History of my beloved St David’s School (1909-1974)
St David’s Primary School was established in 1893 in a single-room wooden church building; there is no record of the principal or staff at that time. The first official record of a principal was Arthur Hudson in 1909. Mr Hudson and most of the teachers had to travel to St David’s by boat and get off at church wharf — so named because it was close to St Luke AME Church, the location of the school.
A very early official report by the Inspector of Schools stated that St David’s Primary School catered to both Coloured and White students, making it the oldest integrated school in Bermuda.
We were very proud of our classmate Philip Burch, who passed his local Cambridge exams last year. Today we are very proud of another classmate, Alexander Hodgson, who has won ₤1 from the Board of Education for his scripture exams.
George Fielding Swan, from St George’s, has come to our school. He thinks Mr Hodgson is a very good teacher and hopes he will pass his exams, too. Today he did not come to school. The weather was too stormy for the Daisy to cross the harbour from St George’s.
It is September and our new principal, Hilton Richardson, has just finished morning inspection to make sure we are clean and healthy. Before to coming to St David’s School, Mr Richardson taught for a few years at Old Elliot School in Devonshire. Mr Hodgson has left to go to college in England. The Inspector of Schools, G. Simpson, is very pleased with the good behaviour in our school.
Agatha Richardson is now our teacher. There are 24 children at school today. The cornerstone has been laid for the new church building to be erected beside our classroom. Mr Richardson, our principal, is the builder of the church that was designed by his father, Daniel Richardson.
Today Agatha Bascome opened our school. This afternoon we have a holiday to watch the first Gosling Cup cricket match. The St David’s team are playing visitors from Somerset. The church is getting finished.
We have been granted a holiday today, May 10, to visit Stock’s Point. The new Severn drawbridge is being opened and joins St. David’s to Stokes Point on the St. George’s side. Now we may have too many visitors coming over.
The bridge is decorated with flags and E.P.T. Tucker, the MP, Stanley Spurling from Government Public Works, and even the Governor will be there. Governor and Lady Cubitt have asked Patty Hayward to take the first ride with them. She is the oldest person in St David’s.
Today my family are moving into our new stone house with an indoor bathroom. The US Base is renting the land where we used to live. So they have built us this new house. There will be some new children coming to our school today. The Government has moved their daddy to the battery because he is a soldier. So their family have moved to St David’s, too.
Mr Richardson felt very upset this morning. You see on Friday night, James Minors’s mule got into the school garden and ate the turnips and cabbage, and destroyed the beets.
On April 25, Hilton “Hilly” C. Richardson, the principal, marched the students from the old wooden building behind St Luke AME Church to the original St David’s School building, overlooking Great Head and Red Hole.
My little sister starts school today in September, and her classroom will be in the new hut. There will be 26 boys and 23 girls in that building, and 100 children in the main school. Mr Richardson has retired and Ottiwell Burch is our new principal. He is a very kind man. He plays the piano and teaches us music. He was proud of us at the inter-school music festival. He is also proud of our football team.
It is May and St David’s School has so many pupils — 159 — that today I have to go to the Battery Building by Red Hole. My class is Standard 3 and my teacher is Gaynelle Smith. Standard 4 is there, too, with John Brown. This morning, Mrs Smith was laughing. You see, yesterday was Sports Day. Some of the boys stole the lemons and potatoes for our races. They pulled a fish pot and had a cook-up at Great Head Park.
Until today, October 5, our school had no assembly hall. The entire school held weekly assembly in a combined room separated by a folding door. Today we celebrate the opening of our new assembly hall. It is a huge room. Kenneth Robinson, Supervisor of Schools, will be here with D.J. Williams, Director of Education. Later, after PE lessons, we will be able to get showers and so will the PE teacher. Mr Burch is very pleased.
This morning, I will start my first day at Berkeley Institute. My parents are very pleased that I passed the entrance exams. They did not go to high school because they had to help earn money for their families.
My school, St David’s Primary, has two new classrooms. Helen Simmons is the principal now. My brother will have his class, Infants 1, in the old Pilot Station, high up on the hill. David Saul, Director of Education, and K.E. Robinson, Chief Education Officer, have acquired this building for us.
• B. Russell Richardson is a certified professional in supply management and a proud graduate of St David’s Primary School