How the scholarship came about.
Mom or Dad use to make breakfast and a little break time snack for me on school mornings. I would have my breakfast before we left or intransit. My snack I would have for lunch and save my lunch money (initially unknown to mommy and daddy).
Dad would pick me up about 2 o'clock at which time he would buy his lunch. I would stay with him by his office at Cable & Wireless, until we were ready to go home. I would get a bit of dad's lunch as well which served me as a mid afternoon snack. So when you think about it, I really didn't have to use my lunch money. I would also get a little pocket money now and then. A couple times my parents would borrow small sums from me if they were in need of quick cash to pay the gardener or others who didn't take a bank card.
Dad and I, traveled over 40 miles daily. We would discuss words and their meanings among other topics. One day he made the mistake of discussing the word "interest". This peaked my interest LOL! and I turned into a little "loan shark". Ever since that day my loans attracted a little interest. Without them realizing this, my portfolio grew over the years. My "bank" was a Lego toy container in my room. One day while cleaning my room a very large sum was discovered, they were shocked at its discovery. When they enquired of me the source they were left amazed at my astuteness as a saver and a banker as well. My parents told me it was not safe having that much money just lying around the home and encouraged me to open a Junior savers' account at their credit union. I became a member.
While working with Cable & Wireless Jamaica, Dad use to save a little of his salary to my account towards my education. In the first three weeks of my brief stay in third form, I saved an additional sum from my lunch money, this they put there as well.
At my passing there was a tidy little saving stashed away in my NAJ credit union account. Mom and dad took the decision that they would not use the money for themselves.
In honour of my memory they chose to use this savings to assist a GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) student from St. Thomas (my home parish) to attend Wolmer's Boys' School (my Alma Mater).
They paid the first year's tuition and the cost of books. An additional sum is used to open a Junior saver account for the scholarship awardee, in an attempt to encouarge thrift.
In ensuing years during the year the account is replenished by my parents as it gets depleted. They have had some assistance in recent years by family and friends but for the most part it is my parents initiative.
In choosing the recipient, St. Thomas schools are asked to provide information on any passes for Wolmers or checks are made at the Ministry of Education. When there are multiple candidates, mommy and daddy interview them and make their selection. The choice is not necessarilly of the brightest boy, but one with similar character traits to mine.
In an effort to maintain full transparency, the fund is handled by the NAJ Cooperative Credit union. School vouchers for the selected student (after my parents see them) are presented to NAJCCU which in turn make payments, in the form of cheques to the School’s Bank and bookshop. Since 2014 it the first time it was done at an AGM. In the prior events, there would be small presentations at the Credit union with family members of the recipient and either a pastor or representative from Wolmers High School for Boys. Photos by daddy's very good friend Aston Spalding.