. Powell is also a teacher. Pastor Ron Smith of Boatswain Bay Presbyterian Church was unable to attend.

In a passionate prayer for the school’s parents, guardians, caregivers and students, Mr. Powell said they should trust in God with all their heart without leaning on their own understanding, according to a press release. He also asked God to, “bless them with extra special intellect and understanding and to offer continual protection of guardian angels to shield them from all ill.” In addition, he pleaded that they would each live up to their responsibility and that they be positive role models and examples in society.

Pastor Chambers also prayed for the minister of education and her team, the new principal and his team, and all the other staff of the school. He petitioned for guidance, wisdom, vision, knowledge and understanding in making decisions and in interacting with others. He also prayed for “good health, protection and sound minds to effectively fulfill the task to which they are called. His ultimate prayer was that all would receive the final reward of ‘well done’ from Jesus’s lips when he comes at last.”

The assembly was also addressed by Mr. Samuel, who reminded the student body of the need this year to be responsible, respectful and safe.

He told them the story of the rainbow and how in a fable, each color wanted to be the only prominent one, but God showed that each color is equally important, “and that just as all the colors come together to make a rainbow, we must put aside our differences and work together for a common cause.”

The assembly was attended by several parents, including 2015-2016 PTA President Vanda Powery. The singing was led by staff members Corry Chambers, Reneice Mowatt-McDonald, Courtney Perrin and Elysia Murray, who were accompanied by Rebekah Jefferson on the piano.



  1. I do hope this will never be allowed to Change in Cayman, that Schools are not opened with devotion and prayer.
    I can still remember attending the Cayman Islands High School with Mr. John Gray as principal. You had better be there in the morning for devotion and prayer. It was the best part of the day.


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