Former pupils at a Sandys primary school turned out to honour a milestone anniversary yesterday.
West End Primary School hosted Alumni on Campus Day.
The event was part of a weeklong celebration to mark the public school’s 150th anniversary.
Several alumni turned out for the event at the school on Scotts Hill Road to speak with pupils.
Fiona Ross, Class of ‘79, said she spoke to P4 pupils about her time at the school and encouraged them to think about careers in the sciences, including in medicine.
Dr Ross said that she felt it was important to stress to the pupils that they were as capable of achievement as their peers at private schools.
She added: “They are not second-class citizens, and they are not to think of themselves in that way.
“The world is their oyster. They can make it happen. There is lots of opportunity — they just need to work hard and get it done.”
The Sandys resident said friendships she had made while at the public school had “lasted a lifetime — which is wonderful”.
She said that recognising school anniversaries was key for the community.
Dr Ross explained: “It’s important to remember the history of where we have come from — that we can do things better or we can hold on to the things that have really helped as a community along the way.”
Roxanne Pearman, class of ‘82, said that celebrations to recognise anniversaries were important to foster school morale.
She added: “I also think it is important for the children of today to realise that so many progressive people came through the school.
“Schools like West End have such a rich history.
“I think it gives you a sense of pride of belonging to the school.”
The Southampton resident said she spoke to pupils about what the school was like when she attended.
Ms Pearman, the owner of Saphora Hair & Nail Salon, said that relationships made decades ago while she was at West End were still strong today.
She added: “I have long-lasting friendships that I have had for ever that were established there.”
Trina Cariah, the principal at West End Primary, said that the day’s event had been a success.
Ms Cariah, class of ‘79, said that about 20 school alumni, including current staff members, had taken part.
She said that events to commemorate school anniversaries were important to remind the community of the “blood, sweat and tears” that had gone into teaching youngsters.
Ms Cariah added: “I wanted to remind alumni, even though you’re gone, we still need your support to keep that excitement alive.”
She said that she had been approached by several alumni members this week about giving back.
Ms Cariah added: “They now want to put together an alumni organisation.”
A number of anniversary events are planned for the weekend.
A parents’ happy hour will be held at Somerset Cricket Club tonight from 7 to 9pm.
A community walk will take place tomorrow morning from 8 to 11am. A movie night at Media Lounge, in Dockyard. will start at 5.30pm.
The anniversary events will wrap up with an afternoon tea at the school from 3 to 5pm on Sunday.
Tickets for the movie night and tea can be purchased from the school.