St. Mary’s RC students on Monday look inside the shell of the Verbeke Centre, which was gutted by fire Friday night. (IWN photo)

Counsellors from the Ministry of Education are expected to provide psychological support today (Monday) to Grade 6 students of the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School, in the aftermath of the destruction of their classrooms by fire Friday night.

A fire, which is said to have begun in a building belonging to the late Bertram “Timmy” Richards, also destroyed the neighbouring Verbeke Centre, where the students’ classrooms were located.

The Verbeke Centre, located on North River Road, Kingstown is an annex of St. Mary’s RC, the main part of which is located on the same site as St. Mary’s Cathedral, lower down that same street.

“It consumed the entire property,” school principal Eula Johnny, told I-Witness School on Monday morning of the fire.

She said the counsellors from the Ministry of Education will meet with the 78 Grade 6 students at the Catholic cathedral in Kingstown “to provide some support for them”.

“And we (the school) will do little activities with them so that they will feel safe and ready to go again.

“And presently, we are looking at different places to accommodate them in the meantime,” Johnny further said, adding that the school was in conversation with building owners in Kingstown.

Johnny told I-Witness News that the fire was a “shock” to the school.

“But our motto says, ‘With God’s help we can succeed’, so we take it as a springboard from which we operate. So even if we are in shock, we know that God has a plan,” Johnny further said.

The school has 607 students.

St. Mary's RC student and other pedestrians walk past the burnt out Verbeke Centre on Monday morning. (IWN photo)
St. Mary’s RC student and other pedestrians walk past the burnt out Verbeke Centre on Monday morning. (IWN photo)

5 replies on “Students to receive counselling after fire guts classrooms”

  1. When the whole of Vincyland momentarily lost their collective humanity and went “Taliban” on a 14 year old “rudeass” child of the Convent school…I didn’t hear the Ministry of Education, talking about providing “counselling” to this misguided kid or for the children at that school who had to experience such shocking display of intolerance and a lynch mob mentality. If that child had turned up to school on that day, she may have been stoned to death given the level of vitriol and resentfulness on display. And to make matters worse, innocent kids were indoctrinated and cajoled by so called parents and responsible adults to joined the lynch mob, and to shout and display all sorts of insulting and degrading comments directed at another child…where were the counselors from the MOE to advise against such actions?…where were the counselors to provide support and much needed help to this misguided youth?

    Now, its not like these kids were in school when the fire occurred…this is totally uncalled for…as a matter of fact some of these kids are f***ing happy that they don’t have to go to school for the time being. I think a lot of folks could do with some counselling in Vincyland…but I don’t think these 6 graders need counselling, at least not for this particular incident. One has to wonder,did the MOE provide “counselling” to the kids whose homes were flooded out by the “Christmas storm?” Did the MOE provide “counselling to the child, whose home was destroyed in Clare Valley? Did the MOE provide counselling to those kids that were molested by their teachers? Did the MOE provide counselling to those kids that were traumatized by the revelation that their degrees at the CC were not accredited? I am just saying.

    1. Why are you two soo angry! Who eat your dumpling???? Only angry negative comments from you people!
      I think you both need counselling! LOL!!!!

      1. Counsellor, I spoke to your mother last night about my anger, but she only offer me saltfish…and told me to soak it well…I was confused, but as Winston SoSo say, I don’t mind if you want to give me, ah wouldn’t refuse it…

        But ah must say, after soaking that saltfish….ah felt a tremendous relieve…it felt like a load was lifted off my back…your mother is indeed a great counselor.

      2. This is totally uncalled for ………………………………. But funny as hell!
        I am literally siting at my desk weeping with laughter.
        I usually find this sort of retort distasteful but honestly, can’t stop laughing.

  2. This so-called “grief counselling” is just another crazy idea imported from the developed countries. It has no proven effect and just creates more useless government meddling in people’s private lives.

    Tell me, who better to help these children cope wth their loss than close family and friends? Why would you want to bring in strangers — people whom they have never met — to help these kids deal with their personal grief?

    This is just another attempt by “experts” to undermine the traditional Vincentian family.

    If anyone needs counselling it’s members of the fire brigade for failure to put out a braze a few blocks from their headquarters.

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