From left, contractors Marlon Murray and Jaime Lopes (D&M Enterprises), pastor Virgil Sams, Lynch Plantation Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) School’s first-ever principal Olive Berkel-Morris, Director of Education SDA North-Caribbean Conference Gerene Joseph, current SDA School principal LaVerne David-Duggins, and one of the school’s founders Ishmael Berkel raising their glasses at the ground-breaking ceremony.
ST. EUSTATIUS–Lynch Plantation Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Primary School held a ground-breaking ceremony Friday afternoon for the school’s planned expansion.
Present at the ceremony were Director of Education for SDA North-Caribbean Conference Gerene Joseph, school board president pastor Virgil Sams, SDA school principal LaVerne David-Duggins, acting principal Cheryl Seaton, representative of Dutch Government Department Caribbean Netherlands Elaine Marchena and other invited guests.
David-Duggins said SDA school was the last of St. Eustatius’ schools to be renovated as it was in better condition than all the other schools on the island.
The late Vera Spellman-Berkel donated a substantial amount of land for the purpose of building Lynch Plantation SDA school. Her brother Ishmael Berkel (85), who is one of the school’s founders, said a few words on how the school was first founded and about the journey from 1989 onward to 1997, when the school first opened its doors. The school opened with seven pupils in 1997 and has grown to over 100 pupils for the upcoming school year.
Joseph congratulated the school on this achievement and extended God’s richest blessing and guidance through the upcoming school year.
Pastor Sams also congratulated the school. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain,” he said.
After the speeches Joseph donned a safety vest, helmet and gloves and entered the heavy machinery. She showed her skills as she dug up the soil, assisted by contractor Jaime Lopes. A toast was then made by Berkel in which everyone present raised their glasses in celebration of the occasion. The school’s expansion will be carried out by contractor D&M Enterprises.