New secondary school named after author of National Anthem

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The lyrical composer of the National Anthem of Antigua and Barbuda has been recognised for his service to the country through a Cabinet decision to name the new secondary school at Tomlinson’s after him. The Sir Novelle Richards Academy of Science will open its doors to an estimated 120 students when the 2017/2018 school year begins on September 4.
Sir Novelle is the grandfather of Prime Minister Gaston Browne who told OBSERVER media that the decision was not politically motivated, but was relevant because of Sir Novelle’s contribution to the nation. According to PM Browne, his grandfather, who died in 1986, would have celebrated his 100th birthday on November 24.
He also served as the first elected representative of Potters and the Tomlinson’s area where the school is located. According to his grandson, when Sir Novelle served as editor, Workers Voice, the Antigua Trades & Labour Union newspaper, he was threatened with jail time for publishing articles that were deemed inimical to the interest of the planter class.
Last week’s Cabinet release described Sir Novelle as a nation builder who died while serving as the Deputy Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda. Before his death, the Liberta resident was a trade unionist and in 1958 he sat in the parliament of the West Indies Federation during its four-year existence.
As a writer of both newspaper commentaries, poetry and prose, he wrote: “The Struggle and the Conquest”- a recalling of the history of trade unionism in Antigua and Barbuda.
In the same Cabinet press release, other proposed names for the school were the Baldwin Spencer Academy, the Gaston Browne Academy of Excellence, the Potters Secondary School, the Dean Jonas School of Excellence and the Sir Adolphus Freeland Secondary School.
The names were submitted by participants in a competition organised by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

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