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Abaco Central High School renamed Patrick J. Bethel High School

  • Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald, second right, makes a presentation to Patrick Bethel, third left. Also pictured are Prime Minister Perry Christie, third right; Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Dr. Daniel Johnson, left; Edison Key, second left, Central and South Abaco MP; and Renardo Curry, right, North Abaco MP.

  • Twelfth grade student Liberty Clarke, second left, makes a presentation to Patrick Bethel. Also pictured is Ethlene McIntosh, school principal.

  • The unveiling of the sign at the renaming ceremony of the Abaco Central High School in Murphy Town, Abaco, to the Patrick J. Bethel High School by Prime Minister Perry Christie, left. Patrick J. Bethel is at right. PHOTOS: BIS/PATRICK HANNA

Published: Apr 24, 2017

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The Abaco Central High School has been renamed the Patrick J. Bethel High School.

Prime Minister Perry Christie said the renaming was fitting for the man he said was a prominent educator and nation builder, who, even post-retirement, remains an active contributor. The ceremony took place on April 6, 2017 at the school in Murphy Town, Abaco.

“This Bahamian exemplar’s life of service evokes for me a line from a popular poem, ‘The Unknown Citizen’,” Christie said at the renaming ceremony. “In it W.H. Auden expresses this simple but profound line: ‘For in everything he did, he served the greater community.’ Mr. Bethel typifies this statement, having spent some 30 years of his life toiling in the field of education, as well as providing community service for his hometown of Abaco, and serving and setting standards for the broader Bahamian community.”

He said even though Bethel hasn’t lived his life exactly as an overall unknown citizen, his faithful service and his overall contributions to the success of the country could eventually become blurred in the memories of future generations, which is why he felt it apt to keep his legacy alive in the Abaco district and the Bahamian community through the naming of the school in his honor.

“By renaming the Abaco Central High School the Patrick Bethel High School, we are ensuring that our present and future generations of Bahamians are forever reminded of the contributions of another of our sons of the soil,” said Christie. “In the field of education especially, he will always be remembered as one of our faithful patrons.”

The prime minister told school administrators and teachers that he hoped that they were inspired by Bethel’s stellar performance, and motivated to continue to support the students.

“You are charged with the task to prepare our students for life in the 21st century. This is no small feat. The challenges are many, but if you work together and continue to … in line with the school’s motto — ‘Seize the Time’, any feat can be accomplished by you.”

He reminded parents that they have been blessed with the responsibility of rearing their children to be productive citizens. And he told them they must give the love, care and discipline necessary to make that a reality. He urged parents to cooperate with teachers, as they seek, like them, the best for their children.



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