History of Holy Cross College Arima
Holy Cross College is situated on Calvary Hill, in the city of Arima, which is located in the north-east of Trinidad (and Tobago). This twin island republic is the last in the archipelago of islands of the Caribbean, just north of Venezuela in South America.
Arima is home to some of our indigenous people – the First Nations (Caribs). Our Santa Rosa feast is celebrated with ancestral heritage, and cultural festivities involving Parang music.
This rich cultural tradition of the people of Arima help gave birth to Holy Cross College. The College was started by the Dominican Order of Preachers in 1957. In 2007 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary.
Its students have excelled in different fields of endeavor – academics, professions, sports, nationally and internationally. Present students take pride in the accomplishments of their Alumni, which serve as inspiration in their own education and upbringing, thanks to loyal and caring Staff and Administration.
Holy Cross College originated in the mind of Parish Priest of Arima at the time – Canon Jeremiah Maher.
Holy Cross College was started in Arima on Church St. in the year 1957 by the Dominican Order under Fr. Rev. Ignatius Candon who was the College’s first Principal.
The Holy Cross College was first located on the corner of Woodford St. and Church St. It was formally the Ince’s Property and that building was then used as quarters for staff of the College. An Arcon building procured from Sprostons Ltd. was used as the temporary College Building. The College was opened on the 18th of September, 1957 with an enrollment of 74 boys, because that was the amount the building could accommodate. From there the College was resituated at Calvary, Arima, where it stands today.
We would like to give due credit to all who gave so much of themselves in the building of Holy Cross College from its humble beginnings, to it’s expansion on Calvary Hill, Arima, and its continued development over the many years. We thank them for their dedication, their courage and hard work, for a foundation on which we were privileged to be taught as students, and to continue their legacy as well as our own by the contributions we now make.
We acknowledge Canon Jeremiah Maher, Parish Priest of Arima, Archbishop Finbar Ryan O.P., The Dominican Fathers, Fr. Rev. Ignatius Candon, and Fr. Francis Mc Namara O.P.
The Arima College Project Committee: Elected from among the Mayor, Aldermen, Councillors, and the Burgesses of the Borough of Arima, on Friday, 6th July, 1956, who met to formulate plans for the establishment of a college in Arima.
The Management Committee comprised of the following: Rev. Canon Jeremiah Maher – Chairman, Mr. R. Chinaleong – Vice Chairman, Rev. Fr. Charles – Treasurer, Mr. Roland Thomas – Hon. Secretary. Other members included were Messrs. Max De Verteuil J.P., H. P. Caracciolo J.P., A. C. Thomasos, H. Lezema, Rupert Clovis, Johnny. S. Brooks, Sulan N. Assue, Mesdames Usine Giusseppi, Mr. Woodford Edward Barnes, and Dorothea Watkins. Co-opted at a later stage were Messrs. Cecil St Louis, F. Bertrand, and Mrs. Ursula Mapp (Auntie Babsie). Due to the transfer of Fr. Charles from the area, Rev. Fr. Peschier was elected Treasurer in his stead. From this committee, three (3) sub committees were formed:
The Site Committee: Messrs. R. Chinaleong, H. Pereira, Max De Verteuil J.P., A. C. Thomasos, and Percy Cezair.
The Building Committee: Composed of the entire Management Committee.
The Fund Raising Committee: Comprised of the Management Committee and a few influential persons in and out of Arima.
Special mention is being made of a youth club called “A-Teens” initiated by Auntie Babsie, who with Dorothea Watkins made many fundraising projects for the building of our college, with Christmas Carol Singing, and Carnival Bands at Carnival time.
Outstanding service by Fr. Edward Foley, and Mr. Gordon, who did so much for the actual construction and building of the College, and the Chapel – which became a Centre for the Charismatic Renewal Prayer Groups divinely led by Auntie Babsie.
Over the years, Aubert Geoffry (Br. Navis), Mr. Suresh J. Ramlogan, Dr. Bernard Tappin and Mr Gordon Walker, together with loyal staff members, some who have had long-serving careers as Mr. Fitzgerald ‘Lutch’ Baboolal, Mr. Johnny Young, Mr. Roy Ali, Mr. Alvin La Croix, and Mr. Roland Ramsumair, have all been instrumental in furthering the journey of the College.
The many souls of Clergymen, Teachers, Administrators, Educators, Supporters, Volunteers, and Well-wishers have left their mark for us to see in the evolvement of what is Holy Cross College. We stand on ‘holy’ ground as we walk through the corridors of time and bear witness to a divine plan. We salute and honor all of you who gave so much in time, effort and sacrifice. We are truly indeed very thankful for your outstanding contributions. May God Bless you eternally.
With Loving Blessings…..Kazim Abasali on behalf of the Holy Cross College Arima Alumni Benefit.
Santa Rosa Church, Arima
Site of original College, corner Woodford & Church Sts.
1st wing erected 1960
2nd wing erected 1964
Grading of playing field 1964
Mr. ‘Fix-It-All’ Gordon was for years the handy-man at the College. He began his association with the school in its early days and played a major role in the building of the chapel.
Mr. Gordon skills included being a carpenter, plumber, mechanic, electrician, joiner, mason – all in one. Fr. Foley and Mr. Gordon formed a “dynamic duo” in their efforts to build and maintain the facilities of the entire Holy Cross complex at limited cost. Thank you Mr. Gordon!
Holy Cross Priory
Holy Cross Chapel
Catholic Charismatic Renewal pioneer and internationally renowned Catholic Charismatic preacher and author, Ursula “Auntie Babsie” Bleasdell.
Auntie Babsie, who with Dorothea Watkins initiated the youth club “A-Teens” made many fundraising projects for the building of our College, with Christmas Carol Singing, and Carnival Bands at Carnival time.
Holy Cross Chapel served as a beacon of light in those early days of the expansion of charismatic prayer groups.
Here is more information about Ursula “Auntie Babsie” Bleasdell