The Arima Boys’ RC School celebrated its 125th anniversary at the conclusion of 2011, a very historic feat for a prestigious school. In this 125th year of serving the community and the country, Arima Boys RC has continued to achieve outstanding successes in keeping with its illustrious past.
Having won the National Primary School Football Championship on eight previous occasions, they were on course for a ninth lien on the trophy when they encountered a plucky and determined Bon Accord team in a bruising battle in the boiling midday Tobago sun recently.
After 60 minutes of nail-biting action the score remained tied at 0-0. 20 minutes extra time soon followed after which both teams remained deadlocked at the same score. The dreaded penalty shootout then took place with Bon Accord emerging victorious by three goals to two.
The boys of course were crest fallen and inconsolable but they had fought valiantly against a team that was much bigger in size in front of a hostile Tobago crowd of more than 300 people and with a handful of supporters in the form of a few parents and teachers. What an effort! They had done themselves, their school, their community and their predecessors extremely proud.
Arima Boys’ RC has produced several talented sportsmen who have gone on to represent T&T in both cricket and football as well as those who have earned themselves scholarship abroad through sporting and academic excellence.
A few of the names that come to mind are Mickey Trotman (now deceased), Clayton Ince, Jean Luke Rochford, Stephen Knox, Sunil Narine and Kevon Cooper. The last two gentlemen currently are on the T&T cricket team and were also part of the Arima Boys’ RC team that won the National Schools Cricket Championship in 2001.
In fact Sunil, at the time of writing, was with the West Indies team in India. Culturally the school has been producing Carnival bands since 1976 with the first presentation being Jaws. The members of the Carnival Band committee, some deceased and some still alive, comprised of teachers, friends and well wishers.
This tradition carries on today with the revitalising of the band in 2001. Mr Cumbermack, the then principal and band leader, together with past pupils, teachers and friends, continued to create costumes for various presentations.
Among them were Explosion, We Jus Liming and Bush Medicine. The band was then led by Leonard Garcia when Cumbermack left his post as principal to become a school supervisor. Garcia, along with Christi Sampson, was responsible for presentations such as Shapes in Our Lives; It’s Nature’s Way; Colour Me in T&T; Gens de Arime and Good Times in 2011.
The school has been successful in attaining the Large Band of the Year in the school category on numerous occasions and has dominated the Regional Carnival Competitions in Arima. Arima Boys’ RC has also taken part in Junior Parang Festival for many years. Patrons have never been let down by these performances.
Its most recent successes include:
2007—First place winners, Best Lead Vocalist, Best stage performance
2008—Fourth place winners;
2009—Best Guitar–Best Marac; Best Toc Toc (a prize that was created because of that year’s performance)
2010—2 Best Cuatros; Best Guitar;
2011—Third place winners; Best Musical Performance; 2 Best Guitars; Best Cuatro.
The highlight of this year’s performance was that the boys had the accompaniment of only one adult. The band has been led for the past six years by Mrs Patricia Belcon-Garcia with much support from other members of staff and parents special thanks to Melan Garcia and Mr Stephen Calbio for their constant support and commitment to the school’s parang groups over the years.
Members of the band usually comprise of students from Standards Three to Five although pupils from lower classes also indicate their interest. The enthusiasm of the pupils is always a key factor in their preparation and performances.