Thursday, April 18, 2024

JEFF BROOMES: A little help goes a long way!


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SOMETIMES, you hear or see things that really reconfirm your faith in this beloved country of ours. Such happened to me recently, not once but twice. One day last week as I approached the Bussa Statue my eyes captured an act that left me with much satisfaction. 

I saw a youngster dressed in St Leonard’s school uniform walk onto the pedestrian crossing, extend his arms and point to an elderly visually impaired gentleman at the side of the street. He then hurried back to the gentleman, took his arm and proceeded to take him to the opposite side. 

I know that I blocked traffic for a little while, because I sat there and observed the youngster engaging him in conversation, obviously querying whether any further assistance was necessary. He then patted the old guy and hurried on his way to school. I commend him!

A matter of days later, my guidance counsellor reported an equally heart- warming situation but this time involving a student from the Parkinson Memorial School. His act involved giving assistance to an elderly lady.

This youngster was at the bus stop on his way to school when he realised that this lady was in some distress and seemingly unable to engage anyone. It was later discovered that she had drifted into a diabetic coma.  He tried to call an ambulance but there was none available.

Good deed

He sounded an alarm and another individual crossed over the street to the polyclinic. There was a prompt response from medical personnel but with no wheel chair. The gentlemen physically lifted the lady into the clinic. This young student accompanied her and waited until he was sure that she was being attended to. 

After this morning of immense good service and kindness, the student arrived at school late.  He said nothing of his deed, and we were only informed of his actions by someone who had observed all that had transpired. Of course, we acknowledged this student at full assembly and have made arrangements for a further “Good Deed” reward!

As someone whose father was visually impaired for most of my life, I am very touched when I see others reaching out to the elderly, the ill or the physically challenged.  This, to my mind, is a show of a highly informed sixth sense (emotion). Such sensitivity makes us better!

Yes, my dad was blind, and though he was fiercely independent and filled with pride, he received much assistance from friends and neighbours. They looked out for him and ran many chores to ensure his comfort.

I also remember young Kraigg Nurse who, though challenged, had an intellect to match any. He was one of the boys being supported by friends and classmates. To him there was no one better than a Combermerian! Indeed, he saw his school as heaven’s living room and expressed this with full confidence that came from being a full member of the Waterford family.

This year I have had the pleasure of being principal to a hearing impaired student.  The ministry has provided an interpreter for her and this assistance, coupled with the warmth of her classmates, has proven to be a winning formula. She has outperformed expectations and has been placing between first and second in every subject.

A little help goes a long way!

Jeff Broomes is an experienced educator, principal and community organiser who also served as vice-president of the BCA and director of the WICB. Email:


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